Both Richard Byrne and MagistraM have recently posted about their “must-read” blogs.

That got me thinking…

I do have several related specific lists, like:

The Best blogs for sharing resource links

The Best Places To Find Good Education Blogs

The “Best” Blog Carnivals

The Best ESL/EFL Blogs

The Best (& Most Thoughtful) Blogs On “Big Picture” Education Issues

The Best “Practical” Ed Tech Blogs

I’ve also listed the best blogs offering resources for International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” classes.

But I’ve never actually made a list of what I consider to be the very best ones — blogs that I immediately look at when I see a new post on my RSS Reader.

My criteria to be included in this list are:

* The blog consistently provides me with information or advice that I can use in my classroom, or

* The blog consistently provides intellectual stimulation that energizes me, or

* The blog consistently provides me with information that I can use in my efforts to make institutional school change, or

* The blog consistently makes me laugh.

* The final criteria is that the writer has to also post consistently.

Given that criteria, here are The Twenty Blogs I Read First (not in order of preference, just in alphabetical order):

EFL Classroom 2.0 — Teacher Talk by David Deubelbeiss is always insightful in his writing about working in the ESL/EFL classroom.

English Raven by Jason Renshaw offers great practical advice for teaching in the English Language Learner classroom.

Flowing Data is great for sharing the best infographics (visual representations of data or information) around.

Free Technology For Teachers should, of course, be on everybody’s list. Richard Byrne does a tremendous job finding and sharing resources.

Go 2 Web 20 (I’m talking about the blog, not the associated website) identifies real gems in the world of start-up Web 2.0 applications.

Google Maps Mania scours the Web for the most creative and useful “mashups” that use Google Maps effectively (and sometimes humorously).

Information Aesthetics is another great source of infographics.

Interesting Pile blog compiles the best, most useful, and often funniest “lists” that can be found on the Web. I probably send more “tweets” about items I find here than from any other source.

Langwitches is on many of my “The Best…” lists, and is a great source for links and practical advice.

Learning The Language by Mary Ann Zehr is THE place for keeping up on the latest policy and research issues related to English Language Learners in the U.S.

Public School Insights by Claus von Zastrow posts excellent reports on what’s happening in schools around the country, and provides essential critical reflection on what is being done, or should be done, in the name of “school reform.”

Sue Waters, who is probably the most popular person in the education blogosphere, writes two blogs and they’re both on my list — one is now called Sue Waters’ Blog and the other is The Edublogger.

Oddee is another source of fun and useful lists.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has fabulous image collections documenting important current events.

Reflections On Teaching is the blog written by Alice Mercer, my Sacramento colleague, technical wizard, critical thinking, and all-around wonderful person.

I’ve often written about how much I like The Tempered Radical, written by Bill Ferriter. He gets me thinking all the time!

This Week In Education by Alexander Russo helpfully finds informative school and school-reform related posts and articles so we don’t have to, plus he adds his own inimitable commentary.

Kevin Jarrett’s Welcome To NCS-Tech may be the “Dean” of all education resource bloggers, and continues to churn-out posts about helpful resources.

I’m liking The Answer Sheet, a new Washington Post blog about education written by Valerie Strauss, but it’s too new for me to officially place it on this list. But it’s worth checking-out.

It was not easy narrowing it down to twenty, and I obviously subscribe to, and read, a lot more. I haven’t included some just because they don’t write posts very regularly. I think these twenty, and all the others in my previous lists, deserve to be in people’s RSS Reader.

As always, feedback is welcome.

(Oops! After I posted this I realized I had forgotten to include TechCrunch on this list. It’s the “gold standard” for coverage of any new advances in the tech world. I guess I should change the title of this post to “The Twenty-One Blogs I Read First…”)