How to Use Hashtags in Researching, Networking, and More

Researching and Networking Hashtags
If you are a teacher, tutor, or homeschooler, then it’s likely that you spend a fair amount of time on the Web. In fact, educators are known for being innovators in the technology arena. However, one particular area of the Web that educators may be overlooking is social media hashtags, which can be a great resource when researching and networking.

Introducing Hashtags

We all know that you could spend days upon days trying to visit all the education-related websites out there, but who has time for that?If you’re looking for the most up-to-date and personalized information on a particular subject anywhere on the Web, hashtags are your best bet. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest are busy every minute of every day with people having conversations about things that you’re curious about. For example, #edtech, #curriculum, #elearning, #homeschool, and #commoncore, to name a few. Simply visit your preferred social media channel and either search for or click on a hashtag to see what people are posting.

Stay Up-to-Date with Hashtags

Teachers and homeschoolers often spend a great deal of time on their favorite social media sites, but their focus is often limited. Unless a fellow teacher or homeschooling parent happens to share a new homeschooling Facebook community with you, or tweets about a webinar you should watch, you may often be completely unaware of pages, groups, and people that would greatly benefit from your instructional insights. For instance, did you know that there is a dedicated LinkedIn group for eLearning professionals, or a Facebook page just for homeschoolers in the military?

Maybe. Maybe not. That is why hashtags can be so beneficial. With one click, or a hashtag search, you can quickly see what is likely important to you, but you may have missed.

Use Hashtags to Share Info with Other Educators

Bloggers, educators, and social media users can quickly build the education information superhighway by tagging their education-related posts with hashtags like #middleschool, #writing, #dyslexia, and #lessonplans so that others can find communities, experts, and information that will help on their day-to-day journey.

The truth is that for hashtags to make a difference in our lives, we have to be willing to use them ourselves – on all our social media profiles – not just Twitter! Do you have a Facebook page for your classroom or your blog? You might want to consider making certain helpful posts on those pages open to the public. With Facebook’s “Public” feature and the hashtag option, you can do just that! Here’s how…

  1. Create a specific status update that shares your important education information.
  2. Don’t forget to include the hashtag that you want to be searchable on Facebook. To start, you may wish to use a hashtag that has already been created and is being actively used.
  3. Click on the Audience option at the bottom of the status window to change your audience from Friends → Public.
  4. Then click “Post.”

Now, your info will be completely searchable by all teachers, tutors, or homeschoolers who are looking for up-to-date opinions and conversations about your topic!

If you administer a public education-related group or information page on social media, then you have an even more powerful opportunity to spread teaching know-how. Tag your important posts with hashtags you think other educators are seeking information about or might be interested in.

Hashtags for Educators

There are several archives of teaching-related hashtags in different places around the Web, so search those out or feel free to explore our suggested list below. Then, use your favorite social media platform and try out these hashtags for yourself. For example, what are…

  • Facebookers saying about #grammar? (To search your favorite hashtag in Facebook, just type in the hashtag symbol in front of the term you want in the FB search field.)
  • Tweeters discussing about educational technology aka #edtech? (Yes, you can also do hashtag searches in the official Twitter search.)
  • Plussers debating on the subject of #commoncore? (Type your favorite hashtag into the Google+ search field. Did you know that Google+ can automate hashtags on your posts?)

Still not sure what other hashtags you should use or search for? Try out a few listed below in your next post or hashtag search.

Hashtag Uses
#accidentalhomeschooler homeschoolers who hadn’t planned on homeschooling, but are doing it anyway!
#amwriting what are you writing RIGHT now?
#artsed education and the arts
#bilingual teaching a second language
#dyslexia related to dyslexia or reading challenges
#edchat any educational discussion
#efl English as a foreign language
#forteachers any info educators would be interested in
#freehomeschooling free programs, resources, tools, or curricula for homeschooling
#grammar related to grammar and teaching grammar
#greatreads recommendations of great books
#highschool relating to the high school years
#homeschool general homeschooling
#homeschoollanguagearts homeschool language arts
#homeschoolliterature fictional books about homeschoolers
#homeschoolspelling homeschool spelling and spelling curriculum
#homeschoolwriting homeschool writing and writing curriculum
#k12 K-12 education
#k12online online learning and resources for K-12
#kidlit literature for children
#lapbooking using lapbooks as a learning tool
#library related to library resources and tools
#literaturestudies literature-based studies for educators
#literacy improving the literacy of our generation
#middleschool relating to middle school and junior high
#nanowrimo National novel writing month
#notebooking homeschoolers who use notebooking as part of their education
#parents info specifically for parents
#poetry poetry resources
#prek preschool and pre-kindergarten resources
#readaloud books that make great read-alouds
#schoolchoice a movement that believes in offering multiple types of educational options
#specialneeds learning and help educating children with special needs
#storystarter similar to a writing prompt
#teaching covers a multitude of education possibilities
#writing general writing-related shares
#writingprompt pass along your favorite writing prompt
#YA young adult books and book discussions