In a time where technology in the classroom is constantly changing and evolving, it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s new and cutting edge. The days of chalk and chalkboard are long over, and we’ve shifted into a realm where the number of education tools and resources are almost limitless. Expectations to stay on top of all the new edtech can be intimidating, and not to mention, how are you supposed to do that on top of being engaged in your classroom, plus putting in hours outside of school to keep up? Plus, there’s the added pressure that comes with students sometimes being more tech-savvy than educators!
Luckily, having a constant source of up-to-date information can be as simple as following the right people on the right platforms. For news, sharing intelligence, articles, and learning, Twitter and blogs are the places to go. Today, we’re bringing you 10 K-12 edtech influencers you should be following so you can keep up with new ideas and resources and share them within your community without having to sort through all the endless resources out there.
Think of these people as your guides to finding new tools and helping you hone in on your own skills. Read on to see who we think is worth a follow in the K-12 edtech world these days, and then by all means, go on and follow them!
1. Ari Flewelling
Ari Flewelling is an Educational Technology Specialist who focuses on pedagogy first technology integration to enhance student achievement. Flewelling’s Twitter banner hilariously reads, “Cool on the internet, even cooler IRL” (a true legend), and she has a vlog series of the same namesake where she enthusiastically shares edtech tips and info. In high demand as a speaker, her coaching and engagements help teachers feel comfortable integrating tech with lesson plans.
2. Nicole Tucker-Smith
A former teacher and professional learning leader for Baltimore County Public Schools with experience in many walks of the education world, Tucker-Smith is also the co-founder of Lessoncast, a software designed to transform professional development for teachers that focuses on helping schools implement inclusive leadership and teaching practices.
Tucker-Smith’s blog on the Lessoncast website is updated regularly with useful resources, and she also co-authored a book, “Supercharge Your Professional Learning, 40 Practical Strategies that Improve Adult Learning” alongside Kasia Derbiszewska.
3. Graeme Plant
Graeme Plant is the Learning Technologies Coordinator for Thames Valley District School Board, one of the largest school districts in Ontario, who helps teachers and students integrate new technologies adopted by the district into the classroom. As an integral piece of a large, forward-thinking school district, Plant’s Twitter feed is an amazing resource for success stories of recently adopted tech projects, and is a leading example of why sharing ideas and passions is so important! Plant inspires and influences the EdTech world well beyond his own community.
4. Alice Keeler
Keeler’s bio reads, “Mom, teacher, author, Google Certified Innovator, keynote speaker, and workshop presenter” - it’s hard to narrow her scope of influence down to anything less! An EdTech integration expert, Keeler’s impact as a speaker can also be soaked up by reading her blog, and subscribing to her weekly newsletter for a fresh flow of new ideas. Keeler’s unique perspective on facilitating a student-centered classroom is one worth working into your everyday thinking.
5. Per Emanuelsson
Per Emanuelsson is the CEO and Co-founder of Soundtrap, and if you haven’t heard of Soundtrap, consider this your formal invite to jump on the bandwagon! Soundtrap is an online collaborative music and podcast recording studio that gives students shared access to an easy to navigate DAW. DAWs are typically outrageously expensive, have a dramatic learning curve, and require loads of storage to run smoothly. Soundtrap’s completely online platform solves all of that.
In addition to being a world class edtech learning product, Soundtrap’s Twitter feed is a great resource for ideas to integrate music and sound learning into regular classroom activities. After the acquisition by Spotify in 2018, Emanuelsson and the Soundtrap team continue to evolve this product into an incredible tool for giving students who may have a fear of “pen to paper” storytelling another medium to share their voice.
6. Dr. Monica Burns
Dr. Monica Burns is an educator, author, speaker, and edtech consultant whose career outside of chalk-to-chalkboard classroom education sort of happened as… an accident! After an invite to speak at a teaching event in 2012 to share her tips on using tech in the classroom, her passion for sharing ideas and keeping up with the latest innovations snowballed into a passion!
Dr. Burns has authored 5 books that have been widely shared among the edtech community. And, for short bursts of information, you can also subscribe to her weekly newsletter, or if you’re a podcast fan, Dr. Burns has one of those too!
7. Matt Renwick
Matt Renwick is the principal at Mineral Point Elementary with over 20 years of experience in the education realm. Renwick’s blog, “Reading by Example”, is a collaborative writing space that calls on the voices of educators around the country to share thoughts and ideas. In addition to being a helpful resource, “Reading by Example” has also been recognised as one of the top 50 Education IT Blogs for 3 years.
And as a bonus, Renwick keeps his Twitter bio up to date with what he’s currently reading so you can check it out too.
8. Jimmy Casas
As the CEO and president of J Casas and associates, Casas’ goal is to provide coaching and support for top level educators who don’t have access to direct feedback and developmental guidance. His forthcoming book “Live Your Excellence - Bring Your Best Self to School Every Day” is due out March 12th and will be his sixth publication to hit shelves. Casas’ Twitter feed is a great place to scroll through for helpful articles and ideas, and his podcast is a great listen if you’re on the go.
9. Dr. Jennifer Parker
Recipient of the 2018 ISTE Award for Oustanding Leadership, Dr. Jennifer Parker’s experience in the edtech world includes being the co-creator of the 21things Project, an online space to connect educators with teaching and learning resources, a co-facilitator of the Macomb 2020 Blended Learning Academy, co-author of the "Data Reference Manual for Michigan's Continuous School Improvement Process", and the State Project Lead for the MISchoolData portal. With her hands in this many pots, it’s no wonder she’s a thought leader in the edtech world. Follow her Twitter account for the latest and greatest in education.
10. Christopher Pappas
Christopher Pappas is the founder of the eLearning Industry Network, which is a group of websites intended to help designers and eLearning professionals stay connected with industry news, find jobs and potential employees, and to serve as a community where like-minded professionals can share ideas. As the curator of such a vast network of people in the education realm, his scope of knowledge and personnel resources is expansive and valuable.