The #illumineation hashtag has gained traction as part of an effort by President Obama to make his legacy a bit more global, and to encourage the education of young people.
The hashtag, which is used to express gratitude for the work of the United Nations and other international agencies, has garnered nearly 70,000 tweets in the past two weeks.
In response to the hashtag’s popularity, the Education Department sent out a statement Wednesday afternoon saying it will be launching a nationwide “Illumine Education Challenge” later this month to give educators the opportunity to work with young people around the world on a range of topics.
The department is encouraging teachers to post photos and videos of themselves with the hashtag on their personal social media accounts and will also be partnering with the @IlluminatedEducation account to create a “featured education resource for young people” that will be accessible via social media.
The Department’s education director, Dr. Jennifer Lee, told Recode she hopes the effort will spur more engagement among educators on a variety of subjects, including “education for the 21st century.”
She also said the department has been “engaged with the communities and communities in which students are most likely to use the #illumeeducation hashtag.”
She said the Department has already received hundreds of calls from educators and others around the country and will continue to reach out to educators to help them create a hashtag that encourages them to share and engage with their students.
Lee also said she hopes other nations will “learn from our example, and learn from the United States of America” as well.