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.

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

  1. The TweetDeck was very easy to set up and begin navigating, even though I am admittedly not as tech-saavy as I’d like to be! It is very intuitive and I followed the quick tour that was offered upon loading the page. I first added a new deck for education and then a column for #education and also my school’s account. The ease of navigating between decks will make it very easy to keep my interests separated.

  2. I did a Twitter search which entered me into the “did you know” Twitter chat where it was discussing Lisbon. Within this, it talks about how Lisbon is believed to be four centuries older than Rome established in 1200 BC. As the history teacher I want to be, information like this is very interesting and very important to share with students.

  3. After having explored the twitter chats some information I found included formative chats hosted by teachers. These chats can be used to help educate the teacher population on different topics. I also found videos on people giving public talks and speeches about education. There are also links and invitations to other supportive PLNS that are open to follow and join. There are also lots of educational resources posted that can be used.

  4. I did a quick search of the #edchat, as I wanted to see what topics are currently being discussed in general education. One idea I found posted by @leeannjung, was a student goal activity. She cited research explaining that students who set their own goals and receive regular feedback have higher achievement rates, then provided a template for student goal-setting. I liked how she explained the importance of goal setting and the research behind it. I also appreciated that she included a resource for teachers to readily use in their own classrooms.

  5. I searched under #ditchbook. I discovered a tweet from @jmattmiller about different ways to utilize Google Forms in the classroom. He includes 15 different examples of how Google Forms can elevate student interest. I found the most compelling of his ideas to be the “digital escape room.” Educators can use this idea in order to create a gaming component to their learning, which I believe is extremely relevant in the classroom. This can also be a great resource for self-grading, as students can submit their escape room and immediately receive feedback on how they performed overall.

    1. I love this idea and resource (escape room) and now I am going to have to go find that chat thread as well! Thanks Gab!

  6. Browsing specific hashtags really helps me find applicable content. Most of the time when I am reaching for my pln it is because I am looking for content for a specific lesson or sol and using hashtags and help narrow the floodgates of raw content that can be found throughout the internet.

  7. I enjoyed looking through the #edchat. I’ve used twitter for a few years and hadn’t known about these chats. It was interesting to read the discussion in this chat as they were broader than some of the more specific teaching chats.

  8. I replied to several comments on Twitter where I included and created hashtags, which express how I feel and give out my opinions on things. I learned that many people use Twitter to post about their day, a message, and quotes that can be about their emotions or the things they want to do. There are people that show their reaction by liking the tweet or using emojis to show how they feel about it. When I tweet something on Twitter there are people who agree or disagree with my opinion and there are others who like what I wrote and reply with emojis to show how they feel.

  9. TweetDeck is super easy to set-up and navigate, coming from someone who has used Twitter for years. It’s extremely helpful to juggle multiple accounts or even to keep multiple tabs of twitter open. Using TweetDeck, users are able to have their home timeline open while hashtags are also open. This makes for a very user friendly website!

  10. I look up the # tag of creative curriculum for preschool and found an amazing source that can add to my list of new strategies to assist students needs. They provided magnificent differentiated strategies learning instructional for preschool teachers. I am very exited because I teach Early Childhood Education Head Start Program in American Samoa

  11. I looked up the hashtag #FirstGrade and found a very wide range of posts and useful information. Then I looked and found so many teacher accounts from all over the country. I decided to then go to Instagram as well and look up that same hashtag and realized that many of these educators sell their resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. I followed a lot of these teachers and I am so happy I found Twitter Chats!

  12. I am studying to go into teaching a sub sep classroom which specializes in ASD. Though ASD is a broad topic with many links I added education to it and found some amazing resources through those two words as hashtags.

  13. Following edchats has always been a difficult thing for me. I need more time to process the questions, and I don’t really like how it appears disorganized. However, I have followed along with #moedchat when I used to live in Missouri, and I look at any #luthedchats that appear.

  14. During my search on #musicedchat I found a couple of ideas that I can use in my classroom. One was a video of a third grade class playing the first three notes of recorder (B,A,G) but the teacher had a student jumping on a music staff on where those notes are. Then the students would play the notes as the student jumped on the different notes. I could do this same idea with my beginning strings students on their first notes (F#,E,D). I could have a student jump on a floor staff and have the others play the corresponding notes on their instruments.

  15. As a bio teacher, I did a quick search for #bioteacher on twitter, I immediately found users, hashtags, and chats that could have certainly been used to make connections and start building a PLN. You can go further down the rabbit hole by clicking on additional hashtags and @’s that will take you to other potential resources. The search feature is great starting point for your networking.

  16. I checked out the elemetaryed hashtag and saw a bunch of fun craft ideas to use in the classroom. I personally deleted my accounts on a lot of social media, but I would be willing to try again from an education standpoint.

  17. I didn’t know about Twitter chats, so I definitely was interested to see what I could find. I found a chat called #whatisschool which is all about the structure and changes shaping the future of education. I loved this chat because it had a lot to do with self-care, social-emotional learning, and overall teacher well-being. It was a feel-good chat with lots of resources that I thought were super cool and will be trying.

  18. I had no idea twitter chats existed. It is cool that we have the ability to enter chats with the same goals/interests in mind. I explored the #ntcaht (for new teachers) and I found some great advice about picking a school district and setting up the classroom, this is something I will definitely keep in the back of my mind as I am getting ready to enter my own classroom.

  19. I browsed through a few educational twitter chats but didn’t find them to be all that helpful. I see how it could be beneficial for collecting ideas and such but if I have questions that I need answers to I’d much prefer to go to a more reputable source.

  20. While going through twitter chat I found so many interesting discussion for new teachers, I never knew twitter chat was a thing and I’m glad I learned about this, with hashtags it’s an endless rabbit hole.

  21. I dont really like twitter all too much, it isn’t the most user friendly format so if I were newer to the Twitter game, it would be much more difficult for me to engage with others. Some posts re smaller that others, even if they are the main post, the larger post may be the comment. That being said, Twitter Chats seem to be much more doable and user friendly. I would recommend to new users to that they really go through twitter and explore as much as they can offer before trying to post or reaching out to others through the app, that way they have full understanding before they try to build their own network. Get comfy on the app first!

  22. I have Twitter and I never really understood how to use it or how things worked. After reading about Twitter chat and how we can use it to the best of our education, I find it very interesting and helpful for future use. There is a ton of Twitter chat we can come across and lurk through the comments to gain some information about real-time conversation.

  23. #whatisschool is a twitter chat where educators discuss shaping the future of school. While browsing through the chats I found that a lot of the posts were about self care and teacher well being which is something that stood out to me because if teachers are not caring for themselves how are they caring for others at their best and fullest extent.

  24. While exploring some of the TwitterChats provided, I found a tweet that I really resonated with in the #kinderchat. The tweet was, “At #kinderchat we believe that it is not enough to teach children to read; we also want to make them lifelong READERS, and we need to MODEL THIS.” Reading is essential in today’s day and age. We need to show students that reading is vital through not only our words but our actions.

  25. I did not know that Twitter offered an option to chat. I don’t have a Twitter but one obstacle that I did think of was what if something you said or a position that you took made a negative impact. I would be worried about impacting one of the parents in a way that they were not comfortable with.

  26. I browsed the #spedchat on twitter and there was a lot of good information found. A lot of individuals share resources for different programs they had completed or resources for their students’ families. I really think this will be good information to utlize in the future.

  27. I searched on the #whatisschool hashtag and got a sense of what kinds of conversations are happening in this chat. I found that there were a series of educators of all levels. There were PhDs, classroom teachers, companies selling educational materials and school accounts who were responding. It was cool to see so many different perspectives joining the conversation. There were PD workshops offered, classroom resources shared, and ideas contributed.

  28. While in the #ditchbook chats, I saw that many people were sharing classroom materials or articles detailing new ways to use popular online resources such as google forms. There is also many references to the content and usage of the “Ditch” book the hashtag is based from.

  29. I went to #NT2T and saw some interesting discussions about topics like how AI is affecting peoples classrooms as well as the first demonstration of a collaborative test that I have seen.

  30. I explored the Twitter hashtag sstlap, the common hashtag used by social studies teachers. I found a great review activity with different stations; one where kids play a dice review game, one where kids use Play-Doh to demonstrate vocab terms, and one where kids watch animated videos (geared towards a younger audience than the students themselves). It feels like that would be great for a fun, light review day before a test.

  31. Twitter chatting was new to me, but as I was scrolling through the different chats I found one called #Edchat and I immediately fell in love. I feel as if it was a great resource as a future new teacher as I do not have experience working with special needs students. There were tips and tricks, inspirational quotes, videos of resources that people recommend to use in your classroom, and so much more! I was a little overwhelmed at first with just how much information was being shared, but I do feel as if that is a good problem to have!

  32. Twitter chatting was new to me, but as I was scrolling through the different chats I found one called #Kinderchat and I thought it would be perfect to look into as I would like to be a kindergarten teacher. In this chat I found a lot of pictures and videos of language arts lessons that Kindergarten teachers have been doing. It really inspired me to get creative and hands on with my future lessons. I also noticed a great amount of motivational quotes in regards to teachers not giving up and to keep pushing through the school year.

  33. My impression of Twitter Chats is that it is a great way to communicate and get resources from constituents. The only obstacle I could see is knowing which ones to join and making sure the information shared is reliable. There are a lot of spam accounts and fake chats that do not serve their stated purpose.

  34. I searched the #ditchbook Twitter chat. This chat revolves around expanding education and the classroom beyond the textbook. One of the first tweets to show up upon searching was one on Google Chrome extensions for the classroom. Another was on low-preparation, high-return activities to use in the classroom. Discussions and brainstorming like this offers an alleviation of the burden on a singular teacher, and also helps promote variety in the classroom.

  35. I never knew there was a thing called twitterchat so now I am going to look into it more and see what else I could learn.

  36. While reading through #Kinderchat, I found it very interesting that teachers were posting ideas to the curriculum they were teaching their students. I thought it was very adorable and helpful!

  37. I explored a Twitter chat. I learned about the best books for 2nd grade to read. As well as, why we should rethink leveled reader books. Instead of having books by age have them by the level of ability to read and the information needed.

  38. #Teachpos On this particular Twitter chat they talked about tech troubles. I think it’s a great conversation to have nowadays since there are a lot of older teachers whose lesson plans and curricula are now filled with technology. I wish a few teachers actually responded to this, it would be cool to see what they struggle with.

  39. Something to add to Twitter’s interactions; I don’t know if they took it out, but they used to hold Twitter Spaces for a number of different groups. They were mass conversations, typically with the host(s) speaking on recent events or a particular topic and would give their audience the platform to speak their mind or drop their expertise and experiences.

  40. Using TweetDeck was something that was new to me, however, I feel like it was easy to access and adding different columns was a simple click. The only tip I’d have is to be sure you have an account set up to link with prior to attempting. I think this is a great way to access multiple feeds in one area.

  41. I don’t have Twitter, but if I did, I would definitely join the #ditchbook because it offers really excellent teaching ideas. Since I want to teach younger students, and I am aware of how difficult it can be to keep them engaged, keeping up with a fresh, enjoyable activity would be a good idea.

  42. I decided to explore the new teacher chat (#ntchat) on twitter and was very impressed. There are a lot of fun activities in the chat and lots of advice on what to do and not to do. There are a lot of links to other resources and videos too.

  43. Twitter chats are new to me, I like how there is actual moderation when communicating in these chats which is normally not provided throughout Twitter allowing things to get out of hand. Though the mods will probably not be able to keep up with everything that occurs, simply having mods will prevent people from saying inappropriate things and destroying conversation.

  44. Hashtags can be very overwhelming. I would the chats really helpful. I was also unaware of twitter chats.

  45. Twitter chats are a really good idea of seeing different posts from everyone around the world. I feel that though using certain hashtags, people might use them for something else. I feel that you either could learn a lot or just waste time lurking in that chats. You could get certain resources, which can be super important new teachers or current ones.

  46. While browsing Twitter, I came across #Kinderchat. As I was scrolling through I noticed many comments about the importance of reading aloud. One specifically was a woman who shared that during the pandemic, she would read to children on/off a porch to ensure social distancing. The pandemic was a confusing time that affected everyone, so I thought this was a creative way to engage with others. Another source that was discussed was different first grade books that can be accessed online. If desired, the students could read these books to each other. What makes these books unique is that they’re designed to align exactly with the reading vocabulary lists for that grade level. Vocabulary lists are never that appealing to students, so it’s interesting to see how technology/programs can be adapted.

  47. #Ditchbook- Ditch That Textbook, This hashtag is super interesting! It discusses other ways to teach, other than the textbook! Textbooks are mostly boring for many students, finding other ways can spark their interest. It can engage students and make school more enjoyable for them. There are many resources and ideas presented on the twitter page, such as 22 must have templates, how to make a customized newsletter with google forms, 20 schoology tips to save you time, and much more. I found #Ditchtext to be very beneficial and definitely plan on using this as a future educator.

  48. While I have been a previous user of Twitter, I have actually not heard of twitter chats before. Seeing such a variety of chats, as well as resources to access them was very neat. It seems like a wonderful tool to gain some information about real-time conversations within education. Since they are held at specific times, it is also something that can be looked forward to. The only obstacle that could be tricky is finding specific times that work for your schedule. However, with a multitude of chats to choose from, an option for everyone exists.

  49. I went to #whatisschool chat and saw a few pun-ny memes and some real talk about being a new teacher. Then I couldn’t help but check out another chat so I went to #ditchbook because I love holding an actual book and reading from it. Just feels different to me. This said, I was super impressed with some of the content that was on the chat and how helpful everyone was. I even downloaded a new ppnt template!

  50. In the #Kinderchat I saw a picture posted of some kindergarten students using Seesaw to have pattern books read aloud to them. This website is one I have seen in action in one of my practicum classrooms and I really like what I have seen of it so far. This website is great for read a louds for students since, as we all know, read a louds are extremely important for readers of ALL levels.

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