Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Twitterati Challenge

So first a thanks to Gregory Taylor (@mathtans) of Canada -- I'll get you for this, even as five other educators are preparing to get me -- for including me in his list of five “Twitter Stars”, following his own nomination by Chris Smith (@aap03102) in Scotland. I'm in NYC, so we've crossed the pond and come down across the border, eh?

I first heard about this Challenge in Greg's tweet.

A little more about Greg: We first met when he stumbled across my webcomic, and he let me know about a project of his own, Taylor's Polynomials, which was something new. Not quite a comic, not quite a story serial. I admit, I didn't always keep up to date with it, but I liked the song parodies. ("Making a Graph! Making a Graph!") And, as noted above, he has a regular blog as well.

Greg has a very detailed post about the beginnings of the #TwitteratiChallenge hashtag, so I don't need to, er, rehash it. But I will repeat his link to the Teacher Toolkit post, explaining all of this.

So keeping it fun and without getting too introspective about this, I'll move along and play by the rules, sort of, maybe ...

INTRO: In the spirit of social-media-educator friendships, this summer it is time to recognize your most supportive colleagues in a simple blogpost shout-out. Whatever your reason, these 5 educators should be your 5 go-to people in times of challenge and critique, or for verification and support.


There are only 3 rules.
1. You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life.
2. You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge.
3. You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost, the rules, and what to do information into your own blog post.


If you would like to participate with your own list, here’s how:
1. Within 7 days of being nominated by somebody else, you need to identify colleagues that you rely on, or go to for support and challenge.
2. You need to write your own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost. (If you do not have your own blog, try @StaffRm.)
3. As the educator nominated, that means that you reading this must either: a) record a video of themselves in continuous footage and announce their acceptance of the challenge, following by a pouring of your (chosen) drink over a glass of ice.
4. Then, the drink is to be lifted with a ‘cheers’ before the participant nominates their five other educators to participate in the challenge.
5. The educator that is now newly nominated has 7 days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost (use the hashtag) and identify who their top 5 go-to educators are.

I'll cheat a little on 3 & 4, because the beverage of choice would likely be hot, and it'd be a waste to pour it over ice. Even to make a concoction such as the much-talked-about "iced coffee" would require steps that would be too boring to watch. And not every beverage goes with ice anyway. But for the sake of the rules, I suppose that this is some part of that whole "ice challenge video" meme leftover from last summer. But I digress.


Coming up with five was a little difficult. First, I had to scratch a few off because they were nominated by Taylor (or along with him). Then I wanted to be a little fair to others: there are some people who will be in the lists of one of those whom I've nominated. Why make it harder for them? And then I realized I wouldn't have as much trouble as I thought getting up to five ... it'd be getting down to five.

In no particular order, if you believe that a math teacher couldn't find some "order" to justify any combination or permutation:

Stacey Roshan (@buddyxo): I think I've "known" Stacey longer than anyone in this post, with the exception of the aforementioned-soon-to-be-gotten Mr. Taylor. I use "known" in the Internet sense of "we don't actually know each other, but we've had long distance communication". Stacey contacted me about using one of my comics in a presentation, which is something we're all supposed to do -- ask permission, not use my comics, but, yeah, that, too. But it's when I started following her on Twitter that things got interesting. Stacey is a champion of the flipped classroom, a concept which intrigues me, but one that I probably couldn't have gotten past my Assistant Principal a couple years ago. There would be implementation issues for the population I was teaching, but I think it would be a great thing if they gave it a real chance. I know this because I follow what she's doing even if it doesn't apply to me right now.

Samantha S. Bates (@sjsbates): I first found Samantha when she started following me. I'm bad about returning "follows" -- I don't do it automatically, and I usually want to find out about the person first. At this point, I believe at least a dozen people I follow also follow Samantha. One of the funny things about my involvement with Twitter was that even though I knew I could use it for help with teaching, I didn't want my Twitter feed to ever become a string of teacher tweets. Well, that all changed. Samantha, pretty much, introduced me to the concept of Twitter teacher chats. (Again, I don't know whether I'm passing along praise or blame at this point. Your mileage may vary.) When she participated in these chats, I became so intrigued by her half of the conversation, that I started searching for the questions or the responses. She also inadvertently, or maybe "advertently", led me to the next person on the list ... (okay, so maybe order does matter at this point)

Doug Robertson (@TheWeirdTeacher): Doug is the Weird Teacher. You know this because it follows the "@" symbol. And because it's written on his profile pic. Which is taken from the cover of his book. Which is so popular amongst teachers that it has its own weekly Book Club chat, as well as, not one, but *TWO* -- I'm a math teacher, I love to count, ah, ah, ah -- #WeirdEd chats each week. They're actually the same chat, at 7 pm PST and 7 pm EST, the latter for the East Coast teachers who find 10pm to be past their bedtimes, but who have managed to eat dinner by 7pm. (I seem to have one conflict or the other, but I make it when I can.) It's always a lively, fun discussion, and his weird sense of humor shines through every other day of the week in whatever random post he's, um, posting. If you think my humor is weird, remember that he has it in writing. So, Doug, I list you among the Top Five. (You're Welcome).

Michael Pershan (@mpershan): Michael may have the distinction of being the one person on this list that I've met. We were both at the NYC Math Teacher tweetup back in December 2014, with a bunch of other wonderful math people (a phrase that English teachers call "redundant"). Michael is a Geometry teacher, like I am. However, he teachers 3rd and 4th graders, which I don't -- I have HS Geometry. And yet, when he posts, I recognize the same of the (teaching) problems and situations and solutions and relate to them. Excluding my witty comments, I think I've replied to more of his posts with than any other teacher's, outside of chats. (But if you do exclude my witty comments, you're excluding 90% of my comments, for varying values of "witty".) Sidenote: the tweet-up was fun -- we need to do that again some time. I could use a night out.

Rosy Burke (@rosy_burke): I'm going to tell you two secrets about my little cousin: First, she's 238 years old in dog years. That's not actually a secret: he tweeted that one of her students came up with that. Doesn't look a day over 237, if you ask me, right? Second, she's not my cousin. That just came up in a chat, and we went with it. No one questioned it. Rosy is another teacher of younger grades, but that doesn't mean that I can't apply her tweets to an older audience. And, hopefully, with teachers like Rosy in the younger grades, I'll have more ready, more capable students in the upper grades. (You know, if they move across the country and just happen to find my school, whichever one that is.)

So that's my list, and now that I'm done, I realize that it could've been a lot longer.

And here's some other stuff that I'm including because Greg did, and I'm stealing it without asking permission. Shame on me, but I know he doesn't mind. (And I've already linked to his post.) Now, for the purists, the backtrack blogs:
-To me, from Gregory Taylor@mathtans
Via @aap03102
Via @mathsjem,
via @aegilopoides
via @KDWScience,
via @Chocotzar,
via @heatherleatt,
via @MaryMyatt,
via @cherrylkd, From SOURCE (TeacherToolkit, above).

You can also find @Sue_Cowley’s May 11th compilation here, and I've seen @JillBerry102 often pop up in association with the hashtag.

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