In our last blog, we discussed the power of educators using Twitter to create a strong network (PLN). To harness the full power of this tool, we encourage educators to not only follow leaders and innovators, but understand how to use and leverage hashtags. Twitter defines a hashtag as “the # symbol, used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” Hashtags have also become a popular way to create interest-networks within Twitter.
The following video, by Johni Louise, provides a good overview to hashtags.
Using and following hashtags isn’t complicated but there are a few ‘rules’ seasoned Twitters will recommend. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Use programs like Tweet Deck or Twitterfall to keep track of the hashtags you want to follow.
- Track and follow hashtags that are educationally relevant.
- See what hashtags PLP recommends and enter your favorites at the bottom of the document.
- Edublogs has a list for the Best twitter hashtags of 2011
- Cybrary Man’s comprehensive hashtag list is another frequent source used by educators
Powerful Learning Practice is hosting a live Twitter chat on Sunday, April 29th at 7 pm Eastern. We’ll be discussing who rocks your world (pedagogically) and will be using the #plpnetwork hashtag. To learn more about this event click here.
In our next issue of this Twitter blog series, we’ll discuss ideas for using Twitter in the classroom! Want to see another Twitter topic discussed? Please leave a comment below!
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Teachers might enjoy this first-hand account by PLPeep Patti Grayson about how she discovered “Hashtag PD.” Lots of useful information on how to get started: