Welcome to the Mathtwitterblogosphere

My session at the Twitter Math Camp conference was on designing a website for newbies who may have heard about the use of twitter and blogs for math teachers, and are intrigued enough to find out more. The website was supposed to have twin purposes:

  1. To convince those who are on the fence to try out twittering, reading blogs, or writing blogs.
  2. To make the entrance to our online community easier, with instructions and advice.

Lots and lots and lots of great ideas came up at the session… and then when I got home, I spent a day and a half creating a simple website, with the help of a lot of people, including @jacehan and @JamiDanielle, who worked on one of the most important pages of the site. Props to them!

Personally, I can see this site being used in a couple of different ways. If there’s a newbie who is interested, we can give ’em the site to help them get started. But also, if you are ever asked to give a talk about the math twitter blogosphere or how this community can be useful, this could be one of the resources for your talk!

Before you go off running to the site, I have one last important thing to say. There is a list of blogs and twitterers on the site, divided up by various categories. These are not comprehensive, nor were they meant to be! The point of the site is to make joining up easier, and providing lists of 30 blogs that deal with Algebra I or 45 twitterers who teach middle school math is totally overwhelming. So if you’re on the lists and wrongly categorized, just let me know in the comments to this post! And if you’re not on the lists and want to me, throw your info in the comments below (including what lists you think you belong in) and I’ll see about adding you. (But no promises.)

With that said, without further ado:

(drumroll please)

PS. I’m not looking for advice on how to expand the site, or ideas for changes to the site, right now. I’m feeling a little burnt out. So if there are broken links or misspellings or something that is totally unclear, throw those in the comments most definitely! But otherwise, I’m going to wait a while before changing things…

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46 comments

  1. Many thanks to all of you in the creation of this. I’ve been a reader of many of these blogs and follower on twitter for awhile, but have yet to take the plunge on writing my own. This awesome community has really helped renew my passion to improve my teaching. From the many of us who consume w/out necessarily contributing, thank you!!

      1. I’m definitely leaning towards it. I have 5 new classes this year, so for now I’m in “absorb as much material as I can mode.” If things go well, I hope to start writing about it in a few months

      2. Took a plunge and trying out the doggie paddle! This is a wonderful website. I am going to save it to my laptop when I wake up tomorrow! (not very adept with the iPhone yet!)

        Thanks for the site!

  2. It looks fantastic, Sam! You did a wonderful job! I am seriously considering doing a session at WVCTM and using this as a resource. Thank you for your hard work!

  3. This is a GREAT idea, Sam!! Perfect timing too; I just finished a week-long PD, encouraged participants to get on Twitter and subscribe to blogs, also gave them your amazing Virtual Filing Cabinet and Nathan Kraft’s. And now I can tell them about this! I’d love to be listed under Middle School (or Alg 1 or Geometry) — http://fawnnguyen.com. Thank you for all that you do to make us the best online teacher community!

  4. This is great and I hope it helps a lot of people to collaborate. I love reading Fawn Nguyen’s blog, so i think you should add her. I’d love to be included. My blog is learnandteachstatistics.wordpress.com. It is in the statistics category. My twitter name is @rogonic because I invented a math puzzle called rogo. You can see it on rogopuzzle.com. I’m working on a critique of Khan Academy statistics videos for my next post.

  5. Awesome!! This blog comes at a perfect time for me to deepen my resource pool and blogs I read. Started reading math blogs in June and jumped aboard to start my own last week (http://timeproject.edublogs.org/). Looking forward to participating in the mathtwitterblogosphere!
    @danbowdoin – new twitter participate, as well.

  6. Okay…I’m sold! This is my first “official comment”. I’m all set up to tweet for the first time, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you for encouraging the rest of us “late bloomers”!

    I have done as you said and set up Google Reader for all of my blogs. What a time saver!! Another tip for those who are new to this: I set up LiveBinder right away, too. Each time I run across an idea, I throw it right in there to come back to later when I need it. It’s like my own Virtual Filing Cabinet. I set up one for each class I’m teaching and one for general thoughts on teaching.

    Here is another link that resonated with me. She gives a great illustration/rationale for using Twitter:
    http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_ahead/2012/07/fear_keeps_potential_teacher_leaders_from_harnessing_social_media.html

    And one more. She is a busy mom like me so I appreciated her practical tips:
    http://carriebjackson.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/four-steps-to-twitter-engagement-part-3-of-twitter-101-for-educators/

    Again, I can’t thank you enough. I have typed and erased several tweets so maybe today will be the day!

    1. Welcome! I’m super excited you’re commenting now. And I’m excited to check out this LiveBinder thing. It might make my life so much easier. A lot of other teachers use Diigo. I’m afraid to use it bc I’m afraid I’ll save EVERYTHING and never find/use anything.

  7. Thank you so much, Sam! I’m planning on sharing this out with my department when we go back to school – it really organizes the info out there and does a great job of welcoming newbies. Also, if you could add me to the Algebra 1 list, that would be awesome! @Borschtwithanna, borschtwithanna.blogspot.com Thanks!

  8. made a point to show this to the other teachers in my department today during our first department meeting of the year – at least one more convert in the pipeline … at a time when most of us are scrambling to be ready for the impending school year, you’ve made two great efforts to help us newbies out with this website and the ‘New Blogger Initiation’ – thanks for giving up some serious chunks of your time

    1. Super cool! More than anything, it’s awesome that people are getting exposed to what’s out there. Thanks for sharing it with others! I think there are a lot of people that just don’t know. I don’t care if everyone joins in or anything – but as long as they know, they can decide if it makes sense for them (now…). (Or put off exploring stuff until later…)

  9. Recently started really getting into reading blogs and I have become addicted (Friday night of the first week of school and I can’t stop – are there meetings? Haha). Implementing sbg this year with my 8th graders and I am getting so many ideas about that and yet soooo much more. This is going to be my best year of teaching yet. Thanks for your work/insights/ideas. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make blogging my New Year’s resolution.

      1. Well after much thought (and realizing I generally never keep my New Year’s resolutions ha ha), I decided to start my own blog now! Why wait? Thanks for the inititiative, if only I would have found blogging a few weeks earlier and been able to officially take part (I think the prompts would have been helpful).

  10. Max Ray and Ashli directed me to your site. I have been blogging about my experience learning how to successfully use Twitter (http://elementsofmaytrix.blogspot.com). Like you, I realized that finding a way to “catalog” users would be extremely beneficial in determining who to follow. However, I would like to take it beyond what classes people teach because I have found that people may agree philosophically but are in extremely different classroom situations or vice versa. I believe that finding people that are compatible with you across a broader spectrum would make building your PLN more efficient.

    For example, a few weeks ago I recommended Air Sketch to a former colleague who does PD with teachers in an urban environment. Her response was that the “lucky ones have access to a computer” and that “three or four classrooms share a SmartBoard on wheels”. Therefore, following users working at 1-to-1 schools isn’t as beneficial to her because she can’t really apply what they are doing to her own situation. I am not saying that there is no value to following them; however, I think that initially exchanging ideas and resources with people in similar situations would help teachers to quickly see the benefits and keep from getting overwhelmed when they first start tweeting.

    Do you think that there would be interest in an app that would allow teachers to build profiles based on certain demographics and then “match” them with other tweeters to help them build their PLN (kind of like eHarmony on a professional level)?

    1. Hihi,

      I think there are people who have talked about doing something like this matching thingie… I have no expertise in things like this so I would be of no help. Also, I still am clinging to the old school way of finding people randomly and growing in a more organic way – but that’s just me. If you are passionate about it, make it! I’d try it out!

      Sam

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