It is hard to think of Twitter without associating it with the popular #sign called hashtag.Besides its limited text to 140 characters, Twitter is also known for being the only microblogging platform that incorporates hashtag.
Chris Messana was the first guy to share a tweet containing a hashtag back on August of 2008. Since then, hashtags have become the most popular communicational medium of choice for television shows, political campaigns, educational news and updates, commercials, and also an icon of the 21st century pop culture.
So, what is a hashtag ?
Here is what Twitter said about it : " The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. Hashtags are a great way to build community around content."
Who can use Hashtags?
To be able to use a hashtag, you only need to have an active Twitter account. Hahstags are embedded within tweets and they do not belong to anyone. Once the hashtag is created and goes viral, nobody can control it and everybody can use it.
How can I create a hashtag ?
It is very easy to create a hashtag but before you do so, you need to have a clear objective behind creating such a hashtag. For instance, as a teacher, I would create a hashtag for my ICT students and label that hashtag #ictclass. Now I can easily add #ictclass to anything I find online related to what I teach in this class and any student accessing the hashtag #ictclass would be able to see all the tweets with the cited hashtag.
- The 17 Best Twitter Hashtags for Education (2012 )
- A Quick Guide to Twitter Educational Hashtags
- What Teachers Need to Know about Hashtags
- A Must Have Guide on Using Twitter in your Classroom
Hashtags enable you to :
- Categorize tweets that contain relevant keywords or phrases
- Hashtags help tweets get popular and be displayed in search result pages
- They can occur anywhere be it the end , middle or beginning of the Tweet
- Hashtags make it easy to aggregate like-minded Twitter users under a certain category
Other ways to use a hashtag
Here are some other ways to use hashtags as suggested by Adunn :
- To search and research a topic or event.
- To create a tribe.
- To curate tweets and information on a particular keyword or topic.
- To track mentions on the social web.
- To find influencers engaged in a topic.
- To report from a conference you attend physically.
- To virtually attend a conference and expand your network with people in your industry.
- To brand a presentation, webinar or keynote speech.
- To participate in Twitter Chats on topics of interest or in your industry.
- To build a community around a brand.
- To promote a cause or start a movement.
- To crowdsource funds for charity.
- To crowdsource ideas.
- To follow a sporting event or TV show.
- To find reviews about about a movie or book.
- To follow breaking news.
- To create an archive around a topic or chat.
Examples of some great educational hashtags :
This is one of my favorite hashtags on Twitter. It provides you with news, tips, tools.....etc on the use of technology in education
If you are interested in discovering and learning more about the use of educational apps in teaching, edapp is a hashtag to follow.
This is one of the popular hashtags and it is a great way for you to meet other teachers from all around the world and stay updated about the trending topics in education.
This one stands for education reform and it speaks for itself , when you join this chat you will have the chance to explore what educators are sharing on educational issues.
Using this hashtag you can connect with other people interested in online and electronic learning and also distance learning.
This hashtag stands for mobile learning and it features all the tweets relating to the use of mobile devices in learning.
This is a hashtag that allows you to stay updated about the issues related to science, technology and education.
This is hashtag created by Edutopia last May it stands for New Teacher chat