Truth be told, I came late to Twitter. My Twitter Birthday is May 1, 2011. Yes, there is a site that can tell you this information. In my five Twitter-years, I have used it exclusively for professional purposes, e.g. networking, professional learning, etc., and only recently have begun to use it for news and communication outside of my professional affiliations.
Through my following of Eric Sheninger, I came to see Twitter as a platform for professional sharing and that changed the way I use it. Having a more directed purpose, my tweets seemed more substantive. Dr. Alan November inspired me to use Twitter for inspiration (of all things) and follow the greatest minds in the Twittersphere for sage words. Both of these gentlemen are, of course, on the list.
So, the list. This is a list of nine educators and one education entity. The educators I have chosen are so much more than their numbers of followers. They are thoughtfully vetted leaders in the fields of digital literacy, social and emotional learning, and educational policy. The one entity is a fantastic resource for curriculum and lessons in literacy and the content areas.
The one common denominator among all of the teachers on this list is passion. Let me say that I do not use this word lightly. I do not think that being a teacher automatically means that one has passion. Through careful research, aside from their Twitter feeds, I can tell you that each of these rockstars are naturals and the passion they exude is incredibly motivating.
@CoolCatTeacher / 137,000 followers
I was immediately enamored with Vicki Davis. She and I both began teaching in the same year and we share some basic philosophies. Vicki calls herself a Teacherpreneur and her work as a teacher typifies this perfectly. An entrepreneur must be fearless even in the face of uncertainty. A teacher, well, you know what they do. In her role as a teacherpreneur, Vicki allows her students who know vital information to teach their classmates and teach her. She truly puts her students in charge of their learning and presses on when she does not have all the information. This quality really resonated with me. The attention that Vicki places on digital literacy and citizenship is just phenomenal. Her practice is highly metacognitive and facilitates students’ learning and talking about their own knowledge. Rounding out her prowess as Teacherpreneur, Vicki has a global view that sees far beyond the rural community where she teaches.
@DianeRavitch / 138,000 followers
I could not put together a list about Top Teacher Tweeters without mentioning Diane Ravitch. I included Ravitch for a few reasons. The education climate, specifically concerning public education, that we face today makes it imperative and absolutely necessary that we teachers know policy. Ravitch knows policy and is an unflinching advocate for teachers everywhere. She attended primary and secondary public school and understands the need for improving our Nation’s public education system. Diane Ravitch is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and an educational historian. From 1991to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush. She is an agent of change in a world that is ripe with flux.
@ICTEvangelist / 41,900 followers
What I like most about Mark Anderson is his very purposeful use of technology. It is not there for bells and whistles or to look good in an observation. Technology plays a vital role in his teaching. Mark is Apple and Google Apps for Education (GAFE) certified and gamifies content whenever possible to speak to his game-conscious students. Something that I like about Mark is his authenticity. Footage of him available online coupled with his tweets show someone that does not rely on using popular educational buzzwords and jargon to show that he is credible. Without muddying the waters with the likes of Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, in my understanding an evangelist is one that tries to convert others, usually by public preaching. Calling himself the ICT Evangelist, Mark is on a crusade to convert students, teachers and policy makers into a highly tech savvy populace. And he is succeeding.
@LFlemingEDU / 13,800 followers
Laura Fleming is the Library Media Specialist at New Milford High School in Milford, NJ. Knowing talent, fellow list maker Eric Sheninger hired her when he was principal at NMHS. As a school librarian myself, I follow Laura and know that she is the final word on Makerspaces and the Maker Movement in education. If I was playing word association and my partner said, “Makerspaces,” I’d say “Laura Fleming.” She is that good. Laura believes in collaboration and exploration through rigorous Project Based Learning. Her aim is to create learning experiences that empower and equip students to effectively produce and consume content across multiple media platforms.
@Alex_Corbitt / 26,600 followers
OMG, I need to meet Mr. Corbitt! Alex is a fellow New York City educator and teaches English in the Bronx. Alex focuses on socio-emotional learning, gamification, and literacy and is very active on Twitter. Alex Corbitt was recently the subject of a Member Spotlight feature story on UFT.org. The article talks about Alex’s ability to empower his students using PBL and multimedia approaches. Part of the reason I included Alex in this list is because of the relationship that he has with his students. It reminded me of me and my kids (as I call them) and how vital this relationship is. His empathy coupled with his craft are an outstanding combination. He strives to innovate, collaborate and share collegially while cultivating critically engaged citizens.
Dr. Alan November
@GlobaLearner / 44,500 followers
About a year ago, I was asked by my principal to attend a technology workshop for him, seeing as tech is my thing. I agreed to go, somewhat begrudgingly, until he passed me the invite. The workshop was led by none other than Dr. Alan November. Dr. November is one of the smartest and most thought-provoking people I have ever known. That day I was one of 10 educators in attendance, and one of maybe three that had any idea WHO we were really listening to. I totally have a professional crush on him, and I will openly admit that. Dr. November is all about confirming and challenging what is possible in the world of teaching and learning. His areas of expertise are in planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. My takeaway from Dr. November is that he is an innovative global-minded individual that loves to learn about how people interact with technology. He was named one the Nation’s 15 Most Influential Thinkers of the Decade by Technology & Learning Magazine in 2016 and that distinction is completely right-on.
Steven W. Anderson
@Web20Classroom / 148,000 followers
You can tell by Steven’s number of followers that this guy is everywhere and has his hand in many pies. He is an educator, speaker and blogger and is super active on Twitter where he hones his passion on how teachers and students learn. Steven is expert in infusing technology in teaching and the use of social media for learning. He is the creator of #Edchat, a Twitter discussion group with over 1.5k weekly participants. His global view of education extends to students that are not his own but might benefit from his words. I love this about him. Steven W. Anderson has an amazing number of followers for a reason: He is an incredible, knock-it-outta-the-park educator.
@E_Sheninger / 115,000 followers
There must be something in the water at New Milford High School because Eric is the 2nd on the top ten that hails from NMHS. I heard all over Twitter about this rockstar principal from New Jersey and my curiosity was piqued. Eric is known for his smart use of technology and social media platforms as educational tools that transformed his school while he was a principal. Since leaving his position as principal, Eric is able to share his talents with many more people. In his role as Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership in Ed (ICLE), thousands are affected by Eric’s expertise in using Twitter as an indispensable means for education as well as communication. There is not a list out there that does not count Eric Sheninger among its ranks. It is easy to see why.
Read, Write, Think
@RWTnow / 44,000 followers
I am an adjunct instructor at my local college and I educate preservice teachers on how to teach reading and writing. A large part of the class involves crafting lesson plans. Being among the first graduate courses they take, my students are a bit green to lesson planning. I do not believe in reinventing the wheel. Rather, I say find the person that makes the best wheels and borrow them. Add more air or take some out. Make the wheel your own. Basically, find a resource for lesson ideas and tips that are vetted and research based and stick to it. Read, Write, Think has been my go-to resource for about 15 years now and has never let me down. Their Twitter feed features peer-reviewed lessons that focus on literacy.
@AngelaMaiers / 145,000 followers
In teaching, there is the curriculum, and then there is everything else. “Everything else,” refers to the social-emotional aspects of being a teacher. For me, “everything else” comes before curriculum. Once a positive social and emotional setting has been created, real learning can take place. Angela Maiers is a pioneer in digital literacy and education technologies. An educator, author, speaker and founder of Choose2Matter, she challenges us to make “mattering” a way of life. Her philosophy is that when people accept that they matter and know their actions count, learning, lives and worlds change. Her Twitter feed provides links to inspiring strategies and tips that speak to educating the whole child.
In my role as an adjunct faculty member, I highly suggest that all my students sign up for a Twitter account. I start them off with three Twitter users. Students then research these three users by examining their followers in order to build a network to guide them in their career. I offer this same advice to you. To you that maybe does not really get Twitter. To you that cannot imagine a life outside of Facebook. To you, the seasoned Tweeter looking for new ideas. And even you, who just thought, “Well, I’m none of those,” this article is for you!
Happy Tweeting, and even happier discovering, because I promise you, Twitter is a teacher’s digital wonderland.
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