Twitter has fast become a popular platform for all kinds of online activities from journalism and marketing, to dating and networking. As with any online community, Twitter’s jargon can include technical symbols, shorthand, and acronyms that Twitter-savvy people can recognize. One such phenomenon is the use of a “hashtag”, tagging a tweet with a keyword using the # (pound) sign. This helps contextualize the tweet and allows users to search for, track, and categorize these tweets. This is especially useful for backchanneling during conferences or for ongoing conversations on Twitter. For example, a conversation around math education could be “tagged” with “#mathed” to let people know the context and also let them sort tweets by that particular hashtag so they can follow the conversation.  Hashtags can be used for humor, sarcasm, irony, news items, and global events — everything from higher education course discussions to learning networks and communities around focused interests to supportive environments that include application and technology assistance and recommendations. Yes, Twitter can be and is used for more than just letting people know what you just ate or how that cab driver was so rude.  This Ignite session will talk about the different ways in which hashtags are used, with a focus on the innovative way in which they are used in education and educational communities.

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