You’ve blogged. You’ve tweeted. You’ve collaborated, listened, and chatted.
You are loving it.
But you’ve also begun to wonder: is this too much of a good thing?
It’s true. The MathTwitterBlogosphere is a bottomless wellspring of teach-y, math-y goodness. It can feel like drinking from a peppy, insightful, and insomniac firehose.
That’s to say: you’ve got resources pouring in from all over. And the MTBoS is gloriously decentralized. So how do you keep everything organized?
Take a deep breath. It’s time to get your ducks in a row. This is going to be a week of consolidation.
Mission #6: Borrowing and Regrouping *
Given what you’ve encountered so far while Exploring the MTBoS, what are the habits and processes you want to establish for yourself? And what are the tools you can use to make them happen?
Step 1: Some Tools
Get Your Feed On
If you find yourself tromping around to various blogs you love, hoping to find new posts, then do I ever have a wonder-product for you. It’s called a feed reader. It will gather new posts from the blogs you specify and plop them all on a page for you. Kind of like getting emails for new blog posts, but in their own separate little cubby.
In yesteryear the feed reader of choice was Google Reader, may it rest in digital peace. No one really knows what to do in its absence, but there’s been a lotta discussion, opining, and podcasting about it. For a few options: I use Feedly **, Tina uses Digg Reader, and others like The Old Reader. You’ll find one that works for you.
“Virtual” Filing Cabinets
When you find a lovely math tidbit that you want to hold onto for future planning, where should you stick it for safekeeping? You could bookmark it, email it it yourself, drop it in a Google doc—the possibilities are endless. One option is to make (or piggyback upon) a virtual filing cabinet. Sam’s is the original. It’s a page on his blog where he stores useful tidbits for his future use. And we all get to benefit from it! You can use it as a resource or as a blueprint to create your own—a place to keep your favorite resources, curated and collated by topic. Sam has even compiled a list of other people’s virtual filing cabinets—cabinet o’ cabinets!—so you can check out how other people make this idea work for them.
Step 2: The Cavalry
At Twitter Math Camp this past summer, some “trustworthy people” gave a presentation entitled Devise a Plan to Organize. Taking a gander at their slides would be well worth your time.
And folks have written blog posts about how they manage and thrive in the MTBoS . We’ll encourage them to reshare those posts on their blogs and on Twitter this week. We’ll collect ’em all at Tina’s #matheme page. If you have one or find one, you can submit it to #matheme here.
There are some good takes on how to tack your path in the MTBoS. But who wouldn’t want some more schemes and words-to-the-wise? Which leads into…
Step 3: The Reflection
Because we’re own damn cavalry, dammit.
Take stock. Make a plan. Chat about it on Twitter. How do all of the different activities of the MTBoS coalesce for you into ongoing and useful professional development? What’s worked so far? What do you keep on your calendar? What do you hope for? What meshes with your workflow?
And then blog it out. Please. Because we’re all still figuring this out, and every idea and perspective helps.
Alternatively, you could write a post that could be a start on your own virtual filing cabinet. Find a few things around a topic, post about them, and tuck it all away for future-you and future-us to benefit from.
Either way, share your post like we’ve been suggesting: tweet it (with #MTBoS attached) and leave it in a comment below. Then, as we are wont to do, read and comment on the blog posts of the three commenters directly above you. Be sure that you are commenting on their blog and not here.
* Goodness, was that ever a deft punning of this week’s mission with multi-digit subtraction lingo. Bravo, Lanier.
** Admittedly, without any particular enthusiasm.