Today I did my first ‘real’ presentation of sorts to a professional math meeting, NWMI. I was asked to talk about twitter and blogging and how I use it to stay connected professionally. The following is an abreviated version of my talk along with promised links for those looking to get into the edutwitterblogosphere. Gesundheit.
I chose prezi as a presentation format. You can find my prezi here. I tried to keep the text minimal and just use the presentation to make points and show a few graphics, so I’m not sure how easy the prezi will be to follow without having seen the actual talk.
I stumbled onto blogs in a move of desperation my 3rd year of teaching. I’ve talked about this before, though, so I’m not going to belabor the whole story here. Suffice to stay, I found online professional development that wasn’t about clock hours that I could partake of on my terms. A few summers later I got to go to PCMI and Sam Shah got me into the world of twitter and blogging myself, instead of just lurking. I hadn’t really looking into twitter outside as something I would see occasionally on blogs or mentioned in the news media in a joking context. Sam also gave a presentation on twitter and blogging at PCMI that you should really go read/watch.
Twitter has been an amazing experience me both professionally and on a more personal level. I have people I consider friends (as in, I would let them sleep in my guest room if they needed a place to stay) all around the country and several outside of the country due to twitter. I find this very cool.
During the presentation I showed a variety of links of places to start for new twitter/blog math people.
First off, if you want to really leverage twitter, you will need to go and make an account. Once you have a twitter account, check out this great list of tweeps compiled by @Fouss. You can follow as many people as you like and you can make lists if you only want to read certain things at certain times.
I also recommend checking out the hashtag feature. Hashtags are a way to tag your tweets for a specific channel of conversation. For example, #mathchat is something you can search for and see just tweets about math education. #anyqs is another great channel of people sharing videos/pictures of mathematics in the world. Check out Dan Meyer’s post for a great explanation of this channel.
For blogs, I use WordPress, but there are other sites out there. If you want to find blogs to follow, you can start with the blogroll I have at the right of my page. From there, follow their blogrolls, and so on and so on. There’s really all I did in the beginning and it’s lead to a pretty filled reader that I turn to for inspiration weekly. I’m not as good about blogging as I want to be, but I’ve always felt when I do get a post out there it’s really helped me think about the issues and then any comments I get are just icing on the reflective process I’ve already taken part of.
One other thing I shared out was the Virtual Filing Cabinets people have created. Sam Shah has one of the larger ones I’ve come across. Bowman in Arabia even shares out some sweet Geogebra resources in his. If you just want a place to start reading some quality posts, go check out Riley Lark’s Conference on Core Values from this past summer. The topic was about what is at the center of ones classroom and posts came in from all over.
And if you’re wondering how to join in the conversation, don’t feel like you have to do something like write some amazing blogpost and submit it to a virtual conferences. Just get out there and post on peoples’ blogs. Give feedback. Ask questions. Be respectful. In short, come enjoy being a professional with people who are as dedicated to this profession as you get. It’ll change how you teach in the best ways because there’s nothing like knowing your tweeps have your back, good days, bad days, and all the grey in between.