Why would a teacher want to use Twitter?
Because just a few minutes spent on Twitter can be very productive. Take this tweet from Craig Barton on an excellent resource – perfect for my Year 11 students revising for their GCSE module in the summer.
Being very selective in who you follow allows you to connect with teachers and other educators beyond your own institution.
Look at the resources I discovered through my early investigations of Twitter – a couple of great links from Maryna Badenhorst:
Maths posters to download and Brainbusters.
I was also interested to see from Teaching News that teachers on Twitter have shared teaching tips and ideas; see the #movemenon book, from Doug Belshaw (the pdf is free to download).
Some further examples: Mathscareers Website, Wolfram Fun Facts and Mathslinks.
For a quick way to find Mathematics related tweets do a search on any of these hashtags: #math #maths #mathchat.
You could even join a planned discussion – see the Mathchat wiki for details.
For learning to use Twitter see Russell Stannard’s training videos and some Twitter bookmarks.
So why do I use Twitter (and Diigo and belong to various teaching communities and..)?
For the reasons so well explained by Sacha Chua in her ‘Teacher’s Guide to Web 2.0 at School’.
Looking at the top posts and pages statistics I see that ‘Search‘ is popular.
How to find things again?
My own solution - Evernote because its search facility is awesome (here’s why), even when I don’t tag resources all that well, Evernote finds them again!
Evernote is the ultimate online notebook – an outstanding application for capturing just about anything you want from wherever you want and finding it again! I would recommend it for both teachers and students. Create a note using a phone or any web browser or use a desktop application. See this link for a short introductory video and a video library with many helpful tutorials. Evernote have also created a clear guide to getting started.
As a teacher I use Evernote all the time and have a notebook for each class I teach as well as numerous other notebooks.
I also use Evernote shared notebooks as a way of sharing information, for example see Mathematics videos, QR codes and very appropriately some Evernote links! Having used a shared notebook to share some useful resources with students at school, some students then created their own accounts.
The free version of Evernote is excellent and more than adequate for millions of users! (Millions of users has to be good – I don’t think Evernote will go away any time soon!)
For a simple way to bookmark favourite websites I like Diigo because I can then access my favourite sites from anywhere but lately, wanting to be sure of a backup plan – I have been sending all my bookmarks to Evernote courtesy of ifttt (if this then that).Using ifttt I can automate tasks such as sending my Diigo bookmarks to Evernote – there are many recipes available to copy. I also have a setting in Diigo which automatically sends all my bookmarks to Delicious – I’m so backed up!
A word of warning to Twitter users – don’t use the ifttt recipe (I speak from experience) to automatically thank someone for mentioning you in a tweet! If you take part in Twitter discussions your stream can suddenly turn into a constant ‘Thanks for the mention..’ series of tweets and I share Kelly Clay’s sentiments in his recent blog post that automating social media can make you ‘look like a jerk‘!
I also use my WordPress blogs to gather together groups of sites for example Mathematics Starters and Plenaries, Calculators and Games.
If you are wondering where you put your keys see Professor Solomon and his 12 principles to lead you to your lost object!
A quick post today as I have spent the day marking exams – but I can’t spoil my post a week WordPress challenge!
A subject I wrote about some time ago and one I’ll return to again but Twitter is worth considering as one can be very selective and follow a limited number of people.
Take a look the following for example and the links in the above post (you do not need to be registered with Twitter).
Wolfram Fun Facts
…back to the marking!
WolframAlpha have now launched Fun Facts on Twitter. Note that you can read these facts even if you are not a Twitter user.
WolframAlpha have written on this in their own blog.
Now here’s an impressive fact from WolframAlpha on just how popular WordPress is:
On the subject of Mathematics Fun Facts – a reminder of these sites mentioned in earlier posts.
Mudd Math Fun Facts
Tanya Khovanova’s Number Gossip
Amazing Number Facts from Madras College.
MAA NumberADay blog.
One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one on online whiteboards which has been updated recently. Using Screenr recently I was reminded how well it works. It is also possible to easily upload a Screenr screencast to YouTube.
This was part of some feedback on a homework task (Tethered Goat – see nrich version here).
The video has been uploaded to our class wiki (I use Wikispaces).
The wiki page includes advice on the features of a great solution, some questions for reflection and some images of student work.
Experimenting with SpicyNodes I created this on Directed Numbers (you will see I was able to use the division and multiplication symbols but not subtraction – not sure why). (This was created with a free membership).
This on Bloom’s Taxonomy is a work in progress.
Thanks to Paul Andrews I came across Answer Garden recently which provides a simple and interesting way to get feedback. Responses (which must be 20 characters or less) are added to a word cloud. Create your question, very easily (no registration is required) by entering your question and clicking Create, you can then note the url or embed code.
As people post responses the word cloud will develop. (Click on the word cloud link to give your favourite Web 2.0 tool!). Hovering over a response gives the number of people who have made that response. It is possible to change settings such as colour but it is not necessary to do so.
Now there’s an odd title – the link is the tools I have used recently.
They are two of my favourites that stay at the top of my favourites list – WordPress and Diigo.
Diigo because I can save and organise my numerous bookmarks as well as using the research tools for highlighting web pages and adding notes to annotate. Diigo’s facility to create lists is so useful; my latest list on Rich Tasks (Mathematics) puts together some useful links. Most if not all readers will know of nrich, but perhaps not so well known is the New Zealand Problem Solving site which as well as numerous problems with teachers’ notes has guidance on problem solving strategies.
WordPress because it is easy to use, looks great, always reliable and I can share information so easily with my students and with other teachers. What is made available free is superb – I couldn’t resist their new theme, Greyzed (there have been many recently) for my blog with useful links for students.
This year I have used many new resources with my Year 7 students who now seem to take their Wikispaces wikis for granted.
Favourite tools which many of them are now choosing to use for revision include Storybird and Wordle.
I have created a separate blog to collect together useful tools for students.
See Digital Tools for Students.
There is also a version for staff with additional information on applications.