Revisiting How and Why Educators Use Twitter: Tweet Types and Purposes in #Edchat


This study revisits Carpenter and Krutka’s (2014) survey of how and why educators use Twitter, through exploring one of Twitter’s oldest education hashtags: #Edchat. From October 1, 2017 to June 5, 2018, more than 1.2 million unique #Edchat tweets were collected from approximately 200,000 different tweeters. Machine coding was used to answer, “What types of tweets did users contribute to #Edchat?,” and human coding to answer, “What purposes are observable in these tweets?” The results showed that #Edchat has been used effectively for exploring ideas but under-utilized for sharing emotions—with mixed results for capitalizing on the advantages of Twitter’s online environment. Further research is required to explore combating teacher isolation and experiencing a sense of camaraderie. Taking into account these results, practitioners should be clear regarding their goals for Twitter education hashtag use when considering #Edchat, and researchers studying different education hashtags should keep in mind various tweet types, modes, and purposes.

In Journal of Research on Technology in Education