The Power of the #

twitterhashtag

Imagine having a very organized filing cabinet filled with resources, ideas and support from thousands of educators across the globe. In an instant, you could access these educators, learn from them, share with them and get support from them whenever you needed it!

If you are interested in this type of resource then Twitter is something you absolutely need to explore. At first, I was resistant to join #TwitterNation because I, like many of you, thought it was yet another way to connect with people online or to learn mindless details about celebrities lives. After joining Twitter thanks to @sguditus, in July 2010 I realized just how wrong I was.

In five short years, I have come to appreciate Twitter as the most powerful Professional Development tool available to educators in the 21st century. The reason behind that is simple. The people whom I follow are all educators who are equally passionate about their own learning as they are about the children whom they serve.

If you are interested in exploring this PD tool, I encourage you to join today. Start by following @jvincentsen. Look at my followers and see if they may interest you. If so, follow them and continue to repeat that step! You may also be interested in looking through the list I created of over 400 elementary principals on Twitter. In no time you will begin to build your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

From there, start following some of the most popular hashtags (#) for ed leadership. What’s a hashtag you ask? This often seen symbol is an easy way to organize, sort and categorize the millions of tweets that are written each day. Hashtags serve to:

  • Help you find tweets about topics in which you are interested. Check out #MESPAChat, #PrincipalPLN, #PrincipalsinAction, #WeLeadEd, #LeadUpChat, #cpchat and #EdChatMA for popular #s in Ed Leadership.
  • Instantly link your post to a group of others about the same topic. For example, if you do not use a #, your post is only accessible to those who follow you. Add #MESPAChat and all educators who follow that # will see your post.
  • Sponsor chats (live q and a sessions) around a topic. Check out the feed from #EdChatMA at 9:00 pm on the first and third Tuesday of every month for an example.
  • Showcase your school community. Anyone from the school community can spread positive messages using your school’s #. Check out #bukercommunity (Hamilton-Wenham, MA) and #HarringtonHawks (Lexington, MA) for examples.

If you are new to Twitter or interested in joining but want some assistance, feel free to tweet any questions you have to @jvincentsen or by email at jvincentsen@yahoo.com. Looking forward to sharing with and learning from you online!