What follows are T&L Advisor David Kapuler’s picks for the best social networks for educators.
1 Twitter: Far and away one of the most popular social networks around. This micro-tweeting platform is used worldwide and especially in education (search hashtags: #edchat or #edtech). Plus, with the soon-to-come parental controls, Twitter becomes a more viable option for educators.
2 Classroom 2.0: Created by Steve Hargadon and used by thousands of educators on a daily basis.
3 Facebook: ‘nuff said!
4 Google+: The highly publicized social network by Google. While it is still in its early release, there are a lot of features that make this an attractive option for education such as: hangouts (the impressive group video chat) and circles (the way to control posts with privacy settings).
5 Plurk: A social network similar to Twitter (micro-blogging) with a timeline view and fun “karma” rewards system for being an active user.
6 Educator’s PLN: Built by Thomas Whitby, this social network features some of the top tech innovators.
7 Sophia: A new (beta) social network for education. Lots of great features can be found here, such as free lesson plans, private groups (for student study groups or educator sharing), and online tutoring.
8 LearnCentral: Sponsored by elluminate, LearnCentral is an ideal place for educators to host/learn in real time through virtual conferences.
9 ISTE Community: A great place for educators to come together and collaborate on technology issues.
10 WhoTeaches: A new (beta) network designed to bring students, parents, and educators together. WhoTeaches offers the ability to collaborate, share documents and create groups. Also, this site offers high-level education for online learners looking for tutors or to study.
11 Edutopia: A very popular resource created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
12 Technology Integration in Education: Created by Greg Limperis, this social network is similar to Classroom 2.0.
13 The 21st Century Teacher: A new social network designed to help teachers facilitate using technology in the classroom.
14 Better Lesson: Thousands of resources can be found here as well as opportunities to collaborate with other educators.
15 Diipo: A wonderful new (beta) social network that is similar to Moodle and Gaggle.
16 Intel Education Teachers Engage Community: A nice online community designed to facilitate online collaboration and increase teachers’ technology literacy.
17 Everloop: An excellent social network designed to teach students how to network appropriately.
18 Edudemic: An online community, magazine, and social network with lots of information on technology, education, and integration.
19 K12 Advantage: An online environment with lots of resources, such as forums and chats.
20 IT4ALL: A nice site for educators to share ideas on best practices for technology integration.
David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment.