When people first jump into social media, specifically Twitter, there seems to be this inclination from administration to start a Twitter handle (ie @sampleschool) so that they can communicate what is happening in their school community. This is a great idea and nice way to give an audience quick snippets of the day, but this is also limiting in the view of what we can actually do with the medium.
The way I compare the “handle” (@sampleschool) versus the hashtag (#sampleschool) is that one is about communicating, and the other one is about building community.
For example, a school might share events, things happening in classrooms, news, etc., to a hashtag, but the view of the organization is limited to the view of one or sometimes a few. Yet encouraging others to use a hashtag says, “your voice matters in our journey and we want you to share it”.