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Twitter and Canadian Education – The danger, and benefits, to developing Top 10 lists

30 March 2012
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Author: Max Cooke
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I’m delighted to launch Canada’s Top EduTweeters Version 2.0

Shortly after posting my Education Canada article, Twitter and Canadian Educators, the Edutweeps zeroed in on my original list of influential EduTweeters – ten educators who could serve as a starting reference point for educators dipping their toes into the Twitterverse. My criteria for inclusion was no more scientific than giving a ‘shout out’ to some of the best Canadian education social media thinkers that I had been exposed to, and who had a significant number of followers. I thought I had ‘covered my assets’ by including the word “Some” before “influential EduTweeters” as a title for this list, because I knew that I couldn’t have possibly discovered everyone that should have been mentioned. I even included an expanded list of 30 names and asked readers to let me know who was missing from this list.

I inadvertently excluded many passionate educators. And that’s the danger of making lists – lists by nature exclude, and readers weren’t shy to question my significant oversights.

Clearly, I underestimated how fixated we are on lists and rankings. I understood why – in his blog response to my article – Doug Pete (@DougPete) wrote that he “had to smile when I read the line at the bottom of the table asking if there are other Canadian educators that should be on the list”. I inadvertently excluded many passionate educators. And that’s the danger of making lists – lists by nature exclude, and readers weren’t shy to question my significant oversights: Why was there only one Francophone EduTweeter on the expanded list? Where were the female voices? Why did white males dominate the list?

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Image by: petersimon http://www.flickr.com/photos/petesimon/3365095019/

This polite pan-Canadian backlash led to our new Top 50 list of EduTweeters who merit your attention. Jacques Cool (@zecool) took it upon himself to develop a list of Canada’s top Francophone EduTweeters and blogged about the buzz that Twitter is creating among educators in Quebec and la Francophonie in French and English. West Vancouver School District Superintendent Chris Kennedy (@ChrKennedy) followed up with a list of B.C.’s prominent EduTweeters.

I’m sure that there must be more top EduTweeters in Alberta, the Prairies, and the Maritimes, and dare I ask for you to recommend to us some that we’ve overlooked? 

So based on all of this constructive feedback, our Top-50 list includes 21 Ontario-based EduTweeters, 12 from B.C., 17 women, and eight francophones. I suspect this list will continue to evolve as the number of educators joining the Twitterverse continues to grow. I’m sure that there must be more top EduTweeters in Alberta, the Prairies, and the Maritimes, and dare I ask for you to recommend to us some that we’ve overlooked? We could easily expand this list to the Top 100 and probably will with your help in order to further heighten awareness of some of this country’s most dynamic and innovative thinkers in education. So despite the danger of developing lists, good things can happen when you don’t proceed with caution.

@max_cooke