Over the past few months, Twitter “hashtag” chats which focus on educational issues have become increasingly popular for teachers, parents, students, education geeks, and Twitter users around the globe.
By typing in a particular Hashtag (tag) into your Twitter search engine, such as #moviequote or #ilovecanada, you can view each and every tweet which mentions that particular word or tag. If you would like to become involved in the conversation (for example, if you have a great movie quote you want to share, or if you want to talk about your love for Canada), simply add the tag at the end of your tweet so others can view your comments. You can also add a column for the tag in your TweetDeck browser, or you can use TweetChat so the tag is automatically added onto your tweet. The Tweetgrid and Twitterfall applications also allow you to view all the messages in each tagged conversation.
When the chat starts, Twitter users can post their thoughts or questions using these hashtags, and can view the comments from other Twitter users who are engaged in the conversation. Participants can also suggest future topics for the weekly discussions.
Last August, over 100 educators participated in an “#edchat” session, and it became the No. 5 trending topic on Twitter. “Edchat” has been defined as a “collaboration of educators, parents, and students finding solutions to the challenges facing every educational system worldwide.” Discussions can include suggestions on how to improve schools, and some Twitter users provide free resources for others to follow. Last December, the discussion won an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Tweet Discussion.
To follow along with each of the conversations, or view past discussions, click on any of the following popular education tags, or type them into your Twitter search engine. You do not need a Twitter account to read any of the comments, but you will need to sign up for one if you want to join in. (To view a complete list of all the educational hashtags, click here)
#musedchat – Music in education, every Monday at 8 p.m. EST
#hsc – Homeschooling issues, every second Monday of the month at 9 p.m. EST
#ecosys – Changes in public education, every Monday at 9 p.m. EST
#edchat – Educational issues, Tuesdays at noon and 7 p.m. EST
#ptchat – Parent and teacher chat, every Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST
#DistEd – eLearning issues and discussions, every Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST
#ntchat – Teachers and teaching issues, every Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST
#onecom – The One Comment project about educational issues, every Thursday at noon and 7 p.m. EST
#innochat – Innovation in educational issues, every Thursday at noon EST
#SAchat – Student affairs, every Thursday at noon and 7 p.m. EST
#Lrnchat – Learning issues for educators, every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST
#BlackEd – Black education, every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST
#gtchat – Gifted student education, every Friday at noon and 7 p.m. EST
#ellchat – English Language Learners, every Sunday at 2 p.m. EST
If you are already involved in any of these Twitter chats, feel free to comment below about your experiences.