Teachers have to be a whole lot of things to their students. Sometimes they have to be a counselor. Sometimes they have to be an advocate. Sometimes they even have to be a de-facto parent. A teacher fills any role that's needed, and I think our digital age has brought one to the forefront: PR person.
Showing what's happening in your classroom has become an expectation. Parents require it, and even most schools require it. So, how can we do it simply with coding projects? Thankfully, Tynker has an answer for that called the "Showcase," and it's a lot more useful than you might think.
The premise of the showcase is simple. The teacher sees the project, presses a button, and it's shared to a public page. This is a fully functional version of the project that a user can play and use, and if they want to see the code they simply pull it down as a remix. It is indeed a way for anyone to see the awesome things that kids are doing in class. It gives parents a bird's eye view, and it can even be an avenue for administrators to see the value of coding.
Sharing is easy. Your students can see all of the projects shared to the "Showcase," and parents can easily be added by merely sharing a link. Having that link also allows a school to add the projects to the home page, and for a teacher to add the projects to their learning management system.
The "Showcase" can be more though. To start, it can be a great avenue into peer review. All a student would have to do is open up another student project from the showcase, and then they could provide valuable feedback on how to make that students project better.
The "Showcase" could even be used more creatively. You could assign every student a chapter of a story, and they then have to create that aspect in video game format. Once every project is done, you should be able to play your way through the story.
I think where the "Showcase" really stands out all comes back to its central principle: making kids authentic creators. The showcase gives them the ability to find an audience. They can easily share where their project is, and get others to use it. Once they have users, you never where it could go. Just imagine a kid getting a job or scholarship based on the project that's easily accessible. While it seems unlikely, it could be possible with the Tynker showcase!
It’s time for the last 25 of the top 100 people to follow. Remember, before we get into these awesome folks that there are a couple of caveats that go with it. To start, this list is not comprehensive. There are still so many other educators on Twitter doing amazing things. This is the group that I love, and I think they are all worth the follow. I may have also left off a few obvious ones for various reasons. You can access the other 75 at bigguyinabowtie.com/the-blog
76. Will Richardson: I have only seen Will speak once, but his talk stuck with me. That’s hard to do. The most significant insight I remember is that robots won’t take over teaching because we have to be able to send kids somewhere. Will is all about how we change school, and his account is full of those insights.
77. Cathy Yenca: If you are a math teacher, Cathy is a must follow. Her creativity in the math class and use of technology amazes me every time I see her stuff, and I can’t help but think I might have liked math is I had Cathy as a teacher.
78. Lisa Johnson: I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Lisa many years ago at Tech Forum, and I have always enjoyed what she is doing in the EdTech space. She is all about creativity, and she has some fantastic tips on how to bring it into the classroom.
79. Brianna Hodges: I have never met Brianna in person, but I know her by her social media accounts and her association with one of my favorite districts (Eanes ISD in Texas.) Brianna is Eanes coordinator of Innovative Learning, so her account is full of reflections on personalized learning and other innovative practices
80. Amanda Haughs: Amanda is another person who just amazes me through her creativity. I met Amanda as part of the Raspberry PiCademy, and her work with elementary kids and Raspberry Pi makes her worth the follow. She also posts lots of ideas on how to implement design thinking, so if you want to bring design and creativity to your class, she is an excellent place to start.
81. Joe Marquez: Joe is a friend of mine who I have had the pleasure of getting to know through the Nearpod Pionears. Joe is an innovative educator from California, who now works for the Edu team at CDW where he gets to share his amazing insights about what school should be on a regular basis
82. Shannon Miller: If there was a lead media specialist in the country, I think it might be Shannon. Her account is full of what a library can be with projects of students, maker space insights, and a host of other things that make libraries future ready
83. Jaime Casap: Jaimes is Google’s education evangelist, and through that work, he gets to talk about what school can be. His talks usually head that way, and his account is full of those type of insights
84. Jennifer Casa Todd: Jennifer is a remarkable educator from Canada who has a load of expertise. Her account is full of a host of things including teaching the sustainable development goals, Google, and just general EdTech knowledge.
85. Laura Fleming: Can I call her the goddess of making? I am sure she would say no, but she is a huge part of the maker movement becoming a thing in schools. Her library was one of the first to do it, and she literally wrote the book on it. Her account is full of making insights, and it’s also always good to see what her kids are up to
86. Amy Vitala: Amy is one of my oldest friends in the EdTech space, and in many ways, her Instagram account is a more fun follow today. She is currently in the midst of traveling the country in a tiny house van, and she shares her travels through Instagram. On Twitter, she fills her account with EdTech insights and what her vast network of friends are up to.
87. Clara Galan: Clara is the education community manager with Adobe, and because Adobe is the leader in creativity, you know her account will be full of those insights. She is also a great contact to have just for her vast experience on the vendor side.
88. Dr. Amy Fast: When you read Amy’s account, the thing that becomes very obvious is how much she cares. She is an assistant principal in a high school who regularly post insight on how we can better care for and prepare kids.
89. Emily Carle Hafer: If you a vendor and you want to see how to run an ambassador program, this is the lady to copy. I have been part of so many ambassador programs, and I have never found one a leader that is more caring than Emily. Even though she runs the ambassador program at Squirrels, you always get the sense that she just wants you to be successful. She is also a master of small touches that make you feel welcomed
90. Josh Stumpenhorst: I got to know Josh a little bit better this summer after seeing him keynote a few conferences through Sphero Heros. Josh is a fantastic speaker, but he is also an incredible media specialist who specializes in making. His account is full of the incredible projects his kids are doing, and it is definitely worth a look
91. Jeffrey Humphries: Jeff is another Canadian and another Google expert, but he is also a great guy that is definitely worth the follow. I got to know Jeff through Google Innovator, and I follow him to see the great tips he posts on the Google Suite and Breakout Edu
92. Tom Vander Ark: Tom is the primary author and founder of the Getting Smart blog. It’s a great place to see some of the innovative practices that others are doing, and his Twitter account can be a great place to start.
93. Audrey O’Clair: When I think of Audrey, I can’t help but think of how sweet she is. There may not be a kinder person on the vendor side, and she is also just an excellent educator in her own right. Audrey now works for Soundtrap which is owned by Spotify, and she spends her days helping teachers bring audio creation to their classroom, promoting literacy, and working for accessibility.
94. Dave Burgess: Dave is an incredible educator/ speaker with his Teach Like a Pirate series, but he is also building a publishing empire. If you're looking for a book to read, his account is a great place to start as he promotes his author's books on a variety of topics. His authors include several people that are a part of this list.
95. Jeff Bradbury: Jeff is the podcast master. For years, he has been running the TeacherCast podcast network, and you can always get great information from it. His Twitter account is a definite follow to keep up with it
96. Sir Ken Robinson: If there is a no-brainer on this list, it’s this one. Sir Ken has been speaking about what needs to change in education for years, and his insight is always spot on and incredibly valuable.
97. Steven Anderson: The master of #edchat has been adding valuable insight into the education space for many years. His account is full of ideas on curation, modern learning, and using Social Media
98. Erin Klein: Erin is the elementary school teacher that I wish my own children had. Her creativity with younger students and the design of learning spaces is unparalleled. If you are looking for ideas for younger students, she is a great place to start
99. Jeff Utecht: Jeff is a fantastic speaker that I have had the pleasure of hearing several times. He has a vast interest in the education space, and his account reflects that with a host of tidbits from different areas.
100. Drew Minock: Drew is what I would consider one of the leaders in the VR and Augmented reality field. He was speaking on the topic before it was a thing, and he is a great place to start if you want to know what the future holds
It’s time for the third 25 of the top 100 people to follow. Remember, before we get into these awesome folks that there are a couple of caveats that go with it. To start, this list is not comprehensive. There are still so many other educators on Twitter doing amazing things. This is the group that I love, and I think they are all worth the follow. I may have also left off a few obvious ones for various reasons. You can access the first and second 25 at bigguyinabowtie.com/the-blog
51. Ken Shelton: Ken is always an enjoyable listen, and his account is full of his great insights. I have seen him do excellent work with video creation, search, digital equity, and more. You can’t not learn from Ken
52. Andy Plemmons: If you're a media specialist, Andy is a must follow. He is continuously doing creative things in his media center, and he shares all of them on his feed. If you, not a media specialist, he is still a great follow because he is such a leader in the school-based maker movement
53. Micah Shippee: I might like following Micah on Facebook more just so I can see all the ways Starbucks spells his name wrong, but he is also a great follow on Twitter. He is a real expert in the AR and VR field, and you can learn a whole lot from him
54. Ingvi Omarrson: Ingvi is just awesome to be around. I have had the pleasure of getting to know him through several ambassador programs, and he is always sharing his expertise in student creativity on his accounts
55. Mary Ellen West: Mary Ellen is someone I can truly call a friend. We knew each other before Google Innovator but became tight through the program. Mary Ellen is always doing creative things with the Google suite, and she fills her account with some of that vast knowledge
56. Kristen Brooks: Kristen is a great friend who used to run this excellent iPad lab in her school district. From that experience, she found all kinds of ways to create with iPad, and she now shares them both through her accounts and with the teachers she now coaches
57. Jess Boyce: Jess Boyce was an incredible teacher from Florida who now works for Flipgird. If you need a Microsoft expert, she is a great person to turn to. She is just a super fun person to know
58. Michelle Moore: Michelle is another buddy from Florida. She works at the district level in the Tampa area, and she posts both some of the awesome things her district is doing in STEM and other EdTech insights
59. Bryan Miller: I have known Bryan for several years now, and he is always a great follow to learn more about all of the educational toys that are out there. He works for Wonder Workshop, but he also runs a site called top tech toys that has great insight in the field
60. Mason Mason: When you meet Mason, you can’t help but notice the positive vibe that comes off him. He is just that kind of guy. While I knew him before he worked for Apple, that’s where he is now at, and his account is full of insights on what you can do with Apple EDU.
61. Tim the Traveling Teacher: While his Twitter account is not his most active social media account, it will connect you to his fantastic story mom his travels around the world. I had the pleasure of meeting Tim at the Nearpod Pioneer summit last year, and his story is just fascinating. He travels the world teaching and learning about education in many different cultures, and he can be an excellent connection for global education.
62. Megan Endicott: Megan is a great friend of mine, but she is also an excellent connection to learn more about using technology in music education. She does amazing things with her music class all while also leading a massive district in metro Atlanta’s tech team.
63. Casey Hall: Casey is also a fantastic music teacher who uses technology in his music class, and it’s crazy to think him and Megan are in the same district. Casey often does videos from his class, and you just can’t help but admire the innovative practices he uses. I watch those videos, and I wish he taught my children.
64. Cutia Blunt: Cutia is a fantastic tech director from a private school in the Atlanta area, and she has also become a prime speaker for Ed Tech Team. She has significant expertise when it comes to Goole Apps, and I am always amazed by the team she leads at the Galloway School.
65. Chris Tenbarge: Chris is a buddy of mine from Nashville who is just an awesome guy. He has expertise in so many areas, and his account reflects that through his curation of resources from many of his friends.
66. Nicholas Clayton: Nic is an awesome educator from California that i have been fortunate enough to hang out with at events like ISTE. He is an ambassador for a ton of companies, but he is currently specializing in AR and VR.
67. Michelle Armstrong: Michelle is another one you just get a great vibe off of. I was fortunate enough to do Google Innovator in Toronto, and Michelle was one of the main coaches there. She works for EdTech Team in Canada, and her account is a mix of those events, Google tips, and promoting the awesome stuff the teachers in Canada are doing.
68. Chris Webb: Chris is another remarkable Canadian educator that I had the pleasure of meeting as part of my Google Innovator cohort. Chris’s account is full of ideas and insights that he finds in his travels and interactions which can be incredibly helpful to almost any educator.
69. Sandra Chow: When I think of Sandra, the word kindness always comes to mind. She is just straight up one of the nicest people I have ever met. She is also one heck of an educator. I met her as part of the Google Innovator cohort when she was living in Canada, but now she lives in China. Her account is full of Google insights and other interesting little tidbits.
70. Fran Siracusa: Fran is one of the leaders in global education. She works with the UN to advance the cause of the Global Development Goals, and she is continuously involved with projects around the world. If you want to know how to give students a global perspective, she is a great place to start.
71. Sean Gallard: I want to be part of Sean’s school. Sean is just such a joyous leader that it permeates everything that he does. Seeing the stuff out of his school just makes you feel that school could be something different
72. Allyson Apsey: I have never had the privilege of meeting Allyson, but she is one of those people who I am connected to on all my social media platforms. She is also just a joyful leader. She is an elementary school principal, and her account is full of highlights from her school, thoughts on leadership, and ideas of what school can be
73. Jimmy Casas: Many people provide their own personal insights on education through Twitter, and to be honest, I roll my eyes at many of them. It’s not that they have bad insights. They are just many times pretty self-serving. Dr. Jimmy is very different. His insights are usually spot on, and they are always a joy to read. He is an excellent retweet!
74. Brian Aspinall: Another guy that I have never met, but I admire him from afar through all of my social media feeds. Brian is a great author who has written amazing books on both coding and Minecraft, and his account is full of tips and tricks to get them into a regular classroom.
75. Kyle Pace: Kyle is yet another Google expert, and his account is full of some excellent tips to get the most out of the Google suite in your classroom. He is also a tech director in the Midwest, so you get to see some of the fantastic things his teachers are doing.
It’s time for the second 25 of the top 100 people to follow. Remember, before we get into these awesome folks that there are a couple of caveats that go with it. To start, this list is not comprehensive. There are still so many other educators on Twitter doing amazing things. This is the group that I love, and I think they are all worth the follow. I may have also left off a few obvious ones for various reasons. Just go to bigguyinabowtie.com/the-blog to access the previous entry
26. Andrew Collins: Andrew is the education lead in the US for the Raspberry Pi foundation, and if you are into making, he is a must follow. In my mind, the Pi gives you such an incredibly wide range of possibilities that other boards just don’t, and Andrew’s account is filled with opportunities to learn and ideas for the Pi
27. Richard Culatta: Richard is the man charged with bringing ISTE into a new space. He previously led the Department of Education’s Ed Tech division and was just a clear, dynamic choice to lead ISTE. He has started to transition to a newer way of doing things, and it includes some exciting bets like the new events they did around coding and making this year.
28. Carl Hooker: Carl is both a great speaker and one of the most innovative district leaders you will find. Carl is the tech leader in Eanes ISD, and it is so creative that you will see several other folks from that district on this list. You can use Carl to learn those innovative practices, but you can also learn about ed tech as a whole through his pop culture references
29. Richard Byrne: Richard is one of the longest termed educational bloggers out there. Richard has run Free Tech for Teachers for several years, and it is filled with excellent tech tips. He also has great videos on YouTube, and all of it curated on his Twitter account.
30. Russ Schwartz: I love when principals push for innovation, and Russ definitely fits in that category. He is an Elementary School Principal in Broward County Florida, and his twitter account is just a great place to see what an elementary school can be.
31. Jornea Erwin: Every time I see Jornea she has a smile on her face. Jornea is a fantastic educator from the New Orleans area who know works for Flipgrid. She has excellent insight into how to add student voice into almost anything
32. Amanda Fox: I have known Amanda for several years now, and I have always been incredibly impressed with her creativity. She has done things with film festivals, STEM, and now she is doing incredible things with VR.
33. Steven Sato: I had the privilege of being Steven’s Google mentor, and he is also a mentor to me. When I have a VR question, I turn to Steven. He is a genius in the field who has even come up with some incredibly creative ways to bring it to more students. It also helps that he is just a great guy.
34. Mandy Froehlich: Mandy is just one of those people I run into all the time, and I have been fortunate to get to know her better every time I see her. She is a great advocate for teacher and student support, and she posts excellent insight with both
35. Daniel Rezac: Dan is my colleague at Tynker, but first and foremost he is an educator. He has loads of experience with computer science and making, and his account always has great tips to teach kids coding.
36. Cat Flippen: Cat is someone I have always looked up to. When I first started in the EdTech fired, she was the person in Georgia that I strived to be like. She is personable, a great speaker, and an expert in all things Google. As I grew in the field, I was lucky to get to know her.
37. Rushton Hurley: Rushton is a fascinating education researcher who has vast experience with both all things Google and video. He is a great follow to see his insight about both what school and teaching can be.
38. Steven Isaacs: Steven is someone I connected with through Twitter chats. He used to run a Twitter chat focused around education and developers, and he continues to do fantastic work around gaming in school with a particular focus in Minecraft.
39. Carla Jefferson: Carla and I end up in the same place a whole lot. We even ended up in the same Google Innovator cohort. Carla is a fantastic tech director from South Carolina. She is an expert in both Google and Apple, and she has great insight in speaking to the total child.
40. Kurt Klynen: When I think Apple EDU, Kurt is one of the first people that comes to mind. He does fantastic things with the Apple creativity suite, and he is an excellent resource in that space. He is also just a plain great resource in all EdTech.
41. Brad Gustafson: Brad is simply one of my favorite leadership follows. He is an acclaimed author and speaks on the positivity that school can be. He is also not afraid to post some of his favorite learning activities, so you can learn something new no matter if you are in leadership or not.
42. Chris Lehmann: I have always admired the work Chris does, and I just plain wanted to be part of his school. Chris runs the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia which is a completely Project Driven High School that regularly has students doing projects that change the world. His accounts are driven with first-hand accounts of those projects and thoughts on what school should be
43. Jesse Lubinsky: I think the best way to describe Jesse is tech guy with a mix of pop culture. He is one of EdTechTeam’s go to speakers, so you know he is excellent with Google, but you are also just as likely to see Star Wars references in his feed.
44. Tara Linney: When I think of Tara, I just think of joy. Every time I see Tara she is just filled with it. She is currently teaching abroad, and she can be a great place to find innovative practices for your classroom. It’s also just fun to see her travels!
45. Matt Miller: Matt is the Ditch that Homework/Textbook guy, but he is also so much more. Just this year he ran his own summit with some great speakers on innovative practice. His account is always full of great advice
46. Adam Phyall: Adam just has awesome energy about him. He is a tech director in one of the metro Atlanta districts, and his account is full of some of the awesome things his district is doing. He is also a great speaker who I heard way back when doing a session on video production.
47. Rachelle Dene Poth: Rachelle is another one of those people who we just often end up in the same place. Her account is full of little tidbits that she finds, and she is definitely one of my go tos when I have questions about AR and VR in Edu.
48. Janet Corder / Joan Gore: I put these two together because they have been a team for so long. I have had the pleasure of getting to know them through Nearpod and other events, and they are always one of my favorite sessions to attend because they play so well off each other.
49. Nicholas Provenzano: Nic is an expert in so many things, but he has definitely gone all in on the maker movement in the past few years. You can always find fantastic insight on bringing making into your school, and his account is especially full with some of the tremendous projects both him and his students are doing using things like Raspberry Pi and Make Makey.
50. Brett Salakas: Brett is a fantastic educator from Down Under that could give you a great start in building a global PLN. Brett is a leader in the Australian/New Zeland side of the world, and his account is full of the things his kids are doing to create and make