Opinion
Science Letter to the Editor

As Math Education Changes, Social Media Play a Role

August 25, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

People often talk about how times are changing when students are taught mathematics differently than were previous generations. But saying that the times are changing for mathematics education is not precise enough. In math ed., the type of change itself is what is changing, and social media may provide one method for keeping up.

Imagine being on a plane, sitting on the runway waiting to take off. At that moment, everything feels normal. Minutes later, the plane is in the air at cruising speed, and even though you are zooming across the sky at 500 miles per hour, everything still feels relatively normal. What really feels different in an airplane flight is accelerating down the runway to take off. The plane darts forward faster and faster. You can feel the increased speed as you get pushed into the seat. For some people, these moments are exhilarating. For others, they are scary and uncomfortable. What is certain, though, is that something is definitely changing, and you can feel it with your entire body.

Math educators feel something similar now. It is not the constant push to improve math education. We have been at that cruising speed for decades. What we feel is the acceleration of how quickly that change is coming—partially as a result of the Common Core State Standards. There was a time when educators were only aware of what was being done in their classrooms, and that they would have to implement change on their own. Over time, this isolation eased with best practices being shared across schools and districts.

Fortunately, now there is a community of thousands of math educators using social media to collaborate and improve their practice: the MathTwitterBlogosphere, abbreviated as MTBoS.

The educators involved with MTBoS share pedagogy and resources to make this change more manageable. The work done together is better than any one teacher could have done on his or her own. Teachers can take comfort in the reality that most math educators are experiencing similar excitement and fear as they plan their new curricula and methods.

Anyone can join this community of math educators across the globe by searching online for MTBoS.

Robert Kaplinsky

Mathematics Teacher Specialist

Downey Unified School District

Downey, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2015 edition of Education Week as As Math Education Changes, Social Media Play a Role

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Science Racial Disparities in STEM Start as Early as Kindergarten, New Study Finds
Socioeconomic factors and school environment explain some of the disparities, but not all of them.
3 min read
Photo of two boys handling model of atom.
E+ / Getty
Science How These Teachers Center Student Voice in Science Class
Three award-winning teachers discuss connecting curricula to students’ lives and helping kids see themselves as scientists.
6 min read
New Mexico educator Christopher Nunez receives a Milken Educator Award on Oct. 21, 2022 in Las Cruces, NM.
New Mexico educator Christopher Nunez receives a Milken Educator Award on Oct. 21in Las Cruces.
Milken Family Foundation
Science Student Scientists Are Publishing Their Research In This Peer-Reviewed Journal
Middle and high schools students conduct scientific experiments—and present the findings in a scholarly publication.
3 min read
Middle or high school girl performs chemistry experiment with a Black male middle or high school lab partner
SDI Productions/E+/Getty
Science Spotlight Spotlight on STEM
This Spotlight will help you discover how to increase engagement in science, explore the benefits of teaching coding to students, and more.