501 People To Follow On TwitterRecently, with the help of (@wstites and @cassdull), I compiled a list of the 101 people that any person working in an independent school should follow. I originally wrote the post in order to help people new to Twitter learn about and listen to this social media channel. What I didn’t expect was how much I learned about the power of Twitter to connect, share ideas, and engage.
The response to the 101 list was so positive that it inspired me to conduct an experiment to illustrate the collaborative potential, and connecting nature, of social media. This blog post is the official online start of the 501 people you should follow on Twitter. Using the 101 List plus the additions posted in the comments takes us to 129 people to follow on Twitter. In order achieve our goal of 501 people I would like to use crowdsourcing as a way to illustrate the power of social media. What is crowdsourcing? Here is a definition from Wikipedia:

Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.

One of the reasons I enjoy social media, specifically Twitter, is the fact that it “levels the playing field” and makes us equal. It has also allowed me to meet and connect with people that I would probably never have met. Social media is a two-way street and ultimately about connection and collaboration. As a result, I’m not going to create the 501 list but allow the independent school “crowd” to collaborate and have input about who they feel are worthy to follow on Twitter.

The offline launch of the 501 list occurred at a session at SSATB entitled, Creating a Successful School Blog, which is being conducted by Peter Baron (@peterdbaron), Chuck Will (@chuckbwill), and Leo Marshall. We hope this post will help to illustrate the power of the comment and engagement through social media.


I hope you will take the time to suggest a person for inclusion on the 501 list. In order to suggest a person please enter the following information in the comments section below:

  • Name
  • Twitter Name
  • Category
  • Why you follow them?

Please feel free to suggest as many people as you wish. I would also ask for your help to promote this project, both online and offline, at your school.


Here’s to 501 people you should follow on Twitter!


Photo courtesy of http://icons.mysitemyway.com/

Brendan Schneider

Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Sewickley Academy

Brendan Schneider is the Director of Admission & Financial Aid at Sewickley Academy. He blogs about social media, technology, branding, and inbound marketing for schools at SchneiderB.com. Find him on Google+. Subscribe to his blog and receive his Social Media System for Schools ebook for FREE. Download the eBook!


  • Mark

    Hi Brendan,

    I posted this on the 101 site, perhaps in error:

    Diane Ravitch
    educator and education historian
    I follow her because I think that we in the independent school world have much to learn from the national dialogue on educational reform. Clearly, many of the goals of the education reform movement (i.e. principal as master teacher) are benefits enjoyed in our schools as a matter of course. Nevertheless, other issues (reliance on standardized testing) remain central to debates within our own schools. Diane Ravitch is one of the most established and grounded sources on the topic of where we’ve been, where we currently are, and where we should be going.

  • http://DrThomasHo.com Dr. Thomas Ho

    Matt Montagne
    Middle school educator
    Smart and innovative guy who clearly “gets” benefits of technology in independent schools

  • http://www.nathanmeffert.com Nathan Meffert

    Katie Hellerman
    Teacher life coach, educational blogger
    A former independent school teacher herself, Katie is passionate and deeply committed to helping teachers to master the basics of the job, so that they can step into their true callings as world-changing innovators in their field and life-changing mentors to their students. She is also very active in social media. Her blog is http://www.theteachinggameblog.com

    Full disclosure: I’m her husband, but I’ve worked as an educator and with educators for years and years, and she’s truly one of the absolute best.

  • http://www.nathanmeffert.com Nathan Meffert

    Brendan Schneider
    He came up with this idea and wrote this article. Enough said.

  • http://cybraryman.com Cybraryman

    The rest of the organizers of #edchat should definitely be on your list:


  • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for your input…a great suggestion! I think you should be on the list as well @cybraryman1

  • kelley

    @brianjdixon and @mentorshipbr
    Founder and executive director of the Mentorship Academy. New charter high school in downtown Baton Rouge, LA with a project-based learning focus. He gives lots of great advice!

  • Eric


    Tweet about using technology in the classroom.

  • http://twitter.com/CarneySandoe Carney, Sandoe

    @JudithELS @theteachinggame @MissCheska @teachingwthsoul

  • http://twitter.com/CarneySandoe Carney, Sandoe

    @JudithELS @theteachinggame @MissCheska @teachingwthsoul

  • http://twitter.com/JonathanEMartin Jonathan Martin

    Let’s see:
    @dmonaco, fine Head in Dallas
    @pdsheadmaster, another fine Head in Memphis
    @elemschhead, Claudia Dagget, head of ESHA
    @michaelebeling, fine head in NC

  • Hechternacht

    @hechternacht Kindergarten teacher, founder of #kinderchat n

  • @magichourcomm


  • @magichourcomm

    Here’s the additional detail you asked for:n@josieholford – Josie Holford, head of Poughkeepsie Day Schooln@TEDtalks – videos from TED conferencen@alumnifutures – Andy Shaindlin, consultant on ed institutions using social median@edudemic – Jeff Dunn, also consultant on social media to edn@nytimesbits – NYTimes blogs on techn@HighEdMarketing – Bob Johnson, higher ed marketing consultantn@UsefulArts – Dave Wieneke, digital marketer par excellencen@neiltyson – Neil degrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, NOVA host, etc. etc. Always interesting on sciencen@SEOmoz – great SEO tipsn@mashable – great social media reportingn@pgillin – Paul Gillin, social media marketing consultantn@pewresearch – Pew Research on what people are thinkingn@arvind – Arvind S. Grover, ed tech, social media, educatorn@bkolani – Basil Kolani, ed tech directorn@RosalindWiseman – author of Queen Bees and Wannabees, tweeting about girls, bullying, youth culture, etc.n@NAISnews – duhn@randfish – Rand Fishkin, CEO & Founder of SEOmoz, so more great stuff on SEO

  • Vvrotny

    I am going to mention myself, especially since I was not included in the first list of the 101 Independent School tweeters, even though I think I should have been. nnVinnie Vrotnyn@vvrotnynAdministrators/Tech FacilitatorsnWorking with great people doing good things

  • http://twitter.com/ElemSchHeads Claudia Daggett

    Heads of independent schools leading by using the medium regularly to contribute opinion and resources for the benefit of colleagues — some veterans in the “Twitter-verse,” some relatively new to the realm: nMaggie Granados, Montclair Cooperative School (NJ), @granadosmaggienMichael Ebeling, Summit School (NC), @michaelebelingnMark Carleton, Presbyterian School (TX), @mkcarletonnMary Menacho, Trinity School (CA), @mmenacho1nLee Burns, Presbyterian Day School (TN), @pdsheadmasternPalmer Bell, Riverside Presbyterian School (FL), @pmerbellnJosie Holford, Poughkeepsie Day School (NY), @josieholfordnJonathan Martin, St. Gregory’s College Prep (AZ), @jonathanemartinnChris Wheeler, Tower Hill School (DE), @chrisdwheeler

  • http://twitter.com/ElemSchHeads Claudia Daggett

    Heads of independent schools leading by using the medium regularly to contribute opinion and resources for the benefit of colleagues — some veterans in the “Twitter-verse,” some relatively new to the realm:nMaggie Granados, Montclair Cooperative School (NJ), @granadosmaggienMichael Ebeling, Summit School (NC), @michaelebelingnMark Carleton, Presbyterian School (TX), @mkcarletonnMary Menacho, Trinity School (CA), @mmenacho1nLee Burns, Presbyterian Day School (TN), @pdsheadmasternPalmer Bell, Riverside Presbyterian School (FL), @pmerbellnJosie Holford, Poughkeepsie Day School (NY), @josieholfordnJonathan Martin, St. Gregory’s College Prep (AZ), @jonathanemartinnChris Wheeler, Tower Hill School (DE), @chrisdwheeler

  • Angela

    @TABSorg – The Association of Boarding Schools

  • http://twitter.com/middleweb John Norton

    Bill IveynbiveynEducator – teacher & director of middle school at Stoneleigh-BurnhamnWhy: Good blog at the NAIS ning site and at his school site; regular twit; smart and wise, friend of all k12 educationnnSheryl Nussbaum-BeachnsnbeachnEducator – visionary co-leader of the Professional Learning Practice group, which leads cohorts of educators through the Shift to 21st century educating. PLP’s cohorts including both private and public schools.nWhy: Don’t know anybody with greater insight into both the why (pretty common) and how (pretty rare) of helping all students, including at-risk learners, make social media and 21st century “skills” a seamless part of what they know and can do.n

  • http://twitter.com/butwait Shelley Krause

    Brendan,nnThis is a cool idea! Here’s my “baker’s dozen” of suggested additions:nnMichael Ebelingn@MichaelEbelingnHead of Summit School in Winston-Salem NC; u201cIt’s about progress not perfection.u201dnnAngela Maiersn@AngelaMaiersnAuthor of The Passion-Driven ClassroomnnLaura Hollisn@laurahollis525nTechnology Integration at Fieldston (NY)nnMelanie Hutchinsonn@melhutchnCurriculum coordinator in the Lower School at a K-12 boys schoolnnWill Richardsonn@willrich45nFormer teacher and current u201cbig picture thinkeru201d on where we are going as learnersnnJerry Blumengartenn@cybraryman1nFantastic curator of resource pages relevant to all kinds of teachersnnTom Whitbyn@tomwhitbynProfessor of Education & #edchat foundernnShell Terrelln@shellterrellnPassionate educator, co-founder of #edchat & #rscon10nnChris Bigenhon@bigenhocnDirector of educational technology at Greenhill School (TX), Classrooms of the Future guru for NAISnnDemetri Orlandon@demetrinDirector of IT for Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA, as well as chair of the NAIS technology & curriculum task force.nnNAIS n@NAISnetworknThe National Association of Independent Schools on TwitternnSteve Hargadonn@stevehargadonnEducational Technologist, nnShelley Krausen@butwaitnK12 eduhacker. Helping people find their learning tribe. Curator of the College Lists Wiki. Trying to empower purposeful networks wherever I go.n

  • http://twitter.com/butwait Shelley Krause

    Also, these nominated folks in the EduBlogs 2010 “best Tweeter” category would probably be a good bet:nnhttp://edublogawards.com/2010awards/best-individual-tweeter-2010/

  • Maureen Scudder

    @baandek WWY

  • Pingback: We Want You(r Help In Deciding The 501 People To Follow On Twitter) | Inbound marketing, technology, branding, and social media for schools()

  • Dr. Joan McGettigan

    @drmcgettigan – yup- I mention myself! Director of Educational and Information Technology at North Broward Prep
    Also- follow these folks because they consistely communicate the best info and provide tremendous support to all.
    @ckoos1 Cathy Koos Head of Lower School Holiy Trinity Episcopal Academy
    @s_bearden Susan Beardan – IT Director Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
    @lplante LD Teacher & Director of Tech at @EHSourthport
    @lcarroll94 Acting Director of Lower School/Math Teacher at Hamden Hall Country Day
    @finddonnorth Hillbrook School
    @vvrotny Director of Technology
    @sarahhanawald Sarah Hanawald Dean of Teaching and Learning at St. Mary’s School
    @Learn21Tech Lisa PalmieriDir. of Tech & Inovation The Ellis School
    @JonathanEMartin Jonathan MartinConsultant
    @BoAdams1 Bo Adams Chief Learning & Innovation Officer @MVPSchool
    @cherylcostello Cheryl CostelloAcademic Tech Coordinator Chesire Academy
    @schneiderb:disqus Brendan SchneiderDirector of Admissions Sewickley Academy
    @MikeGwaltney Mike Gwaltney Teacher Supreme
    @pgow Peter Gow
    @butwait Shelley Krause
    @_JRamsden Jason RamsdenCTO at Ravenscroft
    @jsvoorhees Techie at Sidwell FRiends
    @wstites William Stites Director of Tech Montclair Kimberley Academy
    @ksivick Kim Sivick PAIS Director
    and last but not least, @EliseEcoff Headmaster at North Broward Prep
    (there are so many more I learn from every day)
    not in the independent world but learn from them all the time:
    @shareski Dean Shareski DEN Community manager for Canada
    @courosa Alec Couros Higher Ed.
    @gcouros Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning


  • http://www.schneiderb.com/ Brendan Schneider

    Hi Joan – Thank you so much for sharing this great list!