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Meet the movers and shakers: 50 online influencers in K-12 and higher education

It can be a dizzying task to keep up with the issues confronting education administrators, teachers, students and their parents. Hundreds of educators and policy makers flood the Internet with daily blogs, while many announce their views and findings on Twitter many times a day.

To keep you informed about elementary and secondary schools, e-learning, education reform and politics, Schools.com has rounded up a list of the Top 50 scholars, journalists and education pundits on the Web, organized by their field of expertise.

Want to know what the secretary of education is thinking? You can follow his tweets. Read up on the latest software or phone apps used by school districts and teachers in the classroom from technology leaders. Follow blogs written by passionate parents, school superintendents and national education columnists. You'll be enlightened, entertained and energized.

Education politics and policy

Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education Stanford University

Dr. Darling-Hammond is a professor of education and a nationally renowned expert on school leadership development, school redesign, educational equity and more.

Rick Hess, Straight Up

Rick Hess, of the American Enterprise Institute, authors a personal blog, focusing on policy, politics, research and reform.

Michelle Rhee, Rhee First

Former chancellor of the District of Columbia Schools Michelle Rhee is the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst and is an outspoken advocate of rigorous education reform. Topics are lively and serve a large audience.

Kristen Amundson, et al, The Quick and the Ed

A blog with multiple authors from the Washington, D.C. think tank, Education Sector. Topics frequent the domains of national politics and education policy.

Sean Cavanagh, State EdWatch

Journalist Sean Cavanagh covers state education policy and politics for Education Week. His blog lets readers examine education issues and answers across the 50 states.

Fawn Johnson, Education Experts Blog

Education correspondent to the National Journal, Johnson previously reported for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her topics include national education policy, legislation, financial aid and the NCLB aftermath. She also tweets at @fawnjohnson.

Deborah Meier & Diane Ravitch, Bridging Differences

Meier and Ravitch are at odds on policy, but they share a passion for improving schools. The blog has a huge following.

Eric A. Hanushek

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He publishes online economic analyses of educational issues and international educational policy.

Andrew Rotherman, Eduwonk

Rotherman, co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners, blogs on education policy and politics. He earns high praise from the education journalism community.

Robin Lake, Center on Reinventing Public Education

Robin Lake, executive director of the Center's National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP), specializes in charter school research and policy development for the Center on Reinventing Public Education.

Jim Horn, Schools Matter

Horn has blogged for ten years on the topics of education public policy and "the psychometric blitzkrieg of 'metastasizing testing' aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build."

Betheny Gross, Center on Reinventing Public Education

Dr. Gross is a senior research analyst at the University of Washington Bothell's Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE). Her policy studies focus on charter schools and teacher quality.

General interest

Mark H. Shapiro, The Irascible Professor

Dr. Shapiro maintains a popular blog offering "Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America today." The blog features original articles related to K-12 or higher education from noted educators and administrators. Topics range from the use of technology to free speech.

Alexander Russo, Alexander Russo's This Week in Education

Former Senate education staffer Russo is not interested in "ideological purity". His witty blog covers education topics from teachers' unions to technology, from Ryan Gosling to Diane Ravitch.

John Merrow, The Huffington Post

Merrow is Education Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and President of Learning Matters. He blogs on wide-ranging topics, including school economics, technology, vouchers, and charter schools.

Tuck Soon, Education Soon

Nominee and finalist in 2010 and 2011 EduBlog Awards, Soon investigates education around the globe, parental roles, technology, classroom models and social media.

Ken DeRosa, D-Ed Reckoning

Patent attorney DeRosa contends, "We don't know what a good K-12 education system is because we've never seen one operating." Topics focus on spending in education.

Jay Matthews, Class Struggle

Author of seven books, Matthews is an education columnist and blogger for the Washington Post. His personable blog topics include charter schools, reform, college admissions and cafeteria food.

Joanne Jacobs, Linking and thinking on education

A media fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, Jacobs worked as a journalist before becoming a freelance writer and avid blogger. Topics include eLearning, performance reviews, national policy, and technology.

Jay P. Greene

Jay P. Greene is the endowed professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas. His topics include debunking common myths about education and learning.

Sherman Dorn

Educator, historian and author Dorn writes about policy, drop outs and accountability.

Mike Klonsky, SmallTalk

Klonsky blogs about public education, school reform, and ed-politics in general.

Teaching, administration and reform

Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Davis, a full-time teacher and mother of three, has built a popular blog that has consistently earned Best Teacher Blog Edublog and Education Innovators Awards. Her posts include teaching tools, lesson plans, apps and commentaries on reform.

Patrick Riccards, Eduflack

As a leading education communications strategist and Capitol Hill strategist, Riccards blogs about the need for effective school communications programs and how to create them.

Barnett Berry, Advancing the Teaching Profession

Berry is the founder and president of the Center for Teaching Quality, social scientist at the RAND Corporation, and senior executive with the South Carolina Department of Education. The focus is on improving teacher effectiveness.

Paul E. Peterson, Saving Schools

Dr. Peterson is director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and editor-in-Chief of education Next. He blogs about education reform and teaching excellence.

Chris Lehmann, Practical Theory

Lehman, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, blogs from the perspective "inside the classroom," commenting on teaching, school violence and parental roles in education.

Kathleen Lynch, Class Notes

Lynch has devoted 30 years to education as a teacher, principal, superintendent and consultant. Her blog focuses on "dilemmas of school administrators" on issues of civil rights and financial and political realities.

Caralee Adams, College Bound

Adams, a journalist and political scientist, blogs on the challenges of students seeking to enter college and those already enrolled.

Whitney Tilson, Whitney Tilson's School Reform Blog

Tilson's passion is school reform, and her blog provides insight, links and email updates.

Michael Smith,Michael Smith's Principal Page

Smith is a superintendent in Tuscola, Illinois. His blog's aim is to ease the burdens of school administrators.

Race and gender

Christopher Emdin

Dr. Emdin is a professor at Columbia University Teachers College and director of Secondary School Initiatives at the Urban Science Education Center in New York. His blog at the Huffington Post focuses on race, economics, bullying and urban parenting.

Maureen Costello

Costello, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project, blogs at Huffington Post on issues of human rights, diversity, bullying and racial equality in America's schools.

Technology and eLearning

Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart

Vander Ark is CEO of Open Education Solutions and a partner in Learn Capital. Blog topics include digital classrooms, education reform, and personal learning.

Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning

Learning expert Sheppard's Fastrak Consulting received Britain's National Training Award. His blog talks to software/hardware and methodology.

Stephanie Standifer, Change Agency

Sandifer is a technology coach, author and consultant. She specializes in instructional strategy, technology integration and effective data analysis.

James Farmer, Edublogs

James Farmer is the Founder and CEO of Edublogs, a blogging service for students, teachers and districts.

Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology

Dr. Karrer is CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, and has twenty years' experience as a CTO for Fortune 500 companies. He leads or participates in e-learning conferences around the globe.

David Warwick, 2¢ Worth

Former classroom teacher Warwick now works as an educational consultant. Topics include world-wide learning and technology, ever hoping for a paperless system.

George Siemens, elearnspace

Siemens, with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, blogs on topics in learning, networks, technology, and community. He tweets at @gsiemens.

Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers

In 2009 Byrne was nominated for an Edublogs "Lifetime Achievement" Award. A full-time high school teacher, he offers resources for classroom use.

Mark Brumley, Educational Technology

Brumley is a lifelong educator and educational technology leader authoring a blog that reviews as well as serves up tools useful for educators.

On Twitter

Arne Duncan (@arneduncan)

Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education, tweets on the state of the nation's education system, sparking lively exchanges around the country.

Justin Hamilton (@EDPressSec)

Hamilton, Department of Education Press Secretary, tweets to 16,524 followers from the media, learning experts, IT companies and more.

Matthew K. Tabor (@matthewktabor)

Tongue-in-cheek blogger/tweeter/author of Education for the Aughts, Tabor takes credit for "reforming public education one bad idea at a time."

Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom)

Popular Web 2.0-classroom blogger Anderson has a Master of Arts In education, instructional technology from East Carolina University. An Edublogs Twitterer of The Year, Anderson has 38,839 followers.

Julie Lindsay (@julielindsay)

Lindsay blogs and tweets from the perspective of a leader in technology and curriculum. She is e-learning coordinator at Beijing BISS International School, China.

Brian Kotts (@briankotts)

A teacher at Linnaeus University. Kotts tweets on education and information/communications technology.

Howard Rheingold (@hrheingold)

With 27,025 followers, tweeter Rheingold is the self-described "independent thinker, online instigator, novice educator, expert learner, offline gardener." He teaches a Stanford course on Virtual Community/Social Media.

Alfie Kohn, (@alfiekohn)

Kohn, author and lecturer on topics in education, parenting, and human behavior, tweets regularly to his 15,641 followers.