The Power of a Network

I joined twitter in 2008 and started tweeting more actively in 2009.  Thanks to my attempt at Justin Aion’s Twordle experiment, I was reminded that my first tweets were annoyed snark toward the women of the View.  They never responded.  Shocking.

Five years later, my twitter usage has evolved into something that has helped transform my teaching.  Attending Twitter Math Camp last week provided some proverbial icing on the cake.   Glenn Waddell reiterated that Twitter Math Camp is 150 teachers who all believe they can change the world.  It’s hard to capture the magnitude of this incredible event and hard to explain in words how much positive impact these “friends in our phones” can have on the actual students in our classes.   I thought perhaps a picture could capture it. Over the last few days, I attempted to capture the essence of this twitter network.  I wanted to visually represent the inter-connectedness and strength of a group of math educators who feel that by interacting in person for four days in the summer, they’ll have the power to make their students’ world better.

 

sinecolor

#TMC14 Twitter interactions from May to July. (in a sine wave)

spiralmentions

Twitter mentions in a spiral

Random Interconnections

Random Interconnections

tweetssinceTMC

 

 

This last graphic is the most powerful to me.  These are the twitter interactions among the TMC14 participants SINCE the event.  Have you ever gone to professional development where you kept interacting with so many people from the conference?  Me neither.  There’s a ton more that I want to do with this network software, but I’ve poured over it for days, and I wanted to share what I had so far.

There were 36 teachers at TMC12, 110 at TMC13 and 150 at TMC14.  I know that these networks spread far beyond the attendees in Jenks, Oklahoma last weekend.  But a strong foundation has been built. It’s an unspoken commitment to one another that says, “when standards-based grading (or interactive notebooks, or problem-based instruction, or group communication) isn’t going as well as you’d hoped, I’ll be there to get you back on track.”  It’s a network of teacher’s across the country that come together over mathematics, but truly bond over their inherent desire to help all students succeed.  And it’s open to anyone who has the desire to be one of the connecting threads.

4 Comments

  1. If you keep playing with this, it would be super cool to see where the TMC people interact OUTSIDE of the other TMC people as a way of discovering entire other worlds of math teachers. If they exist. I know there is a small cluster with a decent number of math teachers in #flipclass land, so there is probably more?

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