Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hashtags changed my life

When I first joined Twitter, I did so reluctantly. I had my reservations, but I was so excited about what had been shared at a one-day workshop that my principal sent me to that I knew it was worth trying. So, I did. A year later, I did a little self-promotion within the Twitter world as I set a goal to reach 100 followers. I thought 100 followers would be a great accomplishment. With a little help from my friends, I reach that goal. I still rarely, if ever used hashtags. I, honestly knew little about how to use them. Slowly but surely, they crept into my Tweets. Then, last spring, I joined Instagram with the help, encouragement, and urging of my students. Suddenly, I found myself hashtagging posts like crazy. I found a couple that I liked and I developed a couple of my own. Last summer, I started #wheresmsrnow so my students could follow awesome science adventures in the off months. I made a little game of it. But, I kept it. Periodically, I post to Instagram and Twitter with that hashtag. I also use #EduAwesome #Adventure for many of my posts. Afterall, this crazy thing many call life, I call an adventure. And, I am a #lifelonglearner.

What developed in 2015 was more than that. As I started using my "own" hashtags more (I realize #EduAwesome and #Adventure both are used by many), I started using others to meet other EdTech folks on Twitter...and beyond. I also started getting my feet wet with Twitter chats.

Every week I participate in a couple of chats now. Most times I'm on my phone and have to get a little creative. A search using the related hashtag does the trick for helping me follow, phone in hand as I prepare dinner, help my kids with homework, attend a local event, or am otherwise involved in "IRL" matters.

I have grown my PLN, I have met amazing people, I have figured out TweetDeck (for the times I can actually sit at my Chromebook for a chat). Hashtags helped with that. (Oh! And that Twitter follower count? Yeah, I passed 500 followers this week. My PLN continues to grow. How do I love sharing, collaborating, learning from other educators... Let me count the ways...)

My students, CUE conferences, interactions with amazing educators have all contributed to my use of hashtags and my involvement with my students, CUE conferences, and interactions with amazing educators has developed because of the use of hashtags. How about that?

What was just a pound sign has become so much more. As reluctant as I was to start on Twitter, I was even moreso to start hashtagging. And look at me now!

#EduAwesome #Adventure

And my favorite that I haven't used but have seen this week:
And I was the Rebekah in the hashtag! #Awesomesauce #Awesomeness

How have you used hashtags to make a difference in your life as an educator?

Note: In a Technology Committee meeting earller this week, for a brief moment, I spoke in hashtags. That was weird. For a minute.

No comments:

Post a Comment