Posted by Bill Ferriter on Thursday, 03/20/2014
Let's start with a simple truth: Hashtags changed everything for digital learners.
Spending a few minutes identifying hashtags that are connected to your field can save you hours by providing instant access to a neverending stream of resources curated by practitioners who share the same interests.
Interested in elementary education? So are the folks adding #elemchat to the end of their social media posts. Working to integrate iPads into the work you do with students? Find ideas AND intellectual doppelgangers to learn from by searching through the #ipaded stream. Care a whole lot about the changing face of education in Iowa? There's a hashtag for you, too -- #iaedchat -- and it's REALLY active.
But the challenge is figuring out WHICH hashtags are worth following, right? In social spaces, change is a constant -- and that includes in the kinds of hashtags that people are using to share content with one another.
So let's play Hashtag Bracketology together.
(download slide on Flickr here)
Here's how to play:
Start by downloading this PowerPoint slide which is an editable version of MY hashtag brackets.
Replace the 16 hashtags I've added with hashtags that that you've found useful in your own learning. Maybe even match your favorite hashtags up against hashtags you only view once in awhile. Add seeds if you want to. We'll call this final slide your "blank brackets."
Don't be afraid to include hashtags that are unique to your field and/or region. Remember, no matter how unique you THINK you are, there are a TON of other educators working in similar positions. Helping them to get connected matters.
Save your blank brackets as an image file and post it in your blog. Consider writing a short explanation of each of your hashtags so that readers can quickly identify hashtags that they might dig.
Play an imaginary hashtag tournament sometime in the next two weeks. Really consider which hashtags are the MOST important to your learning. Cross out hashtags that would "lose" in head to head matchups. Maybe even throw in an upset every now and then. Keep working through your matchups until you have a "Hashtag Champion."
Save your completed brackets as an image file and post it in your blog. Consider writing a short explanation detailing the rationale for advancing and/or eliminating individual hashtags.
Tweet about your new posts using #edhashtagology
And if you want to, leave a link to your posts in the comment section of this post. I'll collect a master list of everyone who is playing and post it at some point in the near future.
I'm actually REALLY looking forward to seeing the hashtags that y'all include on your brackets. While it is easy enough to search for lists of educational hashtags, those lists are rarely contextualized. More importantly, those lists weren't generated by folks that I know -- and that I want to stumble across more often online.
Related Radical Reads:
Five Twitter Hashtags that Can Save School Leaders Time
Twitter Hashtags for Educators
Tips for Structuring Successful Classroom Blogging Projects