Hashtags can empower teaching

The ubiquitous hashtag, which first appeared on Twitter in 2007, is now also used on Facebook, Instagram, GooglePlus, and other social media platforms, and is part of the language of social media. Shelly Terrell shares some ideas on how to use hashtags to help empower you as an educator. Hashtags can help you to:

■ Connect with other educators who teach the same age group (e.g., #Kinderchat, #Midleveled) or subject (e.g., #Engchat, #STEAM).

■ Find examples of teachers integrating various instructional trends (e.g., #flippedclass, #growthmindset).

■ Discover free Web tools and resources (e.g., #GAFE, #edtech, #edapps).

■ Find your educator community (e.g., #EdAdmin, #ELTChat).

■ Share resources or have a backchannel during a class discussion by creating a hashtag to use with your students.

■ Start a movement or Twitter chat! (I’ve founded several, including #Edchat, #30GoalsEDU, #Edspeakers, and #EbookEVO.)

■ Reach a target audience by adding hashtags at the end of your blog posts.

■ Participate in hashtag chats to connect with teachers worldwide and build your PLN (Personal/Passionate Learning Network).

■ Collect resources from other teachers or students for a project (e.g., #ELTPics).

■ Brand yourself. If you blog about education technology, for example, share with the hashtag #Edtech. Sites like Hashtagify. me list the top hashtags and those who share them.