Welcome to the fourth step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN.

In our previous step, we introduced you to Twitter and explained how people use it to build their PLN.

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain what hashtags and Twitter chats are.
  2. Explain the benefits of participating in Twitter Chats with your PLN.
  3. Provide tips for getting the most out of Twitter Chats

What Are Hashtags?

Before we begin explaining Twitter chats, we should break down hashtags which are an important part of Twitter.

A hashtag is written with the “#” hash (pound) sign and is used to index keywords or topics on Twitter.

Putting a hashtag symbol (#) in front of a relevant keyword or phrase helps to categorize the tweet and make it easier for people to find.

Hashtags can be used anywhere in a tweet. They can replace a word as demonstrated below, or just be tacked on to the end of a tweet.

When you click on the hashtagged word or phrase (e.g. #podcasts) a new page will load with tweets from everyone who is tweeting about podcasts — whether or not you follow those people.

Note that hashtags can’t have any spaces so math chat becomes #mathchat. 

What Hashtag Should I Use?

You can use any hashtag you like, however, if it’s not being used by others then people won’t be following it or searching for it. So to get the most out of hashtags, you should usually use ones that others are using.

Note that hashtags are not created by Twitter, but by Twitter users. Often if there is an event going on, the organizers will publish the official hashtag on the conference materials and social media.

For example, when ISTE 2018 was happening, ISTE tweeted out the official hashtag:

Following Hashtags

You can type a hashtagged keyword in the search bar on Twitter to discover tweets and accounts based on your interests. There are easier ways to follow hashtags so you don’t have to keep running the same search.

TweetDeck is commonly used to follow hashtags that you want to keep track of regularly (the Twitter search bar is fine if you just want to do one-off searches).

Check out this video by Jennifer Fox to find out how to set up TweetDeck to follow hashtags.

Starting Your Own Hashtag

Hashtags are community driven and anyone can start one. Maybe you want to start your own hashtag with a group of people from your PLN who have a similar interest.

Say you’ve been talking to a group of teachers about using greenscreen technology and you thought you could use the hashtag #greenscreen101 to keep the conversations going.

To avoid using a hashtag that is already being used, it’s advisable to search for that hashtag first. Things can get confusing if your hashtag is being used by another group!

Simply search in the Twitter search box for your preferred hashtag or use a free tool like hashtagify.me.

Here I can see that #greenscreen101 hasn’t be tweeted in a number of years, so it would be fine to use.

Twitter search for #greenscreen101 Edublogs

Fun Idea: Use Your Own Hashtag To Find Your Tweets

Kathleen Sokolowski has shared a handy tip about creating your own personal hashtag in order to find tweets that you want to remember or come back to.

Read all about it in her article on creating a Twitter Digital Notebook. 

If you are like me and frequently read articles and posts that resonate, challenge you or speak to you in some way, consider creating a hashtag for yourself! When you want to find your tweet again, just search for your hashtag in the search bar and be sure to click “Latest” to see all your tweets.

Finding Popular Hashtags

Maybe you’re a teacher tweeting about the arts. You’d like to include a hashtag in your tweet to reach a larger audience but you’re not sure what the popular hashtags are in that niche.

You might have seen #arted used but you’re not sure if this is a popular choice.

A tool like hashtagify.me can be really handy (the basic features are free).

When I type in #arted I can see that the popularity is 42.7 (on a scale of 1-100). It also shows me a wordcloud of related hashtags. The bigger the hashtag, the more popular it is. #artsed (with an s) stands out.

#arted on hashtagify.me

Clicking on #artsed in the word cloud shows me that the popularity is higher (51) and I can also see some related hashtags I could explore as well.

#artsed hashtagify.me

Popular Hashtags In Education

Jerry Blumengarten (aka Cybrary Man) is well known for curating hashtags used in education. You can find the complete list on his site. 

Ryan O’Donnell has also used information from Cybrary Man’s site and the November Learning team to curate a list of popular hashtags in education.

Find the original image here. 

64 Twitter Hashtags for Teachers Edublogs

Trending Hashtags

Trending Topics on Twitter example
Examples of trending topics

When you’re on your Twitter home feed, you might have noticed “Trends for you” on the left hand side. This is located in the search tab of the Twitter mobile app.

Trending topics are a mix of hashtags and regular phrases that show what’s currently being tweeted about most. They’re tailored for you based on your geographical location and who you follow.

You can click on these trends to find out more and join in the conversation by leaving a reply or tweeting something of interest.

Like a lot of aspects of Twitter and social media, clicking on trending topics can take you down a rabbit hole. So be warned! 😉

What Are Twitter Chats?

As we just saw, hashtags make it easier to search and follow the Twitter conversations on specific topics at any time. Sometimes people gather around to discuss a specific topic at a specific time. This is a Twitter chat and a hashtag is the glue that brings the Twitter chat together.

We’ll now take a look at how Twitter Chats work and break down how you can get involved.

If you’d prefer to watch a video to learn, this is a great short overview of Twitter chats by The University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Twitter chats are one of the best ways for educators to connect with other educators, exchange and debate ideas, ask for help and provide assistance, find new resources and take action.

Twitter chats are where educators meet at a set “meeting time” to engage in conversations by sending out tweets on a topic using a designated hashtag during a specific time on a certain day. Most Twitter chats last for an hour.

During the Twitter chat, you’ll see educators tweet their responses in real time. The best way to participate in a Twitter chat is to set up a search for the hashtag in TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or in the Twitter app on your mobile device.

Check out Laura Moore’s video which explains how to take part in a Twitter chat using TweetDeck. The video goes for 25 minutes because Laura has recorded herself participating in an actual chat. You can just watch the first few minutes if you just want to learn how to get set up for a chat. 

Participating In A Twitter Chat

Twitter chats normally have a moderator (or several) who guide the conversation during the chat using a Question and Answer format.

Prior to the Twitter chat, the moderators decide on the topic of the chat and organize a series of 5-10 questions to ask during the chat.

Below is an example of a Twitter chat using #moedchat (Missouri Educators Chat).

The chat normally starts by introducing the topic and asking participants to introduce themselves.

Welcome to chat

Participants respond by including the hashtag for the chat in their tweet (in this example all replies include the hashtag #moedchat).

Recipients respond

Once introductions are finished the moderators will commence guiding the conversation using their questions. Each question is normally starts with a Q and a number to indicate which question it is.

Moderator question

Participants’ replies normally start with an A and a number to indicate which question they are answering as well as the chat hashtag.


Twitter chats are a conversation — you can add your extra thoughts to anyone’s answer by replying to their tweet and including the hashtag. Provided the hashtag is included, everyone in the Twitter chat will see your reply.


I Can’t Keep Up With A Twitter Chat

Tweets can fly fast in a Twitter chat! Don’t worry if you can’t keep up.

Here are some tips to help:

  • Archives: Moderators often archive or curate the information and resources shared during the chat session. This used to be through tools like Storify but this service has closed. Sometimes a tool like Wakelet is now used or there will be a specific website for a Twitter chat.
  • Be prepared: Moderators often publish the questions that will be asked in advance so you can think ahead. You can also get your Tweetdeck set up before a chat so you’re ready to go.
  • Be selective: You don’t need to answer every question. Twitter chats are very flexible. They often go for an hour but no one minds how long you stay or how involved you are.
  • Follow up: If you were interested in what someone had to say but you found the tweets were flying too fast, don’t worry. You can resume the conversation with people at any time.
  • Bookmark: A relatively new feature of Twitter for mobile is Bookmarks. You can bookmark Tweets you’d like to refer to later. Tap the share icon next to a tweet and select Add Tweet to Bookmarks. Tap Bookmarks from your profile icon menu to access your saved tweets.
  • Like: If you like a tweet by pressing on the heart, you can go back and look at these later. Just click on the Likes from your profile icon menu.
  • Lurk: It’s fine to just watch a few chats before you decide to contribute. The first question is generally an introduction so don’t be afraid to say it’s your first time participating either.

Popular Twitter Chats

Education chats generally occur in the evenings each week, either during school terms or throughout the whole year. Most chats focus on a particular topic, subject area, theme, or year level.

Some states or countries have their own chats, but anyone is welcome to take part in any chat.

Finding Twitter Chats

Now you know about Twitter chats it’s time to find one and take part!

There are many places to find chats that interest you and work with your schedule.

Examples Of Twitter Chats

Here are a few examples of popular Twitter Chats to help you get started:

All the times listed below are in Eastern Standard Time (USA).

  • Use this time zone converter to help figure out what time this will be for you.
  • Double check the time by clicking on the links as things can change with daylight savings etc!
  • Please let us know if we have any of the information below incorrect.


The “original” education chat. This one is very busy and fast paced. Takes place on Tuesdays 12 PM and 7 PM EST. Learn more here.


This chat focuses on educational technology and is held every Monday at 7 PM EST. Find out more here.


NT2T stands for “New Teachers to Twitter”. Held Saturdays at 8 AM. For more information, click here. Tip: There is also a Twitter mentor program for newbies.


Educators discuss shaping the future of school. Takes place Thursdays at 7 PM. Find out more here.


A chat for those working with younger children. Held on Mondays 2:30 PM and 8 PM EST. Learn more here.


For special education (see more here).  Takes place on Tuesdays from 9 PM EST.


Created by Ditch That Textbook author Matt Miller. The chat focuses on innovative teaching ideas. Takes place on Tuesdays from 9 PM EST. Find out more.


Twitter might feel overwhelming but if you give it a chance for a few weeks it will really start to make sense and you will see how it’s so popular with educators.

You’ll also notice that Twitter chat hashtags are often used outside of the designated time frame to share resources, ask questions and help each other. The hashtag becomes a community!

If you need help at any time you’re on Twitter, just tweet one of our team e.g. @edublogs, @kathleen_morris, @Edublogs_Eugene, or @suewaters.

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:

  1. Browse: Do a Twitter search of one of the Twitter chats and check out the information shared during the chat. For example, tell us about any resources, or ideas, you discovered reading through the Twitter chat conversation.
  2. TweetDeck: Set up TweetDeck and add a column for a hashtag you want to follow. Leave a comment on this post to share how you went setting up TweetDeck and share your tips for other newbies on using TweetDeck.
  3. Join a Twitter Chat. Leave a comment on this post to share what you learned from participating in the Twitter chat. Tell us about any resources, or ideas, you discovered during the chat.
  4. Blog Post: Write a blog post about your initial impressions of Twitter Chats. You could include — what you see as obstacles to taking part in Twitter chats, what you have learned from participating in a Twitter chat, or tips for someone new to hashtags or Twitter chats. Don’t forget to leave a comment here with the link to your post.

Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.

How to leave a comment: Scroll down to find the comment box. Write your comment, then enter your name and email address (email addresses are not published). Enter the anti-spam word. Press submit and we will moderate your comment ASAP.

572 thoughts on “Step 4: All About Hashtags And Twitter Chats

  1. I scrolled through the #edchat and found it to be very useful and insightful. Users discussed the latest teaching trends and ways to incorporate technology into lessons. Twitter chats can be a very helpful tool for educators.

  2. I looked at the #edchat and it was filled with different teaching ideas and so many different people. This group feels like an amazing place to share ideas, get feedback on ideas, and honestly a network of support between teachers. Teaching is an incredibly challenging and taxing job, and being able to find not only resources but people who know exactly what you go through, what you have to do, and all that is expected of you is so empowering.

  3. I found the #spedchat very insightful because of the invaluable tips fellow educators provided on something that is not of my expertise, special education. This is something all educators need to see.

  4. I had looked at the checked surrounding #edadmin for administrative leadership. A lot of tips and information popped up. I saw tweets on personalized teacher growth, professional educator sessions, success in the first year of teaching, and mental health panels. I can learn a lot about the prioritizations for education leaders by what is provided and what pops up in the hashtag. I see that supporting teachers and their success is a very important topic when it comes to educational leadership.

  5. The hastage I looked into was #teachertwitter and I sae a really fun icebreaker game that students can do. Its called dicebreaker and they roll a dice and then answer on of the questions in that row. I really liked this hastage because it has funny memes and tweets while also having tips and tricks.

  6. I learned about new engaging chemistry resources to be used in a classroom and many ideas on how to structure the class to set students up for success

  7. One of the twitter chats I looked up was art teacher groups. The information shared included encouraging doodling in classrooms as it is said to help students retain information faster. There were also ideas related to how incorporating art and other creative mediums can increase student engagement.

  8. I looked through the #kinderchat thread, and there were some really cool ideas there. The one that I thought was really cool was the one about playing a game of war using tens frames. I think that’s a really cool and creative game to get kids interested in learning.

  9. I took a look at the ditchbook hashtag created by Matt Miller. I saw that many teachers were reviewing the book “AI for Educators” written by Matt Miller. There were a lot of different opinions on it but the majority felt enlightened and their perspective of using AI in education was changed for the better. A lot of teachers mentioned that they felt less intimidated by it and could see themselves using it in the classroom.

  10. I learned about Libby in one of the twitter chats I joined. It’s a resources that allows you to borrow books digitally from your local library if you have a library card.

  11. When considering Twitter hashtags and chats for educators, I think it is important to remember that it can be a great place to share information and generate ideas, but you also have to filter out some of the opinions. I like that there are specialty areas for different learners and educators. For example, although I did not look because I don’t have Twitter, there is a #SPEDchat which is very important for not only new special education teachers, but everyone. It can be helpful to gain more knowledge and find better ways to educate your students.

  12. One of the Twitter Chats has the #ditchbook takes place on Tuesday at 9 and it discusses innovating teacher ideas. In this chat I saw strategies such as incorporating technology, how to engage students in activities/lessons, and more.

  13. I searched through the hashtag NT2T. This hashtag stands for New Teachers to Twitter. There are resources for all sorts of education related content. One tweet had an article related to helping teachers learn ways to encourage and improve student learning. You can also join twitter chats within such as LearnLAP that empowers learners and amplifies voices. This is a great resource for new teachers looking to build their PLN.

  14. So, I searched up a bunch of science education groups to see what they were saying and talking about. I ended up finding some resources and experiences to possibly use for the classroom. I think things like going to museums and exhibits that engage students in discussions about science would be great. I just liked a lot of the options that were presented.

  15. Something I noticed in one of the Twitter chats was the creator actually sending out a question of their own asking the community for help with a calculator. I think this is a really cool use of this platform as it allows everyone in the community to learn from the collective knowledge of the members.

  16. The Twitter chat is a great place to learn and collaborate with other educators. It allows for educators from a variety of backgrounds to participate in the discussion regardless of distance. It’s a good chance to connect!

  17. I browsed #sstlap, which is a hashtag focused on sharing social studies pedagogy. I found a lot of resources for various lesson plans. One in particular provided a slide deck about Westward Expansion, particularly in Texas and Oregon. It then provided the names of two different Netflix movies related to each of those topics: It’s a Union Y’all and Westward to Oregon respectively. Netflix has so many resources that I may not have ever stumbled upon these films without this tweet.

  18. For this task I looked into different hashtags that aligned with my field of interest- biology. After trying several different acronyms and abbreviations I came across #BioEd, a hashtag that is used by many scientists sharing their published work on social media. Personally, I see myself using this hashtag to keep myself updated on new articles and papers that are being published in fields of microbiology and immunology. I could also incorporate this hashtag into an assignment by having students finds a paper through this media and having them write a small summary of what they learned from it.

  19. Twitter is still be confusing for me. I did do a # search for UFLI…which is the phonics program we are currently using in my county. I searched #ufli and found many educators who have been sharing their successes and fails using the UFLI program. I still am not sure Twitter is my jam, but trying!!

  20. I have searched Twitter or at least tried to search on Twitter. I am not a fan of this media source. For me, things are hard to find and chats move too quickly. This is possibly an age thing, and maybe if I spend more time trying to figure Twitter out, I will find the joy in it. At this point, I am happy with Facebook and Instagram for finding my teaching needs. But I will continue to give Twitter a look.

  21. Twitter chats are a great place to collaborate and find new ideas. I think an obstacle with Twitter chats is that they can be hard to keep up with. There are ways to help this issue like archiving or bookmarking information. Another tool that is helpful are hashtags. They are an easy way to view a specific topic.

  22. I looked into #sped. This hashtag was full of information about special education policy such as LRE, a lot of information about laws (IEPS/504, mostly) and EBPS was also present.

  23. There are so many ways to get behind in finding things in the Twitter- universe that is education-related, but there are many ways to help with that like archive, be prepared, bookmark, like, or lurk. That is how most social media are now because people find something they like and archive it to their account, but even archives can get jumbled and confusing. I think another way to help teachers is by screenshotting the idea and saving it to a personal file on their computer or phone.

  24. – So I did a twitter search and I did #kindergarten because I think im leading into being a kindergarten teacher. Well I saw so much information as far as lesson plans and pictures of students doing the lesson and students reading it’s a lot of information that is very useful.

  25. I found a twitter account called @talkreadsing which tracks the EDU Chat list hashtag. From there, I looked at those followers to find some good accounts to get connected with. It’ll be nice to have a resource of other educators that can be connected on a short notice.

  26. I looked at the chat #edchat on Twitter. A lot of the tweets were teachers encouraging or inspiring other teachers to try different strategies and things that have been successful for them. This is a super helpful resource to get connected with other teachers.

  27. I don’t feel comfortable joining X now that it is X, being a queer educator. However, I looked up some of the hashtags and found some really cool information. One of the resources I found was the Learning Reimagined Podcast @learningreimaginedthepod.

    1. I found @thinkingpowers and it posts stem and science-based information but it seems that it is also used as a personal account. I think that’s great sometimes. but we are so used to seeing one or the other it takes time for people to see that kind of stuff.

  28. I did a Twitter search for #spedchat. I thought the content on this hashtag would be most interesting because I am receiving a special education minor, and so I wanted to see the resources that Twitter provided to help grow my knowledge of the special education topics. The feed for #spedchat was filled with resources for least restrictive environment, differentiation, and adaptive technology and equipment and how to use it in the classroom.

  29. I went on Twitter and searched the hashtag #edchat and found a vast amount of varying grade and age level resources and activities to use within a classroom. Twitter is such an amazing platform for collaborating, sharing, and collecting ideas for education professionals.

  30. I searched the hashtag #educationforall and it had a lot of inspirational information. I also find that hashtags are an easy way to navigate for a specified topic.

  31. I looked at the Twitter chat #kinderchats because my sister is a kindergartens teacher! I think this chat is very useful because it is filled with fun songs and activities to do with kindergarteners!

  32. I had a Twitter account in high school ( I still have it but I never go on it anymore). I think that Twitter is very easy to use and that anyone can make a post without having any difficulty. I’m familiar with how the hashtags work. I think that Twitter is a great platform to be able to get your ideas shared/heard from around the world.

  33. I looked at posts under #spedchat. I saw a lot of metacognition and self awareness. There were also lots of different resources that I could look at.

  34. I browsed the #edchat and there are so many ideas being shared by other educators. Some of the ideas are for teachers to help their students improve their reading and writing skills. Some of the tweets are just educators sharing information with other educators, whether to encourage or just give ideas of things to try in their classrooms.

  35. I browsed the #teachpos which had a lot of information about how to teach in a positive manner and keep things interesting for students.

  36. I searched #edchat and I found a lot of great resources that include activities and videos that I may use in my own classroom. These all vary in grade levels but there were a few that can be increased or decrease in difficulty.

  37. I joined the chat #kinderchat since that is my field of study. There was a lot of good information and activities that can be used in the classroom. It was a great learning experience.

  38. I explored the #edchat Twitter chat and this chat has been around since 2009 which shows how much information this chat contains because it has been around for awhile. Some of the things discussed are current teaching trends and integrating technology into lessons. This is a helpful resource since technology is becoming more prominent in education.

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