Friday, October 18, 2013

Twitter me this: how do you get anything done?

Applying a little math pedagogy ...

I notice ...

  • Streams of tweets flow daily, no hourly!
  • Some folks in MTBoS tweet a LOT!
  • Tweets range from cute/funny comments to serious professional development.
  • Tweets remind me of phone conversations (you know - when we used to call folks to talk about our work!)
  • I get excited when someone responds, favorites or retweets my tweets!
  • I often want to check my Tweet Deck during the school day!  Yikes!
  • I am easily overwhelmed with so much data especially on the #chat night!
  • I find it difficult to make my thoughts fit in 140 characters!
I wonder ... 
  • How folks have so much time for tweeting?
  • How teachers have time for family, hobbies, LIFE, while tweeting, blogging math all of the time?
I can feel it ... tweeting is addictive!  I want to participate more but am holding back.  I'm holding back partly because I am new ... prefer to lurk before jumping in.  Need to test the waters.  I'm holding back because I love to write, love to communicate online, and I don't need to spend anymore time at those activities.  

Yes, I want to be the best math teacher I can be!!  

I want to read everything written about teaching math and absorb it all and redo all my lesson plans!

I also want to put the technology away, read a good book, take a walk, enjoy the sights and sounds ... without wondering how I could apply it to a math lesson!

If you’re new to Twitter, what is something that has surprised you about it?  How compelling, how in the moment, how perfect it is for teachers who share passion for teaching, for math, to communicate - in real time, just in time ... 

Guess I'll keep at it a while longer ...


  1. You'll find your your way in the twitter world. Not only will you find your tweeting style, but you will also find a collection of people that you are comfortable interacting with.

    But, I completely agree. It seems like some people are Twitter celebrities, tons of followers, each tweet retweeted and favorited dozens and dozens of times, and then there's folks like you and me who mostly read and retweet some stuff each day. Good news is that Twitter works for us, too!

    1. Yes, I can see the huge advantage. At the same time I'm looking for some balance in my life. More and more I'm tied to a device!

  2. I'm right there with you! I'm trying to make sense of the whole Twitter platform and where to jump in! I'm also hesitating but wanting to do more. I am adding you to my followers list because I LOVE your blog with all of your great ideas. Thanks for sharing! @valarion

    1. Thank you, Valerie! Blogging I love ... Tweeting, well ... maybe a little!

  3. Hey Beth! I also feel a bit overwhelmed with Twitter and I am trying to figure out how it fits in my life. At times I feel like a voyeur. Plus searching through other's tweets to find something relevant to me can be a time sucker. On the other hand others have found it valuable as a professional development tool. It's a conundrum.

    1. It is a conundrum ... good word. I'm not against it ... and I certainly see it's value. But at the same time, I find myself trying to read it all - and that's impossible!

  4. Feel the same way: reading conversations btwn others feels somehow wrong, and can make me feel like an outsider. HOWEVER the number of things I have learned from these same people make it worth while. I have stopped trying to read the feed every day. NOT gonna happen: not with everything else that has to get accomplished everyday. All will be well. If someone posted something THAT good, it will get retweeted somewhere :)

    1. After a month, I find myself checking the twitter feed once or twice a day. You are correct ... if it's a really good idea somehow it pops up! And I'm sure I miss something now and then ... that's just gonna happen!

  5. Thanks for this post. I agree with you. I'm in my first year teaching and started finding math teachers and folks using technology well on twitter about 10 months ago. I've been very skeptical about the use of technology and about the time it takes up. That said I'm finding it really valuable and am addicted to the connected feeling and the general push to do things better (or as I saw in another blog "suck a little bit less.") I also like writing and it's a pleasure to have things to write about!

    I try to use twitter/blogs as I may have tv in the past. To unwind at the end of the night or while being groggy-eyed and having coffee/breakfast on the weekend. I check twitter/email regularly on my iPod when I have wireless, including at the school. I don't have a cell phone so there isn't as much traffic/distraction but I also don't have a watch and use my iPod openly in my class, hoping to model some kind of reasonable use that will allow me to let my students use Desmos on their phones, google things, and use the translator programs that they use to navigate the real world during class. There have been drawbacks and I've taken kids phones for texting while they should be working, but I since absolutely all of my students have smartphones it seems ridiculous to pretend they don't or to not try to be involved in helping them to use them effectively and responsibly. I'm also often surprised by what they don't know about their technology - they struggled with a "create a page in a wiki" assignment for example even though it summed up to take a screenshot, copy and paste, type a sentence, save and create a link.

    1. My students all have laptops, phones ... and I try to model responsible use. I am not opposed to them listening to music when we are working independently, using their phone to capture notes from the board, etc. I am peeved when I see them texting during the lesson ... and they know that I am upset by that - I don't see it often.

      I'm beginning to get a routine of checking Twitter - mostly as you mentioned in the downtime of the evening but occasionally in class depending on what our work is.

      I did finally turn the Twitter notification off on my phone. It was eating up my battery and notifying all of the time! Since then I feel more calm about it all. For those that love it ... so be it. For me, I can take it or leave it.