Twitter has become a vibrant venue where educators around the world connect and share ideas—in 140 or fewer characters at a time.
A primary way educators find one another on the massive social networking site is through the use of hashtags. A hashtag is a #word or #severalwords prefixed by a # symbol. In this format, Twitter users tag an idea, group, or topic, thereby making it easily searchable. Go to Twitter and search #education and see what turns up.
Hashtags allow you to connect with people you probably don't know, but who are passionate about the same things.
Here are eight types of hashtags for educators who teach and learn about the world:
The global learning community
Use #globaled or #globallearning to find other educators who are dedicated to building student global competence. Use in combination with the project-based learning hashtag, #pbl, to find real-world projects with which to connect.
Passionate about reforms? Check out #edchat, #edpolicy, #edadmin and similar.
Tag and search world regions or countries to connect on geographic issues. For instance, #afghanistan will turn up a world of perspectives on that critical world region.
For headlines or transnational issues, like #syrianuprising or #globalwarming, search tags first and see which ones are trending.
What you think or feel
Combine topics with tags that reflect your feelings on a subject. For example, My students' #solarpower project makes me #proud.
Global is digital
Arguably, global learning is not authentic without digital tools to connect people and ideas around the world. Find ideas and innovators by adding digital and mobile learning hashtags, like #edtech, or #mlearning, or #web20.
Make it age appropriate
Sometimes great ideas aren't relevant unless you can find age-appropriate applications. Tag or search #kinderchat, #1stchat, #2ndchat, etc. to find educators who teach the same grade level you do.
Global issues in the academic disciplines
There are many hashtags for the courses you teach. #mathchat, #scichat, #sschat, #flchat, #artsed are just a few examples. Combine your course tag and the grade you teach with #globaled or other hashtags to get very specific results.
Explore and experiment to find your own niche in the social media universe. It promises to be an educational endeavor.