Posted in creative learning, Creativity, design thinking, Learning Design, Uncategorized

Learning Design

I have become increasingly excited about the idea of learning design. Not to be confused with instructional design where the emphasis is flipped around and focused on how the flow of the instruction; materials, assessments, et al. It bidirectional. What will the teacher do to instruct the lesson and how will the learner show that they are learning.

Learning design flows the opposite way. The emphasis is on the experience. Experience being the optimal word. How will the learner experience the learning. When a learning experience has really been thought through, it can make a lasting impression on a learner’s life. Learning design takes a human centered approach with the design of the learning experience.

My example is reading the book Lord of the Flies in 10th grade, it was an incredible experience. My English teacher designed this experience with empathy and creativity. She turned her classroom into the island. Throughout each class she put us in complete control and left the decisions up to us as a class on how we would study the themes of each chapter. Her twist came on the 3rd day of reading the book, presented as a mid-term exam. It changed the entire hierarchy and social dynamic. Much like in the book, small factions broke apart from the larger group and began their own studying. Less serious groups pushed back. At the conclusion of the book she held a trial where we put the characters of the book on trial for murder. We each role-played a role from within our legal system, but we were expected to discuss the society of the island and relate it to the society of our classroom during the reading of the book. We had a lot of interesting discussions about right and wrong and power vs absolute power.

It has been a quarter of a century since I read this book in the 10th grade and I can still recall the experience, how I felt, what I learned and how that all tied together into the themes of the book. She designed a learning experience. The emphasis was multi-directional. Learning came from the environment, the other learners in the room and was allowed to happen organically. She never interfered. Just like in the book. We kids were completely on our own. It was brilliant! And the experience has stuck with me for all these years later.


Posted in design thinking

What if teachers taught like designers think?

We would think of students as people first and foremost.

We would observe more and rely on what is said less.

We would constantly be looking at what might change to help us understand how we could shape the future into our own vision.

We would want to solve problems and transform our insights into inspirations for all.

We would focus on the experience that our teaching brings.

We would obsess about new ideas, not new tools.

We would sharpen our curiosity and learn from the lessons around us.

We would meet our students on their terms.

We would train ourselves to unlearn and to reimagine and rethink instead.

We would worry about how our teaching makes our students feel.


Posted in Inquiry, Research, Search, TC@Columbia

Teaching Students How to Research for Understanding with Technology

Searching for information on the Internet can be extremely challenging for our students. This is widely due to the sheer amount of information that is currently available out there. A lot of teachers assign projects that have students conduct searches, whether using a paid database, or Google. Many teachers that I know tend to equate searching for information with learning. They believe that if students are searching for their information online that they will naturally make sense out of what they find. Research however paints a different picture. When students search for information, they tend to search for predetermined answers and are not comprehending or reflecting on the meaning of what they have found; they are simply searching for the one answer that the teacher is looking for (Fidel et al., 1999).

Unfortunately searching, or what teachers often call research projects, often ends with the harvesting of the data, rather than extending into the next stage of the process. Searching for information is essentially meaningless without a deeper purpose. With this concept of “researching” in mind, let’s consider what it takes to teach students how to research for understanding with technology and become more competent researchers in the process.

A “Research” Project

Eighth grade students were recently assigned a research project about an historical figure. The students were required to use one of two paid research databases and were not allowed to use Google to collect their data. Once students had located their data they were instructed to create a PowerPoint about the historical figure and use only the information that they gathered from the paid research databases as their primary source of data. Once completed the students were asked to present their historical figure to their class.

The above is the general framework that many “research” projects take on. The students are instructed to gather their data from a source, or sometimes sources, and then they present on their data, usually in the form of a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation. The problem with this framework is that unless this is a Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V lesson, there is no learning for understanding taking place. That is because this lesson assumes that researching (data collection) is a one step process.As you can see from the diagram, under this framework of research there is no way to know if the students are understanding what they are collecting and then presenting on. This framework, as designed, assumes that the students have had the time to analyze the data for being (a) accurate, (b) factual and (c) up to date. In order for there to be a learning outcome the students have to have ample time to reflect upon the data in order to make meaning in order to understand what the data is telling them (Jonassen, 2011). This lesson, currently designed, fails to accomplish that outcome by ignoring crucial steps in the research process.

What Is Understanding

Understanding is a flexible performance capability that encompasses four dimensions that take into account that learning is an active process, not simply a matter of absorbing information or practicing basic skills. Such performances require learners to stretch their minds, to think using what they have learned and to apply their knowledge creatively and appropriately in a range of circumstances (Wiske, 2010). The four dimensions of understanding are:

Domains of Understanding


Knowledge of important concepts

Research is a multi-stage activity that requires searching for data from multiple sources of information

Methods of disciplined reasoning and inquiry,

Data sources should be triangulated; compared and contrasted before being used

Purposes and limitations of different domains

Information sources use hierarchies when displaying results of searches

Forms of expressing understanding for particular audiences

Demonstrating understanding of information by performance using multiple tools that are appropriate for various audiences

(Wiske, 2005).

Understanding Searching With Technology

Equally important to this discussion is the knowledge of how search engines work. First, a search engine is just a vehicle for the retrieval of data from a database or network. Google is the most popular example of a search engine, however the paid research databases like EBSCO and GALE are also search engines. The database that is queried by the user requires first, that information be gathered from around the web, and second, that this collection of data be processed in such a way that a page’s relevance to a particular set of keywords may be determined (Halavais, 2009).

The most basic form of processing that is common to almost every modern search engine is the extraction of key terms that are used to create a keyword index for the web by an “indexer” (Halavais, 2009). Like a book index, information about which words appear on any given page are reversed so that the searcher is given pages that contain the keywords that they are searching for. Once the set of results are generated, they are ranked in some way to provide a list of topics that present the most significant “hits” first (Halavais, 2009). The most common display of search results is as a list with a brief summary, or snippet of the page that contains your keywords.

A problem that arises in research projects with students is that they tend to click on the first few results on a list. The results of a search are usually ordered by relevance of the page which uses among other things how many times your search words are found on that page and how many other pages link to the page. The problem with this is that relevance does not always equal reliable. Researching requires multiple sources of information, not just what the search engine deems to be the most popular for your search.

Stages of Research

Researching is the act of solving problems by asking questions. In order to learn from the data being sought, students must have an intention to find information that will help them solve that problem (Jonassen, 2011). Students therefore must have a purpose other than fulfilling the requirements of the assignment. Researching requires at least a four-step process:

1. Plan

2. Strategize

3. Evaluate

4. Triangulate

(Jonassen & Colaric, 2001)

Research Process

PLAN – Identify what the problem is and the questions that you are going to ask.

STRATEGIZE – The route that you are going to take to search the web for information about your questions.

EVALUATE –  The sources of data that you are  using for credibility, accuracy and currentness.

TRIANGULATE – Compare your sources of data against one other.

Putting This All Together

Teaching students how to research for understanding requires multiple-steps. This framework allows students the time to both evaluate where the data is coming from, compare the data against each other, reflect in order to make meaning and then present on their understanding of the data and information gathered. If we use the historical figures research project mentioned earlier, this framework would break that project down as follows:




Student selects historical figure and asks how they were important to American History


Student identifies how they answer how their selected historical figure and their answer to the essential question(s) and/or problem


Student selects databases they will use to gather data that supports their answer to the essential question of their historical figure’s importance to American history.


Student evaluates their sources of data and identifies the limitations of them.


Student compares data that was collected from their sources and looks for discrepancies and similarities.


Student reflects upon their data and how they have used it to support their answer to their essential question.


Students selects the appropriate tool to present their data to an audience.


Equipping our students with the skills to search effectively is the first step in using the Internet as a source of information. The above framework is structured to scaffold students throughout the research process, beginning with identifying the topic that are both meaningful and relevant to them, the learner. This inquiry-based process emphasizes metacognition, with students reflecting on the research process itself. This allows students to engage in learning that has significance and value. Technologies can support and extend this value to students by allowing them to investigate, solve problems, access, manage and evaluate information that they find. These skills are vital for the information rich world that they are growing up in and when learned will help them to become better consumers and producers of information and knowledge.  

Works Cited

Colaric, Susan, and David Jonassen. “Information equals knowledge, searching equals learning, and hyperlinking is good instruction: Myths about learning from the World Wide Web.” Computers in the Schools 17.3-4 (2001): 159-169.

Fidel, Raya, et al. “A visit to the information mall: Web searching behavior of high school students.” JASIS 50.1 (1999): 24-37.

Halavais, Alexander. Search engine society. John Wiley & Sons, 2009..

Jonassen, David H. Meaningful learning with technology. Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall, 2011

Wiske, Martha Stone, and Lisa Breit. Teaching for understanding with technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.


Posted in Google Plus, Reflection, Social Media, TC@Columbia

Meaningful Learning With Photography

What if there were a way to use a technology in a meaningful way that promoted inquiry, deeper levels of thinking and sparked conversations in your classroom? Would you use that technology? What if I sweetened the pot and said that the technology requires little training, just about everybody already carries one and probably already knows how to use it?

What is a Picture Worth?

If you take at look these pictures can you see my story? Could you tell me where I live? What I’m doing? Where I’m going? What kind of day it is? What could you tell me about me? About my life? How would you support your answers with only the pictures as your data?

Now take a look at these pictures and tell me a different story. Talk to me about resources, infrastructure, quality of life and global warming.

What do these pictures say about socio-economic, policy making, healthcare and crime? Do you see a math, literature or health lesson in them?

Are these pictures meaningful learning in action?

The Role of Technology in Meaningful Learning

The role of technology must change from technology-as-the-teacher to technology-as-the-partner in the learning process. But how is this accomplished? How do we use technology as an intellectual partner with students? Learning with technology assumes that:

  • Technology is more than hardware. Technology also consists of the designs and the environments that engage learners.
  • Learning technologies can be any environment or definable set of activities that engage learners in active, constructive, intentional, authentic and cooperative learning.
  • Technologies do not convey or communicate meaning.
  • Technologies support meaningful learning when they fulfill a learning need-when interactions with the technology is learner initiated and learner controlled and when the technology interaction is conceptually and intellectually engaging.
  • Technologies should function as intellectual tools that enable learners to build more meaningful personal interpretations and representations of the world. The tool must support the intellectual functions that are required by the course of study.
  • Learners and technologies should be intellectual partners, where the cognitive responsibility for performance is distributed to the partner that performs it better.  — (Jonassen, 2011)

Using Photography for Meaningful Learning

What if I wanted to explore politics, or war, or the developing world or education in Africa and compare it to education in America? Do these pictures say more than words can? Often we use pictures as brainstorms, or conversation starters. But how can we use nothing but pictures to achieve meaningful learning?

In Literature

Photography could be used to by the learner to create a personal interpretation of the novel, or as a way to build a representation of the novel’s key themes.

In Math

Photography could be used to convey geometrical shapes, patterns, or lines of symmetry. Scale, distance, or even angles could be explored and measured.

In Science

Photography could be used to convey physics, chemistry and even biology concepts.

In Social Studies

Photography could be used to convey government policy, social injustice, geography, and even history.

The Tools of Life

On my way into work today I used my iPhone4, Instagram and Flickr to create a story of my journey. The tools that I used were tools that I already owned. Most of our students carry these same tools and already know how to use them. What if we took the example of my walk and used that as a team building exercise at the beginning of the year?  What if we asked those same students to take 1 daily photo of themselves and upload it to a class Flickr group? What would those pictures tell us at the beginning, middle and end of the year about these students?

Meaningful learning happens when the learner is able to connect what they are learning to the  world in which they live. How do the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird relate to the crisis in Ukraine? How is geometry used to convey feeling in architecture? What does the war of 1812 have to do with poverty today?

Photography allows us a more robust canvas to express and show how we are making meaning out of our learning.  Meaningful learning with photography is just one powerful way that you can use technology to have your learners inquire, think more deeply and reflect upon their own learning.


Posted in Abstract Thinking

The Origin of the Word Technology

I have always loved history. There is a deep seeded belief in me that it is vitally important to know where we came from in order to know where we are going.  As a person who calls himself a technologist I wanted to understand where the word technology comes from in order to better to understand where technology is going. In this post I examine the origin of the word technology in a hope of better understanding its evolution and thus purpose in my practice as a technologist.

It’s Greek to Me

Technology is not an old word in English. The ancient Greeks used the word techne which meant skill with art, or craft. In fact Plato and Plotinus had an entire hierarchy of knowledge that expanded in an ascending scale from crafts to science and it moved from the physical to the intellectual. Technical art ranked somewhere in the middle of this schema.

Aristotle had a more neutral, simpler and far less value-laden concept of techne, which he described in the Nicomachean Ethics, Book 6, Chapters 3 and 4, where he used architecture as his example. He defined techne as a “rational faculty exercised in making something…a productive quality exercised in combo with true reason.” Aristotle believed that the business of techne is to “bring something into existence  which has its efficient cause in the maker and not in itself.” It is also important to note that Aristotle related techne to the crafts and sciences, most notably through mathematics.

To the Greeks, work with the hands was inferior to philosophical speculation and techne was a more restricted term than the capacious modern term of technology that we use today. Since the Greeks use of the word techne was more focused, many classical thinkers believed that the Greeks were just as mistrustful of technological change as they were with political and social change.

When in Rome

By contrast the Romans had a much deeper appreciation for techne than their Greek counterparts. In De Natura Deorum the Roman philosopher Cicero praised the human ability to transform the environment and create a “second nature”. Other Roman poets praised techne as well with the construction of roads and the conveniences of well-built villas.

The Roman poet Statius devoted an entire poem to praising techne and technological progress. The Roman writer Plity the Elder too often praised techne and technological progress with his writings of the skilled laborers of the day.

Medieval Times

The term technology did not exist in the Middle Ages.  Writers of the time instead used the word mechanical arts when referencing crafts and art with a physical aspect such as architecture, weaponry, agriculture, commerce and theatre.  What we would call technological innovation during the Middle Ages typically took place with little reference to scientific knowledge or information.

The Renaissance

It is during this time period that a full expression of the modern attitude toward technology appeared. In his 1627 book New Atlantis, Francis Bacon imagined a perfect society whose king was advised by scientists and who’s engineers were organized into research groups at an institution that was called Salomon’s House. These scientists and engineers could predict the weather, had invented refrigeration, submarines, flying machines, loudspeakers and conducted amazing medical procedures. Bacon’s vision later served as the inspiration to others to form the Royal Society in London in 1662,


We own thanks to Germany for their broader definition of words like teknologie and the even broader technik. In fact in the early 20th century the word technik was translated into English as technics. Teknologie, from 1775 , meant a system of classification for the practical arts until it was abandoned in 1840.

In the 1800’s, German engineers made the word technik a central part of their self-definition and elaborated on a discourse that related the word to philosophy, economics and higher culture. In fact the word technik meant the “totality of tools, machines, systems and processes used in the practice arts and engineering.”

Present Meaning

It was somewhere between 1820 and 1910 that the word technology acquired its present meaning. The word, however, remained unstable until the later half of the 20th century where it evolved into vague abstraction that was further complicated in the 1990’s when newspapers, stock traders and bookstores made technology a synonym for computers, telephones and ancillary devices as David Nye argues in his book Technology Matters: Questions to Live With.

The word technology has only be part of the English language for a little over 100 years  where it has come to reference all of the skills, machines and systems one might study at a technical university, or a term for complex systems of machines and the techniques in which we use to operate them.

Why This Matters?

Technology empowerment relies on the understanding that the word holds many different meanings to many different people. In some respects the word holds cultural and societal attitudes deeply towards it, its uses and its teachings. In modern times the word is so abstract that if you were to Google “What is Technology?” you would receive over 3 billion results.

It is my belief that the culture in which the technology is going to be used, served and taught should be the one to clearly define it. In order to accomplish this we must look to the past to see how the word’s meaning has evolved over time and then look towards the future to understand how the word will continue to evolve and then prepare ourselves and our learners for those inevitable shifts that are most likely to occur.


Nye, D. E. (2006). Technology matters: Questions to live with. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Whitney, E. (2004). Medieval Science and Technology. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Posted in Inquiry, Mashups, Tour Bulder

4 Inquiry-Driven Project Ideas Using Google’s Tour Builder

There are a lot of great tools out there that have more than one use. One of my favorite tools is Google’s Tour Builder, a Google Maps infused interface that allows the user to create tours. But did you know that you could also use Tour Builder to support inquiry-driven learning? Tour Builder gives students an interactive way to present their learning in a way that is a lot more engaging than a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation. Here are four of my favorite ways to use Tour Builder with students.

Click HERE to view my example Tour Builder

Multimedia Letter 

What would it be like to be a Private in the 4th Infantry Unit of the U.S. Army in 1944? In this Tour Builder example students research this question and create a multimedia letter experience around the event, or book that they are reading. In my example I use WWII and begin on June 6, D-Day, on Utah Beach as part of Operation Overlord. My letter takes place 3 days later, after the Allied forces had successfully taken the beaches of Normandy, France.

As students research the battles and events of WWII they add other locations that the 4th Infantry fought and continue to write letters to explain the events and what their “soldier” experienced throughout the many battles of the war. To add to the experience I have included a YouTube video that uses histrocial footage from D-Day. If you have more time you could have the students create their own multimedia and add that to the tour instead.

Variations: The multimedia letter could also be written around other historical events, or even books that the students are reading. Students can assume the role of a character from the book, or an actual historical figure and create an interactive tour that immerses the viewer into the world.


I love Google Trends for inquiry-driven projects. This project blends Trends and Tour Builder together. In my example I use Google Trends to see how popular the search term “pizza” is. Trends gives me data by country and state/provence but it doesn’t tell me why.

Currently the United States leads the world in searches for pizza and the state of Minnesota clearly loves searching for pizza. Canada comes in 2nd as a nation in pizza searches. In my tour I could continue to add more countries and inquire as to why they are searching for pizza. In a more scholarly project I may use Trends to see the search data of other words, like democracy and socialism, or racism and build a tour that looks where these terms are popular and not popular and why.

Getting to Know Us

I currently teach on a U.S. Navy base in Sasebo, Japan and next year I will be working in an International School in Frankfurt, Germany. Our kids have lived all over the world. In this tour example I showcase my favorite place that I have lived and why. If I were doing this with students I would have them add their favorite cities to the tour as well.

Once all of the students have added their cities I would have them interact with the tour and learn more about their classmates. I could add a Google Doc to this project and have the students write what they have in common with their classmates, or what they would like to learn more about them. This is an inquiry-driven lesson into getting to know each other. It could also be expanded later on to include historical/major events that have happened in the city.

Variation: If you teach in a location where the students either haven’t lived in other cities, or traveled to other locations you could have your students add their favorite park, or place to visit in their own city.

Lit Tour Journal

In this tour the students use the locations of a book to write journal entries on the major events of the book, or to write from the persective of one of the book’s characters. In my example I use the book The Hobbit to show how with a little imagination you can include fictional locations as well.

Non-Displayed Examples

Tour Builder is great for just about every subject. If students are learning about distance they could build a tour that takes us on a journey of a certain amount of miles. If the students are learning about biomes the tour can take us from one biome, like a rainforest, or another.

Because Tour Builder allows us to integrate other forms of media we could take our tours to new levels by including podcasts, Google Docs, videos and even links to websites or blogs. Tour Builder would also make for an amazing Choose Your Own Adventure that blends together different media and art forms to really make the experience unique.

Posted in Google Plus, Hashtag, Inquiry, Search, Social Media

How a Common #Hashtag System Could Change Education for Students

Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.
– Simon Mainwaring


The hashtag has become one of the most recognizable symbols of our time. Much like the peace sign, Apple, or Batman logo. When you see the hashtag you instantly know what it is and how it is being used. This only became clear to me as I stood in line for a crepe at my favorite mall in Nagasaki, Japan. While standing in that long line I began looking at all of the signs to the various boutiques. That’s where I saw it. The hashtag. Only what followed was not recognizable to me. What followed the hashtag was something written in Japanese. That’s when it hit me. The hashtag is a global phenomenon. And there’s power in using it in K12 academics.

The Power of a Hashtag

The five hashtags that begin this thought are, as you probably guessed, good morning in 5 different languages (Japanese, Spanish, Korean, French and English). If you search with any of the five hashtags on Twitter, or G+ you will see how others have tweeted, or posted using that hashtag. When I searched there are pictures of sunrises from various parts of the world, breakfast plates, clouds in the sky, a cat (of course) and a Japanese teenager’s selfie of her in her school uniform on her bed in a rather interesting position that I’m pretty sure her father would not approve of.

Commonly Used Hashtags for Academics

Educators already use commonly accepted hashtags when they tweet, or post to G+. An education conversationalist uses #edchat, an educational technology conversationalist uses #edtechchat, Google Apps enthusiasts use #gafe and educators in Iowa use #iaedchat. If we began using commonly accepted hashtags with our students the possibilities would be nearly endless.

If I were teaching 3rd multiplication I could use #3rdgrademultiplication to search for content, or even better to connect with other classes that are learning the same thing at the same time as my class. We could have challenges, either through Google Hangouts, or Skype. We could conduct projects and spin-off the hashtag for our own purposes. We could organize everything by using the hashtag and make it simple for our learners to search for and thus find later when they need it.

With older students learning more about #formsofgovernment they could organize content and resources around their hashtag. They could also use the hashtag to connect with other learners in their age group who are studying the same thing. Projects could be created, but even better students could offer peer feedback and assistance.

The best part about using the hashtag is that it is archived and future learners searching by using that hashtag can then tap into the content, resources, or peer assistance and feedback as well at later dates and times.

We Have to Start Students Early

Daily calendar is a widely used strategy for teaching the days of the week, basic counting, weather and using appropriate symbols in early childhood education classrooms. Imagine if early childhood teachers used #dailycalendar to organize their content around. We could begin to teach our young learners more about the world in which they live. World weather and thus graphing, or charting, could be added by teachers gathering the daily weather that other teachers from around the world are sharing through the use of the hashtag. Global connections could be made through this. Teachers could also search the archive of past uses of the hashtag and gather weather data to create charts, or graphs and have their young learners make predictions before they reveal the actual answer.

This is a lot more interesting that just searching Because there is a teacher, and class for that matter, on the other end of that hashtag tweet, or post, the students can begin to form global bonds and thus begin the early stages of learning more about digital citizenship. The earlier we teach this the more likely our young learners are to become digital leaders by the time they hit middle, or upper levels of their education. Other benefits of this could include global pen pals and teacher connections. Imagine using other commonly accepted hashtags for your age group to connect on other projects, of if you are like me, build thematic inquiry-driven units around.

Hashtags for Experts

By developing a commonly accepted and thus used hashtag system educators in the K12 space could encourage experts and other scholars to engage with our students around the content that they specialize in. If I am having my students learn about #formsofgovernment politicians, or scholars of government could follow the hashtag and participate in the conversation, share their own resources, or content, or even better connect with the class/student(s) that are learning about the subject.

Hashtags for Inquiry-Driven Research

Future learners would also benefit by this by being able to search the hashtag for answers to their own questions.  As with any learning that happens online, students would have to learn if the source is reputable, and reliable. Previous tweets, or posts from the expert could be examined as well as links in their Twitter masthead, or through Google searches of the person.

The hashtag also presents a way for learners to engage with primary sources. Hashtags are already being used around historic events. #ArabSpring, #syria, #japantsunami are just a few. Chances are if something major is happening in the world that there is a hashtag for it. Learners can search for the hashtag and begin to read first hand accounts, often in real-time as the event is happening. And again, all of this is archived and can be accessed at any point in the future. Search #japantsunamai and you’ll see photos from the scene of Japan’s March 2012 tsunami if you are willing to go back in time to view them.

Where Do We Begin?

At the beginning of course. Start by creating a hashtag for the content in which you are going to teach. If you blog post an article about your newly created hashtag. Tweet it, post it, do everything you can to spread the word. Encourage other educators that you know to use your hashtag for that specific content and to create their own new hashtags for other specific content. Have them blog it, or you can as well, tweet it, post it, pin it, share it, whatever. The goal is to get your hashtag out and used. The more people who know about it and begin to use it the more likely it is to stick and become a commonly accepted and used hashtag.

You will also have to use the hashtag to connect with other users of that hashtag. Think about the age group that you teach and are targeting. If younger this makes a great circle time teacher-lead activity.  If older it makes for a fantastic inquiry-driven project. I suggest starting small, one concept, one hashtag. I also suggest paying attention to other educators sharing their hashtags and taking note. If you don’t have the time to write them down believe me there will be a rock star out there that will and they will share the academic hashtags that they encounter. Hey, what an awesome use for a collaborative Google Sheet.

Endless Possibilities

As I mentioned earlier, the possibilities are truly endless. If K12 educators began to develop and then use a commonly accepted hashtag system you would essentially be cataloging the Internet. Not only would you be benefiting the current generation by creating an easier way to connect, gather and share, but you would be also giving future generations an easy way to look back and see how we learned and how we used social media to deepen our own understandings, connect globally and become responsible digital leaders