The word “hashtag” was recently added to the dictionary. It has revolutionized the way people share, organize, and archive information on social media sites.
One hashtag in particular, #satchat, is near and dear to my heart. It has given me an opportunity to connect with current and emerging school leaders in the wonderful world of Twitter. Each and every Saturday at 7:30am EST educators use the #satchat hashtag in their tweets to share ideas and resources on specific discussion topics. Throughout the week when the actual discussion is not taking place, educators use the #satchat to gain access to timely information and best practice ideas. Hashtags have enabled educators to customize their learning. So let’s take a look at the power of hashtags in education.
There are so many hashtags to follow. Are you a school leader? Try out #satchat. Parent? Check out #ptchat (Parent-Teacher). Educational junkie? No doubt you will love #edchat. Addicted to educational technology? Follow #edtechchat. I could go on and on. Whether it’s a state oriented hashtag, like #iaedchat (Iowa), #njed (New Jersey), or #arkedchat (Arkansas), or a subject specific hashtag such as #sschat (Social Studies) you have so many options at your fingertips.
The great thing about hashtags is that they are applicable to a number of social media sites. Utilizing your search box feature will help with finding resources related to a particular hashtag. A very popular Instagram hashtag educators use is #teachersfollowteachers. Whether you are looking for a classroom decoration idea or want to see what a particular learning experience looks like, Instagram provides educators with an opportunity to grow in ways once thought unimaginable. Educators can actually see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms.
Hashtags are sometimes overwhelming, especially across multiple social media sites. That’s why it’s imperative to use a tool like Tagboard to stay on top of things. Tagboard is a collection of social media posts that share a common hashtag, helping you stay connected and organized. Hashtags can also have a profound effect on stakeholder engagement. Classrooms, schools, and districts should strongly consider utilizing hashtags to activate stakeholder interest in school happenings. For example, Joe Sanfelipopo, Superintendent of Falls Creek School District in Wisconsin, encourages the school community to stay connected and promote initiatives through the #gocrickets hashtag.
So what do you say? Take a chance and start a hashtag to tell your school’s story and promote all that’s right with education.