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Global leadership is on the rise.  In the education world these global leaders are making their mark every day through various social media resources. They are providing their colleagues with valuable resources, connections and interactions. But how do we define a global leader and who are they?

My definition of a global educational leader involves several criteria:
1. It’s a person. In an era of automation and technical advances it’s easy to automate or create an autobot educator or service. Leadership involves people and a global educational leader needs to be a living and breathing human being who can think, create, problem solve, interact, motivate and make the difficult decision.
2.  The person is an educator. To me this means the person has to be or was actively engaged in the educational field. Although this is broad in scope I can’t see a leader leading others if the leader was never in the field.
3.  The person has a large scale and positive affect on educators around the world through their social media activity. Leaders have different styles and approaches but I find that the ones I’m most impressed with are positive and can influence large groups of people.
4. The person does not need to actually have a leadership title in his/her current or previous educational capacity, rather their actions, interactions and the resources they provide are adding to the larger leadership picture. The content they are producing, forwarding and / or referencing has high value and they are seen by others as leaders in the educational world.

With the above definition I have identified 5 global educational leaders in social media. There are many others and I encourage you to identify the ones that motivate you. Here are 5 that impress me as global educational leaders:

Jerry Blumengarten – @cybraryman1 – http://cybraryman.com
Let’s face it, Jerry is the man on Twitter. He has the most robust resource website on every imaginable topic and everyone of those pages is excellent. His presence in a Twitter chat always adds to the conversation and he’s willing to help every educator. He clearly gives more than he takes in this social media world and it’s appreciated by tens of thousands.
Jeff Bradbury – @teachercast – www.teachercast.org
Jeff has built a powerhouse website for educators that provides free resources, podcasts, app reviews and blog posts. This site is ever growing and you can literally find something new every day. Besides the website Jeff is active on Twitter, presents at lots of conferences and is dedicated to providing outstanding resources for all educators.
Lisa Dabbs – @teachingwthsoul – http://teachingwithsoul.com/
Lisa has a passion for education and providing the support necessary to make teachers better. She has been a teacher and a principal. She founded the Twitter chat known as New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) which has provided support for new educational professionals for over 2 years. Her website has fantastic resources and she is active on Twitter by providing timely and interesting information.
Salome Thomas-EL – @principal_EL –  http://www.PrincipalEL.com
If you want pure inspiration and dedication from an educational leader who is committed to the success of students and staff then follow Principal EL. He engages in a number of Twitter chats and always interacts with his follows. Celebrities and news organizations have interviewed Principal EL about his efforts and referenced his work in magazine articles yet he is a humble and dedicated educator. I have not had the opportunity to hear him speak in person but my colleagues say it’s an amazing experience.
Eric Sheringer – @nmhs_principal – ·http://ericsheninger.com
You can’t be wrong when you identify a global educational leader who was also named the 2012 NASSP National Digital Principal of the Year. His effort in advancing learning through technology is validated by not only the award he received, but also everything he does as a building principal and how he interacts with colleagues through social media. Eric is continually providing valuable resources, articles and connections. Ever present on Twitter with great suggestions, he also practices what he preaches in his school and hosts a great conference at his school called Edscape.

Who are the global educational leaders that impress you? Feel free to respond to the blog and provide suggestions so others can grow their professional learning network.