Social media plays a large role in today’s society, and most educators aren’t scared to jump in and leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to increase their professional learning networks.

In fact, regular Twitter chats that focus on professional development, resources for students, special educations, and myriad other educational topics can do wonders for teacher morale.

But as great as Twitter is, it also can be overwhelming. Who should you follow? How often should you tweet? Which chats should you participate in, and how frequently?

In a nutshell, you want to use hashtags with every tweet to help build up your Twitter community and find related tweets. It’s OK to lurk in Twitter chats before jumping into the discussion. And while you won’t always agree with every opinion you find on Twitter, you’re guaranteed to learn from your colleagues when you have respectful discussions. (For more tips on getting started with Twitter PLNs, click here.)

(Next page: 14 educators and thought leaders to follow on Twitter)

If you need to add more compelling educators to your list of those you follow on Twitter, read on–we’ve got some great people on this list.

1. William Chamberlain, @wmchamberlain, is a junior high social studies teacher at Noel Elementary and an adjunct professor at Crowder College. Chamberlain created #Comments4Kids, a way for students and teachers to comment on, and receive comments on, social media posts.

2. Krissy Venosdale, @krissyvenosdale, is currently the Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas. Venosdale supports teachers and troubleshoots technology, creating, making, and teaching.

3. Nancy Blair, @blairteach, is a middle school principal, #edchat co-moderator, and Edchat Radio co-host.

4. Dr. Justin Tarte, @justintarte, is the Executive Director of Human Resources and Learning Services in the Union R-XI School District in Missouri. He is passionate about integrating technology and social media into the educational setting while increasing collaboration and transparency. His other interests include STEM and STEAM, problem-based learning, and #futureready schools.

5. Will Richardson, @willrich45, focuses on modern learning and schooling, including what constitutes an education now that school is everywhere. His interests include the role of school in a child’s life, the role of teachers, and the new skills, literacies, and dispositions that are required to succeed in the networked, connected world of learning that students will inherit.

6. S. Dallas Dance, @DDance_BCPS, is the superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. Dance created a 5-year Blueprint strategy to bring a digital conversion to the district and is a champion of digital equity and learning.

7. Tom Murray, @thomascmurray, is the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, an Alliance for Excellent Education project. Murray has worked tirelessly with government officials, policymakers, departments of education, and districts to implement student-centered, personalized learning.

8. Michael B. Horn, @michaelbhorn, is co-founder of The Clayton Christensen Institute and is the principal consultant for @EntangledSOL. He is a speaker and writer who focuses on the future of education.

9. Jessica Johnson, @PrincipalJ, is the 2014 Wisconsin Elementary Principal of the Year, #educoach chat co-moderator, #PrincipalPLN Co-Host, and is co-author of Breaking Out of Isolation.

10. Crista Anderson, @cristama, is an instructional leader, coach and innovator, and co-founded #MTedchat. Anderson’s interests include infusing instructional technology throughout instruction, connecting and collaborating, culturally responsive instruction, and communications.

11. Scott A. Newcomb, @SNewco, is author of The Mobile Native. He is an educator and an adjunct professor, a @Dell Mobile Learning Thought Leader and a @PBS Digital Innovator.

12. Shawn McCusker, @ShawnMcCusker, is creator of the #1to1techat. He also is a teacher, an #EdCampChicago organizer, and an EdTechTeacher Instructor.

13. Kasey Bell, @ShakeUpLearning, is a digital learning consultant. Bell’s website and blog, ShakeUpLearning, help educators access digital resources and technology integration tips.

14. Jessica Raleigh, @TyrnaD, is an education consultant who focuses on blended and personalized learning, design thinking and innovation, and social media for educators. She is a Personalized Professional Learning Program Manager for Denver Public Schools and is organizer of the #BFC530 education chat.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura