Why Twitter?

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.

Resources I discovered through my early investigations of Twitter –  included Maths posters to download. 

I was also interested to see 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 the hashtag #mathchat.

For learning to use Twitter see Russell Stannard’s training videos and some Twitter bookmarksnote the very clear Twitter Lingo guide from Mashable.

See other posts featuring Twitter and Mathematics Conversations.

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’.


Searching for things!

Looking at the statistics for this blog I see that I’m Looking For…. 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 still features highly in Jane Hart’s Top Tools for Learning 2016
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. Evernote have 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. 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 applets available to copy.

A word of warning to Twitter users – don’t 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 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 on Mathematics for Students 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!

Mathematics Stories

Thinking about Mathematics ‘stories’  reminded me of  ‘John and Betty’s Journey into Complex Numbers‘ which has always made me smile.

/

For a rather different kind of presentation – why not write a ‘story’ ?  There are many online tools available, a favourite of mine is Storybird.

I wrote a very simple story on algebra (like terms) simply to show some students Storybird and hopefully inspire them to write their own (they did!).

Some of my students helped me write this on sequences:

….and when they were revising for exams they wrote several more!

Storybird is a tool for writing digital stories, it’s great fun and easy to use. Set up an account (free) – choose your art work and get writing! Students under 13 can sign up with parental permission. Note that teachers can set up class accounts for students of any age. See the details here.

There is a training video available from Russell Stannard’s TeachertrainingVideos site.

For more on the use of Storybird – see this post on Digital Tools.

Embed Google Docs into WordPress

An excellent new feature for WordPress users was announced recently. It is now possible to embed documents created with Google Docs into a WordPress blog.

(For more on Google Docs – see this page)

To try out this new feature – here is a form I created to help students think about the personal learning and thinking skills they are using in Mathematics.

Obviously this was not originally designed for a narrow column such as this but the whole process is very easy – an outstanding addition to WordPress. Thank you Happiness Engineers!

Mathematical Twitter

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).

Mathscareers Website

Wolfram Fun Facts   

Mathslinks  

…back to the marking!