Join Around a Common Topic: Twitter Hash Tags

Twitter has long been claimed as a valued resource for education, but until recently I had struggled to see the important applications.  Until I discovered the power of the hash tag.

When someone Tweets, they send a message out into the world of Twitter where some may connect with it and some may not.  By adding a hash tag followed by a specific word or phrase, you can direct your Tweet to a certain interested group of people.  Say, I am interested in educational technology.  There is a hash tag #edTech.  This means that if I want to see the latest news in educational technology, that I can search #edTech and read all of the Tweets that are being shared about educational technology.  To add to this information, if I come across a great edTech resource, then I compose my tweet and include #edTech.  This ensures that others will see the resource I am sharing.

USE IT FOR CURRENT EVENTS:
Not only is it great for keeping up on the latest and greatest for education, Twitter can bring your students and classroom around a common topic.  Maybe you have students gathering current events about the world and you would like them to share these with their classmates.  You can develop a hash tag and have students tweet their resources with a short blurb to the hash tag you create.

USE IT FOR HOMEWORK QUESTIONS:
Want students to be able to ask their questions about their homework, while they are still at home?  Give them a hash tag to tweet to and you will find students start helping students find the answer to their questions.

How else would you use hash tags in the classroom?

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