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Tweeting in the Time of Terrorism: Who Participates in a French Hashtag-based Affinity Space, Where, and How?

, , Michigan State University, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Austin, TX, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-27-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


Twitter is increasingly seen as a valuable resource for teacher professional development, in part for its ability to facilitate affinity spaces (Gee, 2004) that are accessed through hashtags. However, while the affinity space is widely recognized as an effective conceptual framework for considering teachers’ use of Twitter, the flexibility and diversity implied by affinity spaces have not been fully explored in this context. We examine an affinity space built around the hashtag #educattentats, in response to terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. By exploring who participated in this space, how they participated, and where they participated from, we demonstrate the diversity of Twitter-based, professional development-focused affinity spaces in three different ways. We then comment on the implications of this diversity for professional development and highlight potential avenues for future research in this area.


Greenhalgh, S.P. & Koehler, M.J. (2017). Tweeting in the Time of Terrorism: Who Participates in a French Hashtag-based Affinity Space, Where, and How?. In P. Resta & S. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 614-619). Austin, TX, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 24, 2019 from .

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