By Tom Rogers, Director - TeachMeet Icons
Being on twitter has made me a better teacher and connected me with other like-minded people in a way I never could have imagined. I hope by joining, using and engaging with twitter – you might feel the same. As Emma Turner said in a recent blog post, “Because of Twitter, I’m better at my job, which means that pupils will be getting a better deal. Because of Twitter, I’ve made connections I never thought possible and have had opportunities I didn’t even realise existed.” Mark Anderson calls it “the best staffroom in the world”.
I’ve produced this resource for anyone interested in education who wants some ideas on who to follow on twitter. I’ve split the guide into 3 sections; opinion and commentary (24 selections), bloggers and authors (24 selections) and teaching resources (by subject – between 4 and 8 selections per subject). Space was limited for the one-page design I wanted, allowing for clear profile images and links. I wanted to force myself to really think about who I thought should be included, and I spent a while garnering the opinions of many of the finest minds on edutwitter. It was difficult with so many amazing people to pick from! I used a clear criterion for selecting within each category, so this list certainly isn’t a back-patting exercise or a “who is friends with who” list.
I envisage that leaders in UK schools who want their staff to engage with “edutwitter” might find this useful to include in induction literature or as part of a CPD induction pack hence my publication now, in early August. The guide can be printed as a high quality A4 or A3 poster. The digital PDF version allows the user to click on the icon of each person to visit their twitter account to find out more.
So, how did I make these selections? I must emphasise that although I spent a long time deliberating and tried to ignore my personal likes and dislikes as much as possible, this is still “my list". Hopefully though, my four years on twitter engaging with all manner of content can be put to use. I have named a few users I didn’t manage to include due to space within this blog, but there are countless more out there, many I’m sure I’m unaware of.
“Opinion and Commentary”
These are individuals who comment regularly on education in its broadest sense. I’ve chosen people who I consider to have strong opinions that they clearly and consistently express about all things teaching and learning. I’ve chosen people who I genuinely believe have a significant impact on the educational narrative – positive or negative depending on your point of view.
The criteria for this list is:
Expressing clear and strong opinions about educational matters via twitter
Having a significant impact on debates around teaching, learning and education
This is a working document, so please feel free to tweet me anyone who you believe should be on the list.
Who else did I consider including?
There were a number of individuals who I considered including, they are:
Bloggers and authors
There are so many incredible educational writers on twitter, it was very difficult to whittle it down to 24.
The criteria I used for this section was:
Have published a large number of blogs and write relatively consistently and/or have published books/literature relating to teaching and learning
Have had a significant impact on the professional development of teachers
Who else did I consider including?
Patrick Ottley Connor
Teaching Resources by subject
I want to be clear on this one – these are accounts that specifically offer resources, often for free, that teachers can download and use in class. So, I was looking for dropbox, google drive or websites where these individual teachers share useful useable stuff, rather than just theory (in saying that, lots of these teachers do both very effectively!). I was also looking for high impact from resources they’ve previously shared. I courted the advice of members of my PLN in each subject area to complete this section, but did spend time studying each account and their associated resources carefully before deciding (History was bloody difficult because I know the community so well and there is so much out there). I'm sure there will be plenty of debate on this one, especially from within subject communities, but maybe a nice starting point?
I hope you find this resource useful. If you want to agree, disagree or suggest edits, please tweet me @rogershistory or get in touch via my website.