A piece of metadata, normally associated with a tweet. A cousin to the tag, hashtags have a # sign in front of them.
Hashtags can be used to categorize tweets around a central theme. Hashtags make tweets searchable. This is believed to be the first hashtag.
You see them all the time if you are on Twitter. For example, #iste11 was recently used extensively to group tweets around the International Society of Technology in Education Conference in Philadelphia. Sometimes, the use of hashtags can go very wrong, as Entenmenns recently found out.
Hashtags can also be used to add to interest to a tweet, and even add a little fun. Sometimes they are even attributed:
#seewhatIdidthere (@jonbecker 2010)
#TTA (me, 2009) Note: TTA = Touch Them All and is used to reference hitting a “home-run” with a tweet and touching all four bases in the process, as in a runner rounding the bases after hitting a real home run.
So, hashtags are part of the “conversation,” and serve to make the “conversation” searchable.
But I’m tired of conversation and have written on that before. Time to move on…more doing, and less talking.
Why not start using these hashtags to address that?
#whatwedid could be used to describe something actually attempted to improve education. The emphasis on we addresses that attempt to be organizationally-based, and not just a classroom-localized event of a single teacher.
#whathappened could categorize the outcome of that attempt, the consequences of the action…and most importantly,what happened to student learning.
#howweknow could be used when describing how the organization knows #whathappened.
Three years from now will you still be engaged in the same conversations? Right now, think back three years, has your school changed significantly as the result of the conversation? Not you, the school…
When will conversation turn to action? When will you share your evidence of that action?
Use the hashtags to let everyone know…