Sometimes 140 characters is all we have time to digest. Twitter has transformed the education debate, allowing everyone to weigh in. Have a question for Michelle Rhee? Tweet her. Want Diane Ravitch to read an article? Tag her. While there's no promise they will respond, the platform provides a better opportunity to become part of the discussion.
More importantly, following others on Twitter helps you stay informed and better form your own opinions. Below is a list of 12 education thought leaders who come from all corners of the education arena. Instead of sticking to people who think like you, try branching out — you never know what you may learn.
1. Audrey Watters
On Twitter: @audreywatters
Watters is an education technology writer who posts frequently on her blog, Hack Education. From MOOCs to the latest in the Los Angeles iPad saga, Watters has something to say. If you want commentary on the latest ed tech trends, as well as great analysis on what isn't working so well, Watters is the girl to follow.
2. Joy Resmovits
On Twitter: @joy_resmovits
Resmovits is an education reporter at The Huffington Post and a 2014-15 Spencer Fellow. Resmovits is an even-handed, fair reporter who gives less opinion and more facts — which can be refreshing in an era when subjective-blogger has become synonymous with journalist. It is also clear she has some good sources in the ed world. Resmovits was first to break the news that Michelle Rhee was stepping down from her post as head chief of Students First. She is currently beginning her residency as a Spencer Fellow, which is a joint program through Columbia's Teacher College and School of Journalism. According to Resmovits' bio on the Spencer Fellows page, she intends to write about accommodations for students with disabilities. Perhaps as her studies continue, we can expect to see more tweets on this topic.
3. Conor P. Williams
On Twitter: @conorpwilliams
Williams is a senior researcher with the New America Foundation, which means he is not only sifting through a lot of data, but has a lot of opinions as well. From Talking Points Memo to The Daily Beast, Williams' opinions seem to be all over the net. Given the large amount of work he is producing, there is constantly something new to read. Williams also appears to be pretty accessible, often engaging with other twitter users and followers about the content he writes.
4. Michelle Rhee
On Twitter: @MichelleRhee
Whether or not you agree with the StudentsFirst founder's politics, you should follow her. Rhee, also the former chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, has enormous clout in the education arena, so knowing what she is up to is a definite asset. Most of her posts are re-tweets of StudentsFirst comments and articles about accountability, but you never know when something more personalized will sneak into the feed.
5. Diane Ravitch
On Twitter: @DianeRavitch
The infamous and often praised NYU education historian and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education is an avid Twitter user. Not only does she tweet her own daily blog posts, but she re-posts other important education stories. Ravitch, who is revered — and perhaps hated, depending on the education circles you mingle with — uses Twitter to connect with supporters and engage her adversaries. We'll put it this way, it's never boring following Ravitch's feed.
6. Michael Petrilli
On Twitter: @MichaelPetrilli
Petrilli is the current president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and an editor of Education Next. He is a frequent poster and seems to be in the know about many of the education comings and goings. His feed is a good resource if you want to read some interesting articles on education, or if you want to know about the latest education debate (he recently spoke in favor of the Common Core at a "Embrace the Common Core" debate sponsored by Intelligence Squared U.S. -- would you be surprised if we told you Ravitch then blogged about it?)
7. Alexander Russo
On Twitter: @alexanderrusso
A former educator, and a staffer under California Sen. Diane Feinstein, Russo has his thumb on education trends. He is constantly updating his feed with interesting ed reads, and as the founder of Scholastic's This Week In Education, he is never short of content. Something to appreciate about Russo's feed is he never seems to push one agenda, but rather curates an interesting selection of must-reads.
8. Linda Darling-Hammond
On Twitter: @LDH_ed
The Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Darling-Hammond was considered a highly-regarded candidate for President Obama's Secretary of Education before Arne Duncan landed the job. As you might expect, someone who almost became our nation's top education official has plenty of important ideas. Getting an opportunity to see what she deems tweet-worthy is definitely helpful when trying to understand the larger concerns in education.
9. Beth Fertig
On Twitter: @bethfertig
Fertig is an education reporter for New York's WNYC. While her target audience may be quite specific, that doesn't mean her tweets are. Since New York's education policy often sets a tone for the rest of the nation, many of the stories Fertig covers have broader implications.
10. Badass Teachers Association
On Twitter: @BadassTeachesA
According to its Twitter bio, the Bad Ass Teacher's Association is for "teachers who do not accept the blame for the failure of our society to erase poverty." The feed frequently tweets in line with the group's mission, shedding light on the more questionable domains of the education world. As we mentioned in the intro, exposing oneself to an array of opinions is important -- so even if you do not agree, we recommend seeing what the group has to say. You never know what you may learn.
11. Ilana Horn
On Twitter: @tchmathculture
Professor Horn teaches math education to students at Vanderbilt's School of Education. Her feed is thoughtful and deals with molding well-rounded students. She also respectfully questions the current dynamics inside schools. One example of this is a recent post in which she stated, "A classroom's resources should not depend on the social capital of the teacher and the material capital of their social networks," in reference to teachers being forced to either buy their own supplies or rely on crowdfunding sites like Donors Choose.
12. Anya Kamenetz
On Twitter: @anya1anya
Kamenetz is an education writer for NPR, and her tweets are as solid as her journalistic work. Her stories run the gamut from the cloud and data security to school reform, like when she asked New Orleans students about the changes they are seeing in their city. Kamenetz also has a book set for release in 2015 titled "The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed With Standardized Testing - But You Don't Have To Be," so if you follow her, it would probably be a safe bet that you will learn more about that, as well.
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