Twitter friends are like movie stars

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Have you ever had the chance to meet your favorite celebrity? To shake his or her hand and even have a casual chat over lunch? I have. . . well, sort of.

I recently attended the ASCD Annual Conference in Chicago. This was a tremendous weekend, filled with fun and learning opportunities. As an ASCD author and presenter, I spent time with luminaries at the education publishing and professional development giant, including the publisher, editors, department heads, publicists and other authors. These people are solid professionals and smart educators. I presented on results-only learning, signed copies of my book, Role Reversal, and I even participated in a videotaped interview for the ASCD website. All of these were thrilling experiences.

The most amazing part of the weekend, though, was meeting people I interact with often on Twitter, people I hadn’t met in person until the conference. I have communicated on Twitter and via email with some of my favorite authors and thought leaders — people like Daniel Pink, Alfie Kohn and Donalyn Miller. Meeting any of these remarkable people would be thrilling, for sure, but I felt no less awed, when I met some key educators I follow on Twitter.

At the ASCD author press luncheon, which I was honored to be part of as a new book writer, I sat down with @TomWhitby, Steven Anderson (@web20classroom), Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher), @KristenSwanson and @PaulaWhite, among others. These people may not be as recognizable as Pink or Kohn, but they are clebrities in education to me, and meeting them in person was sort of like talking to movie stars.

They may not be seen walking the red carpet at the Oscars — though some might mistake Swanson for Kate Beckinsale and Stumpenhorst for Brad Pitt — but these intelligent teachers, bloggers and speakers are true celebrities in their field.

So, when you get the chance to meet the fantastic educators you follow on Twitter, enjoy the experience, and be careful not to be starstruck.

Cross-posted at ASCDEDge

Don’t miss Mark’s book ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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