Archives For Twitter

On July 27, 2013, I created a petition on Change.org to get math.ED – Mathematics Education added as a category on the arXiv. You can find the petition here. At present, there is no dedicated category on the arXiv for math ed and I’d like to change this. If you want to know how all this got started, check out this post.

The last time I checked, we were just shy of 200 signatures on the petition. My initial goal was 50. The support has been quite impressive. Most of the signatures are from the United States, but there are others from around the world. As far as I can tell, support is coming from people with interests in math ed, physics ed, STEM ed, ed tech, math, stats, operations research, secondary education, and more. I even recognized at least one philosopher. Thankfully, it seems we have the support of a few prominent math ed researchers (e.g., Alan Schoenfeld), which I think is crucial for this to really work.

There have been a few developments with the folks over at the arXiv and I’ll share the current state of affairs in another post. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a conversation that happened on Twitter between myself (@danaernst) and Republic of Math (@republicofmath). Matt Boelkins (@MattBoelkins) chimes in at the end, too. The conversation wasn’t linear, but I’ve done my best to list the tweets in an order that makes sense.

Stepping away from Twitter

December 20, 2012 — 2 Comments

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, yada, yada, yada. Each of these social networking sites has something to offer and I have accounts on most of them. However, I think it may be time to streamline. Increasingly, I feel pressed for time to do all the things that I need and want to do. There’s an endless amount of work-related stuff to do, but I also want to be a good father and husband. Moreover, if I don’t squeeze in time for exercise, I’m not very good at anything. I’m like a dog. If I don’t get in a walk, I might chew the furniture.

I currently have two accounts on Twitter: @danaernst and @IBLMath. Why two accounts? Most of my tweets are math-related, but not all of them. I created @IBLMath for two main reasons. First, I wanted to increase awareness of inquiry-based learning in mathematics. Second, I thought it was a good idea to have an account that was solely devoted to tweeting about math and teaching-related content. At the time of writing this post, I’ve tweeted 4,445 times from @danaernst, and according to How long have you been tweeting?, I made my first tweet on March 4, 2009. Twitter has been an amazing resource for me.

Then along came Google+, which launched in June of 2011. I don’t know the exact date that I joined, but it was within the first few weeks. I connected with quite a few academics early on and now I have a substantial network of people interested in mathematics, teaching, and technology. In fact, nearly all the people that I enjoy most on Twitter are also on G+. Since my network on G+ is so much larger than on Twitter, I often encounter content on G+ that I don’t see on Twitter, but I rarely see content on Twitter that doesn’t pop up on G+. Moreover, the interaction that happens on G+ is often much more substantial than what I’ve experienced on Twitter. I regularly cross-post content on Twitter and G+ and it’s not uncommon for one of my “popular” posts on G+ to see zero attention on Twitter.

I’ve been wondering for a while now whether maintaining my Twitter presence is worth my time. One of my weaknesses is that I’m not very good at doing things part-way. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy. As a result of this, I find myself feeling anxious when I’m not caught up on surfing Twitter, G+, Facebook, etc. posts. The reality is that I don’t have time to even come close to keeping up. The rate of new content is overwhelming. My first semester at NAU has been successful, but I need to find ways to be even more efficient and effective at work, family, and play. In this vein, I’m looking for ways to trim unnecessary things from my life. I don’t plan to give up social media, but I think that I can save myself actual time and certainly some mental and emotional bandwidth by walking away from Twitter.

I’ll treat this as an experiment and see how it goes after a few months. I don’t think that I’ll miss it. I will likely continue to advertise my blog posts (from this blog and my Elevation Gain blog) on Twitter and respond to @mentions.