So Many Hashtag Ideas and so Little Time!
The “hashtag” ( “#”) has become the go-to hot key for trending topics and Twitter discussions. They’re prevalent on Twitter (where they got their start), but they have also seeped into Instagram, Google+, Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Tagboard and even come up in Google searches and Google alerts.
Hashtags allow teachers and educators to search for topics, gather information in one conversation thread and connect with friends and professionals. A simple click of a hashtag can send you down the proverbial rabbit hole of the Internet—connecting you with people all over the world that share similar interests or inquiries.
Effective use of the hashtag can bolster both teaching and learning, here are a handful of hashtag topics and some examples of how to use them:
- #howtogarden—How-to hashtags are popular all over Twitter. Type #howtogarden and you’ll quickly find tips on gardening best practices—perfect for a lesson on planting, flowers and, yes, gardening.
- #cupcakerecipe—Say you’re teaching a foods lesson or your class is participating in a charity bake sale. Type this hashtag on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to find all different kinds of cupcakes, baking recipes and more.
- #teachingtechniques—Great for any teacher, this hashtag will lead you to hundreds of teaching tips on how to keep students engage, use technology in the classroom and more.
- #Howtopracticeselfdefense—Type this into the “discover” section on Twitter and you’ll receive a handful of handy self-defense techniques that every person should know in order to protect themselves. This would be applicable for any lesson on bullying and self defense.
- #Howtosurviveatornado—With global warming in full effect, extreme weather conditions are radically changing people’s lives. Perhaps you are teaching your class about the necessary steps to take when facing an extreme weather event—look no further than Google.
- #Science—While a search of the #Science hashtag may bring you to one of countless Breaking Bad fanpages, the hashtag also showcases scientific experiments, discoveries, and more. Be more specific on the science phenomenon you want to learn about (or teach) and you’ll get better results.
- #NeilDegrasseTyson—You would be hard-pressed to find a more social media savvy scientist than the fantastic Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Searching his name via Twitter will bring you to his personal account, as well as provide you with fantastic quotes relating to the study of the universe and our solar system.
- #Research—Another straightforward hashtag, but one that gleans thousands of results from colleges and scholarly sources. Pair this with a specific # on the subject of research you are seeking for the best results.
Inspirational Quotes & Cultural Studies
- #Ghandi—One of the more popular uses of Instagram are photo graphics—basically a pretty picture of a famous quote. Looking for a quote from a specific person in history? Simply search their name and you’ll find tons of inspirational sayings.
- #YesAllWomen—After #NotAllMen began trending on all forms of social media, women responded with #YesAllWomen, which documented the challenges women face on a daily basis due to sexism. Great for getting a wide perspective on current gender issues.
- #RealBodies—This is a groundbreaking hashtag that sparks conversations in order to question and subvert the societal norm of what is considered beautiful. Teachers can glance at the conversations that are going on, and apply them to lessons about good health and self-esteem.
- #BaldisBeautiful—Usually utilized by cancer patients going through chemotheraphy, the #Baldisbeautiful hashtag is prevalent on Instagram and Tumblr and shows women and men proudly donning their bald heads—it’s a fantastically uplifting hashtag that can instill cancer patients with confidence. Paired with relevant source materials, teachers can use this hashtag to teach about cancer awareness, the importance of health and compassion, or even social justice campaigning techniques
New Books to Read
- #SummerReads—School’s out, and for many that means a chance to catch up on some light reading. Google #SummerReads for a comprehensive list of user-suggested summer reading material that you can share with your class.
- #GoneGirl—The insanely popular novel by Gillian Flynn isn’t the only thing you’ll find when searching #GoneGirl. Many people on social media use hashtags to connect related topics; a #GoneGirl hashtag may contain pictures of Flynn’s other novels, or novels that are similar in scope. Could be an interesting case study on storytelling in the digital age.
- #Goodreads—Referencing the popular book review site Goodreads.com, this hashtag contains various book suggestions, notes and quotes, which is perfect for reading lessons, or a lazy afternoon at your local library.
- #Edu—Short for, you guessed it, “education,” this hashtag will bring you to a bevy of educational posts on trending topics, educational breakthroughs, and teaching techniques around the globe.
- #Edchat—if you aren’t already a part of the #Edchat community, you should be. This weekly chat is so popular that it may be a bit intimidating if you’ve never participated in a twitter chat before. For newbies try #Nt2t (new teachers to twitter chat) on Saturdays at 8am CDT and you’ll be tweeting like a pro in Tuesdays #Edchat in no time.
- Create Your Own—Interested in learning something new? There’s most likely a hashtag for whatever you’re interested in, but if there isn’t, create your own hashtag, put a few more commonly used (and related) hashtags in your post and see what kind of discussions you can generate!
- #WomensRights—Those interested in having a discussion regarding the current state of women’s rights can search the aforementioned hashtag and find a ton of discussion in which to insert themselves.
- #GunLaws—A quick search of this hashtag will bring you to in-depth conversations, discussions and arguments regarding gun laws around the globe.
- #howtodebate—Are you teaching your class about communication and debating? Type this hashtag on Twitter and you’ll find tips on how to effectively communicate during specific debates.
Geography & Places To Go
- #geography—If you type this Twitter hashtag, you will find excellent comprehensive apps covering weather and geography. You’ll also find basic map vocabulary for young students, and much more.
- #Vacation—It seems straightforward, but a hashtag search for “vacation” will bring you to a bevy of sites, all with people posting vacation pictures. It’s a great way to find hot spots or even good deals. Every teacher deserves a vacation sometimes!
- #Staycation—For some, getting far away isn’t an option, but a “staycation” (or a vacation in which you don’t go very far), is a good alternative to aid in your mental break. Searching for #Staycations can give you some good ideas on new things to do in your own town.
Whether you’re using hashtags to discover the latest education news, connect with fellow educators via #Edchat, or just learn about a new DIY project, the world of social media provides you with countless avenues from which to gain information.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
8 Engaging Ways to use Technology in the Classroom to Create Lessons That Aren’t Boring
Do Social Media Benefit College Students by Engaging Them in the Course Material?