Today was a good day.  I’ve been in Boston presenting at a Solution Tree PLC Institute and had the chance to bump into one of my all-time favorite people, a Solution Tree consultant who we’ll call Miranda Doubleday*

(*in case you haven’t guessed, that’s a pseudonym!  I haven’t asked ‘Miranda’ for permission to reveal her true identity.)

What makes ‘Miranda’ so remarkable—outside of the fact that few people understand team development, teacher leadership and effective assessment as well as she does—is that she is a genuine giver.  I’m always blown away at how willing she is to help me improve as a person, presenter and teacher.

And today, I’ve been trying to give back a little.


By trying to get Miranda to sign up for a Twitter account!

(Really, are you surprised?  After all, I haven’t done all that good a job hiding my love for Twitter, have I?)

Now, like anyone new to Twitter, Miranda is only going to find the networking that happens there valuable—and therefore, worth her time—if she follows the updates of people who share her interests.

That’s the real value of Twitter, after all:  You get to look inside the minds of really bright people who are thinking about the same kinds of things that you are.  An example:  If you’re way into instructional technology, why WOULDN’T you want to see the kinds of thoughts and ideas that Will Richardson is sharing every day on Twitter?

So I figured I’d try to get MIranda off to a good start by recommending 10 people that I think she could learn from if she signed up for a Twitter account.

Here they are:

Scott McLeod (@mcleod) :  Scott is a bit of a ringer.  Not only is he a brilliant guy who is writing about school leadership, teacher professional development and the changing nature of education in the 21st Century, I learned today that he’s an old friend of Miranda’s—and when you’re joining Twitter, seeing names and faces that you know keeps you coming back.

Eric Townsley (@erictownsley) :  Eric—a part of a midwestern mind-connection that includes Matt Townsley and Russ Goerend—is someone that Miranda is going to love following because he’s just about to start his first principal’s gig in a middle school.  He’s bright, so it will be neat to see the kinds of things he does (and questions he asks) with his new building.

Meredith Stewart (@msstewart) : If Meredith and Miranda were the only two people in a room together, the combined IQ would be something ridiculous like 327.  They’re both super bright and would hit it off in a minute—and Meredith is a passionate young teacher that Miranda is sure to admire and enjoy ‘listening’ to.

Ed Leadership (@ed_leadership) :  I included the stream maintained by the folks at ASCD’s Ed Leadership magazine—not because Miranda is a huge EL fan, but to show that Twitter streams aren’t always maintained by individuals.  Companies are using Twitter to feed interesting content to readers, too.

Solution Tree (@solutiontree) : Could I really leave out the company that Miranda works for?!

Daniel Pink (@danielpink) :  Despite not being a Twitter user yet, Miranda is a deep thinker who is way into writers like Daniel Pink, Clay Shirky and Seth Godin.  I wanted her to know that THOSE kind of guys are Tweeting, too.  What better way to keep in touch with their latest ideas.

Larry Ferlazzo (@larryferlazzo) : Larry is one of the best examples of why Twitter works for me.  Simply the best ‘resource hound’ on the web, Larry is CONSTANTLY sharing links to great articles and tools that make my teaching better.  I want Miranda to see that Twitter isn’t ‘something extra.’  Instead, it’s ‘something better’ because quick access to good resources (Larry’s middle name(s)) is worth its weight in digital gold.

Jose Vilson (@thejlv) : I also want Miranda to see that the teachers using Twitter aren’t staid, stodgy, one-dimensional tech geeks, and that’s where Jose comes in.  A dynamic NYC educator, Jose’s Twitterstream is often filled with everything ranging from interesting free-verse to provocative commentary about social justice and/or race in America.

Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) :  Steven’s got to be in Miranda’s Twitterstream because of his networking power.  Not only does following Steven’s posts give Miranda access to great resources and ideas about teaching with technology, but following his conversations will give her access to other bright minds to learn from.

And what the heck—I’m going to put myself (@plugusin) on the list, too.  I don’t stink, after all!

Moral of the story:  Twitter can be an important part of any person’s ‘learning arsenal.’  The trick is finding the right people to follow—and that often starts with suggestions from friends who have been playing in the Twitter pool for a while.

I’ll keep you posted on whether or not Miranda begins Tweeting.  If she does, you’re going to want to start to follow her posts.

She’s brilliant.

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