How Hashtags Can Empower You in 2016

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“The hashtag, that ubiquitous pound sign followed by a keyword, are part of the language of social media.”- Neil Patel, Forbes

In August 2007, Chris Messina introduced hashtags (#) into Twitter’s code, which meant anyone using the platform could add a # sign front of any word(s) without spaces to make it a clickable link leading to a page where all tweets with this hashtag were aggregated. Hashtags are now used on other social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram, and GooglePlus.

Hashtags are your key to reaching your professional goals in 2016. Here are a few ideas on how to use hashtags to help empower you as an educator:

  • Use hashtags to help you connect with other educators who teach students of the same age group (ex. #Kinderchat, #Midleveled, #HigherEd) or the same subject (ex. #Engchat, #Mathchat, #STEAM)
  • Use hashtags to see real examples of teachers integrating various instructional trends (ex. #flippedclass, #hourofcode, #growthmindset)
  • Explore hashtags to discover free web tools and resources (ex. #GAFE, #edtech, #edapps, #ipaded, #mlearning)
  • Use hashtags to find your educator community (ex. #EdAdmin, #ELTChat, #Edchat)
  • Create a hashtag to use with your students to share resources or have a backchannel during a class discussion
  • Create a hashtag to start a movement or Twitter chat! I have been the founder of various education hashtag movements including #Edchat, #30GoalsEDU,#Edspeakers, and #EbookEVO.
  • Add hashtags at the end of your blogs posts to reach a target audience.
  • Participate in Hashtag chats to connect with teachers worldwide and build your Personal/ Passionate Learning Network (PLN).
  • Create a hashtag to collect resources from other teachers or students for a project (ex. #ELTPics)
  • Add hashtags to your posts and resources to brand yourself. If you blog about education technology then share with the hashtag #Edtech. Sites like Hashtagify list the top hashtags and sharer of those hashtags.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

One comment

  1. It is hard to keep up with all the hashtags and the excellent conversations on Twitter – great learning platform for educators.
    @Candace_Davies Connect with me if you want!

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