What is #slowmathchat?

#slowmathchat is a one-question-a-day Twitter conversation where teachers from around the world can gather to discuss various topics in math education.

How is #slowmathchat different?

Most chats are either ongoing conversations loosely organized around a particular theme or community, or scheduled chats (usually lasting an hour), with a specific focus, a designated moderator, and planned questions.

#slowmathchat is different. I’d say it’s 4 parts scheduled chat, and 1 (massively important) part ongoing conversations.

  1. #slowmathchat is a weekly chat hosted by a moderator who shares questions focused on a specific topic
  2. #slowmathchat is asynchronous

The blend is what makes #slowmathchat unique, and—I hope—particularly useful.

Why bother with #slowmathchat?

I’ve grown dramatically over the last two years as a direct result of my interactions with other educators on Twitter. These interactions have taken many forms, from spontaneous conversations with one or two digital colleagues, to scheduled discussions such as #caedchat or #msmathchat. Yet despite my interest in—and benefit from—these interactions, I’ve always been disappointed that I couldn’t engage in more scheduled, structured chats on Twitter.

The reason for my limited engagement? Life. More specifically: family time, dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time, etc time.

I want to participate in these thoughtful, focused conversations throughout the week, but not at the expense of time with my wife and kiddos in the evenings (when most education chats are scheduled). I suspect I’m not alone in that regard.

#slowmathchat is one potential solution to this sense of being torn between professional growth and personal balance.

How does #slowmathchat work?

  • Every Sunday at 5 pm (PST), the topic for the week will be posted on reasonandwonder.com and shared on Twitter
  • There will be five questions, one for each day (Monday through Friday)
  • The daily question will be posted on Twitter at 7 am and 7 pm (EST)
  • At the end of each week, an archive of the conversation will be posted on reasonandwonder.com and shared on Twitter

How can I participate in #slowmathchat?

There are three ways to play along:

  1. Add a #slowmathchat column to your Twitter client (I recommend Tweetdeck). Keep your eyes peeled for the questions (Q1 on Monday, Q2 on Tuesday, and so forth), and chime in with your own answers (A1 on Monday, etc.) at your leisure. The beauty of of #slowmathchat is that you can join in the discussion at any point throughout the day. Pesky things like time zones and taking nourishment need not hold you back from engaging with your online colleagues!
  2. Spread the word about #slowmathchat by retweeting questions (and particularly amazing answers, if you like).
  3. Consider adding an idea for a future topic to the #slowmathchat Suggestion Box.

One More Thing…

I wrote a blog post describing the motivation behind #slowmathchat from a more personal perspective. You can read it here.

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