#hashtag

We often say that our students are quick to adjust to change and can learn tools quickly (sometimes quicker than we can teach them). This is only sometimes true. Recently, I was working with a grade 9 class on a tool called SlideRocket – a presentation tool which allows for easy audio embed, sharing and collaborative options. A few students expressed their dislike of the tool because of their familiarity with PowerPoint or even Prezi. These students felt they were spending more time learning “where everything was” rather than putting together their presentation. From their perspective, “why use a new tool when we already know how to use a similar tool?”. This is an understandable point; however, the students missed the key point. We had the students use SlideRocket due to its easy of sharing the presentation with the teacher and classmates. Below is an email I received late in the evening from one student:

 

Ms. Shah,

Sliderocket is giving me problems. I can’t record audio directly onto my slide. It keeps telling me that I have to “upgrade” for 24 dollars a month. What do I do?

#powerpoint

Sincerely,

****

 

What I find intriguing (and made me chuckle) was the use of the hashtag to convey his frustation and preference. This was done in a respectful way; I find his use of the hashtag more potent than a persuasive sentence about the benefits of powerpoint. The cultural changes in communication (all facets including humour, persuasion, ideation etc.) shift and morph with the exponential changes in social media. In this example, the idea of denoting key thoughts or trends through a hashtag changes how we perceive someone else’s perspective and further how we might engage in greater or further discussion.

 

Feature photo by misspixel

 

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