MTBoS #4 – Listen and Learn

So, thanks to Julie and the MTBoS crew, I remembered to login last night to the Global Math Department. Family took me away before it was over but not before I saw some great Geogebra tools that I did not know about. I knew – in theory – that GeoGebra had some built-in stats software but I had never seen if before. Thanks to the crew leading the convo last night ( Jennifer, John, and Audrey) I came away with some skills I did not have when I woke up yesterday. That’s a good thing. I intend to listen in on some Infinite Tangent podcasts to catch up – probably this weekend on my iPod while I am supervising some campus activities. This week’s challenge reminded me of some important lessons. If I let life just move along I can feel busy as hell, I can take care of what I NEED to take care of, and I can find time to be with family, friends, and students. However, if I commit to taking care of the teacher part of myself, I need to carve out time in a very conscious way. I need to remind myself of these learning and sharing opportunities because the recharge me. I need to consciously set aside time where I plug in in a quiet way to tap into my resources. What I think I am also discovering – and this is related to the whole MTBoS challenge series – is that twitter might not fit me very well. I got excited at first when I sent out a plea for help and was contacted by Keith Devlin within an hour offering me help. Pretty damned cool, I thought. However, since that first call for help I have sent out two others and received nothing in reply. I check in on my twitter at night and feel overwhelmed by trying to catch up to what has happened since I was last on. Perhaps I just need to adjust how I interact with it. Perhaps it is just not for me – not for the way I want to digest info, not for the schedule my life has now. I engaged for a little while in an Algebra II chat on Monday while I was on dorm duty. I felt swamped by the multiple threads and by my loaner iPad binging at me constantly. I had a few nice exchanges with Jennifer (who was one of last night’s co-hosts) but it was not a satisfying experience overall. I was sent to a blog post recently from a former teacher who pointed to his efforts to being plugged in as the source of his leaving the profession. I don’t know that he sold me on that with his story, but parts of it did resonate. Finding a balance these days is a serious challenge. 

6 thoughts on “MTBoS #4 – Listen and Learn”

  1. Hi,

    Twitter is certainly not the same experience for any two people. I go through periods of loving it and the connections it provides and hating it because you inevitably feel left out of many conversations. That’s the nature of the beast. If you’d ever like a sounding board, or GeoGebra hints(!), feel free to send a direct message or a tweet. I’ll try to respond quickly – I’m not as busy as Keith Devlin. 🙂



  2. One thing I’ve noticed is that “calls for help” on twitter are likely to go unanswered if they are made during times of general twitter or MTBoS activity (when the majority of people in North America are asleep), or when the question is difficult to understand (which happens when one is trying to fit a complicated issue into 140 characters). Other times I’ve seen questions go unanswered and had no idea why – there is an extra variable I have not figured out yet. I think maybe people see the question and mean to get back to it, but are then swamped with so many other things on twitter that they eventually forget.

  3. It was good to read your post! I don’t think I’m much of a Twitter person either. It is too overwhelming to keep up with. I also don’t enjoy listening online because I feel like I have to hang in there for the whole thing even when parts of it are dragging and I feel like I am wasting my time. What I really like is browsing blogs because I can read what I want to and skip over things that don’t interest me. Thanks for affirming that it is OK to use the web in my own way and set appropriate limits.

    1. Glad to be an affirmation. I smiled when I read this. I think what I wrestle with is the idea that I am supposed to ‘get it’ in some way that I don’t. I guess I need to be satisfied with what I do get out of my virtual engagement.

  4. The thing to remember about Twitter is you don’t need to read all of it. I dip into it when I’m free, answer tweets and engage in chats. I know some people try to read their entire timeline eac. Time, but this can prove too hard.

  5. Big time here too. There’s so much that I’m “missing,” and I have to remind myself that I didn’t even have a Twitter account until a couple of weeks ago, so it’s probably okay to miss, say, all of the weekend tweets (even if those tweets are from Mythbusters…)

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