Thursday, October 9, 2014

Social Media & Schools: The Hashtag

From the outside looking in, the idea of the hashtag is a pretty silly thing, but has become almost a staple of pop culture.  At some point in time, down the road, we will all have some pretty interestesting conversations about our recolllections of the hashtag.

Here is what Twitter has to say about the hashtag:

It would seem in many cases, pop culture wise, that that keywords has become key phrases, and that, maybe, the use of the hashtag, again speaking pop culture, has steered from its original and intended use.  Not saying that is a bad thing, just saying its interesting what happens when diverse and creative people get a hold of a tool.  In addition to the definition above, when I present Twitter tell people that the hashtag is a strategic visibility tool.  There are so many great education hashtags it is important to direct things shared to the right audiences (ie - parent engagement - #ptchat, ed tech resources - #edtech, all things education to the the premier education hashtag: #txed :)).  The hashtag for sure has its purpose in helping what you share get seen by people that will appreciate it and benefit from it's contents!

The hashtag can also be an amazing tool for your campus in its journey in using social media.  When paired with your social media messages and communications, the hashtag quickly and easily becomes a storytelling tool!  Creating and adding a campus hashtag to posts allows the school and it's its families to share the story of a school year.  The hashtag being something that is searchable on pretty much any social media platform (even Facebook is doing it), it brings together all the posts to create an amazing account of a school year, event, time frame, etc. Some campuses have ventured into the realm of campus chats to discuss education topics, campus culture and events!  Using the hashtag, everyone can be a part of the conversation whether or not they are directly connected or not!  If you are on Twitter, you know for sure that chats are a great way to find new folks to learn with and from.  When paired with the tool of Storify, the campus hashtag as a storytelling tool can even be taken to the next level.   Storify is often used by Twitter chats to archive chats and allow easier access for those that desire to revisit the content of the conversation.  Think about the possibilities for campus use!  The application allows the user to select time frames to archive.  An entire year or simply an event in school life can be captured.  Powerful!

The final thing I'll leave you with are some resources to go check out to see how the campus hashtag is used.  Some of these are used by campuses specifically, others are used by principals and teachers to document the life of school!  It is always helpful to have great models if/when trying something new!

  • #GWGreats
  • #Cantiague
  • #TMSHawkchat

Happy posting


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