Twitter Math Camp 2014 Keynote


Two quick meta-items about blogging from the last week:

  • I attended Twitter Math Camp 2014 in Jenks, OK, in which 150 math teachers who generally only interact online get together in person. I gave a keynote that could probably best be described as “data-rich,” in which I downloaded and analyzed details on 12,000 blogging and tweeting math teachers. Here are links to my slides and speech as well as the CSVs if you want to analyze some data yourself. (Who doesn’t!)
  • A doctoral student in Canada is interested in blogging as “unmediated professional growth” and sent me a survey about my blogging. Here is a link to my responses. How would you have answered?
I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I am a part of the #MTBoS. Sam Shah and @wahedabug and @knowak were some of the first names I remember. You, too, with the TED talk. I love teaching math, getting kids excited about the things that they see when they really understand what is happening with the numbers. I DID NOT like how I saw math being taught! BORING! I was between jobs. I took the online course with Jo Boaler from Stanford, and realized that I wanted to teach math from that perspective, from understanding! And I needed to know more. Your penny pyramid video got me searching for more of what I call PBL, (it has become such a catch all – not all PBL is good! ), what I mean is images or problems that jump start a lesson, that get kids questioning, wondering, wanting the tools that will get them to the understanding part. I want them taking apart math questions the way I took my sewing machine apart – to see how it worked (it was broken) and how I could fix it. I attached myself to the #MTBoS to find more teachers who thought like I did. I was also looking for another teaching position. I wanted to be able to articulate in my interviews the way I would be teaching, and I wanted to be in a school that wanted someone to teach that way. From twitter, I would find blogs of people with these great ideas. I started sharing lesson plans based on what I was learning. It kept me sane as I looked for work. I lurked, listening in on the every day conversations about teaching, about what worked, about what didn’t, about the frustrations and joys. This community brought me out of isolation, and it put another line on my resume – my PLN of whom I am very proud. I did land a job, I share what I do, and I want to be more active. I noticed my blog activity really died after I went to work. I was so busy with lesson plans and working with the kids that I would come home too exhausted to do more than lurk! As I start this second year, I am more organized, and my ambition is to try a 180 blog, because I think it is more important than ever to include reflection and student samples in with the sharing. Other teachers need to know about the things we are talking about.
    Your latest blog about Rand Paul touched a nerve for a lot of people, about ineffective and effective teachers. There was a comment this morning about changing the terminology to focus on the lessons themselves to promote better lessons, that with good lessons, every teacher can become a better, more effective educator. That is what I hope will come from my involvement: that by sharing and reflecting (and lurking!) I will find those things. I appreciated your feedback on the #MTBoS data. I am one of those female, more followings than followers, and more reader than commenter people, and I want to know more about us (#MTBoS-ers) and try to connect with more. I hope to someday be a part of TMC, to learn and to teach. You put a face on what we all want to be – really really good teachers!

  2. Thank-you so much for the response Dan!

    I’m the “Canadian doctoral student” in case anyone is interested. I found the MTBoS in my search for new activities to use in my flipped adult upgrading math class a few years back during my Master’s research (see links in CV at if interested). Since then, it has been so great being able to connect with other math teachers who share the passion for improving math education world wide.

  3. Also, nice data sets! I’ve tried to do this in the past, but with much less success. I’m assuming you used a program. Are you willing to share what method you used to collect this info? I’ve been working on trying to create a social graph like this [] of MTBoS pple, but I soon gave up bc I felt it was a bit creepy lol. It’d be really pretty though!

  4. Hi Judy, I wound up hiring a developer off to scrape the data set from From there I used the library ggplot2 in the program “R” to make the graphs.