Thursday, March 1, 2018

How Twitter Became My PLN

Greetings students of Math 371!

I'm very excited to once again add to this blog.  Dr. Vestal asked me two years ago to post as a guest blogger.  I skimmed through my previous post and am happy that it's still relevant.  The revolution is as strong as ever.

I want to talk briefly about how Twitter has helped me become a better teacher. 

I first joined Twitter back in September of 2011.  It wasn't until the spring of 2014 that I started being active on Twitter and using it professionally.  Over the past four years, my use of Twitter has evolved into what I now consider my Personal Learning Network (PLN).  

I first started following some of the all-stars of mathematics education -- Dan Meyer, Andrew Stadel, and Dr. Vestal to name a few.  Over time, I've followed more and more people who I've either met, read about, or heard of via re-tweets and likes.

Each day, I spend between 5-10 minutes skimming through my Twitter feed, fishing for new ideas and resources.  Tonight's catch was okay, with a couple of potential keepers:

If there is a resource or idea that I like, I will simply send myself a direct message of the tweet.  If it is something really great, I'll implement the resource or idea as possible into my classroom.

Also, I will often times search #MTBoS and #iteachmath to see what I can find.  MTBoS stands for Math-Twitter-Blog-o-Sphere, and it is a collection of math teachers who love to share, collaborate through Twitter, and meet in the summer at Twitter Math Camp (TMC).  I have never been to TMC, but I hope to go someday.  Only about 85 people can attend each year; there is a lottery and waiting list for those who don't get chosen to attend.

In addition to providing ideas and resources, Twitter can also provide answers to questions you might have.  For example, just tonight this gentleman had a question he posed to #MTBoS:

Within four hours, there were more than ten replies and a pedagogical conversation taking place about this particular topic.  These conversations can be extremely beneficial to teachers who are in small districts and have no other math teachers in their building to bounce ideas off of.

Over the past four years, I have borrowed dozens of ideas and resources from people on Twitter.  I'm always looking for ways to improve my teaching and being active on Twitter has helped me grow as a educator.  

If you're not on Twitter, I challenge you to sign up today and begin to grow your own network.  I'd recommend these people as a great place to start:
  • Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer)
  • Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)
  • Jon Orr (@MrOrr_geek)
  • Fawn Nguyen (@fawnpnguyen)
  • Michael Fenton (@mjfenton)
  • Kyle Pearce (@MathletePearce)
  • I Teach Math (@iteachmathAll)
  • Classroom Chef (@classroomchef)
  • Open Middle (@openmiddle)
  • Mark Kreie ;-)  (@kreiem)
There are many, many more very good people to follow out there.
Best of luck on your journey.  I'll be seeing some of you around my classroom!

Mark Kreie
Brookings High School Math Teacher

No comments:

Post a Comment