Exploring the Education Twitter Hashtag Landscape
Abstract: In recent years, Twitter has become an important tool for educator professional learning and community. While education has often proven to be an isolating profession, social media such as Twitter open up opportunities for teachers to collaborate beyond their school, district, region, and even nation. In particular, education-related Twitter hashtags play a key role in facilitating connections and interactions between geographically-dispersed educators with similar interests and needs. This in-progress research explores the landscape of education Twitter hashtags. To better understand this phenomenon, we are in the process of examining the use of sixteen such education hashtags over a 13-month time period. This paper presents findings regarding primarily quantitative patterns and themes in the use of these hashtags. We compare synchronous and asynchronous uses of the hashtags, as well as the balance of tweets and retweets, among other characteristics of the hashtag usage. We discuss our findings in relation to the literature and consider implications for professional learning and both in-service and pre-service teacher development.