Sunday, February 13, 2011

Online Participation at NCTM Conference? Let's make it happen!

Collaborating or simply communicating at conferences can be a powerful motivator for teachers. But I wonder how much better it could be if teachers could also interact with each other online in real-time at the conference?  NCTM is supporting the move in this direction. They now have a conference blog and are active on Facebook and Twitter (#nctm).
But based on Sean Sweeney's take on the Baltimore NCTM regional conference last fall we still have a long way to go. Here is an excerpt:
I went to NCTM last week, where I met up with [math bloggers] Kate, Jessica, Nick and Jackie.  I had a good time, and as I don't have a lot of real life high school math teacher friends, it was a lot of fun to have people that can completely relate to everything I do for my job everyday. […]  Anyway if I had to choose one thing that stood out that I learned from NCTM it's that a ridiculous number of math teachers are completely unaware of the online math teacher community. Let me repeat that:
Wi-fi Detector hat
Spreading the word. At the NCTM annual meeting CLIME will once again be promoting their Math 2.0 initiative in the exhibit area spreading the word about how participation in online math communities can make a difference in teacher's lives. One hurdle for us to overcome is the the major lubricant for online or Cloud collaboration - Wifi - will once again not be free at the convention center. I just found out that you can get Wifi at the convention center for $14.95 a day outside of the exhibit area. That’s cheaper than it was in San Diego last year, but anything more than free is still too expensive. Someday Wi-fi will be taken for granted (like the availability of oxygen for breathing) as it is now at ISTE and other Tech Ed conferences. Oh yes, exhibitors will pay $99.95 per day to "breathe."
So for all of you who are planning to attend NCTM Indianapolis in April or if you are interested in following virtually, let’s work together to make the Indy conference more  "cloud collaborative" friendly. Here’s a list of things that you will need to know before heading to Indianapolis or if you plan to participate virtually.

Should I carry a laptop with me at the conference? 
Yes, if you want to maximize your engagement with other like minded educators in the online conversations that will be going on - many of them in real time. Of course, smart phones can be used for that as well.

Locations of Wifi hotspots at the convention center and at the conference hotels. As folks discover good places please share them. If you are wandering in downtown Indianapolis anytime during the conference, here’s a list of free Wifi sites

To correspond by Twitter use hashtags #nctm11 and #climemath to share your experiences, ideas, and what you are learning. If you are new to Twitter this conference would be a good time for you to experience how Twitter can effectively help interested folks to share their experiences. (I'm tweetable at @climeguy.) Email still works! Try me at if you prefer.
Stop by the CLIME 2.0 booth #326 in the Exhibit hall to say hello and show your solidarity with the Math 2.0 vision by picking up and wearing a Math 2.0 button and tell others about the power of Web 2.0* to enhance math teaching and learning.

If you are interested in our initiative, I encourage you to share a comment. Also you can post a reply to my blog entry at the NCTM conference blog site.

*Collaboration can be a powerful experience that goes beyond just simple communication of ideas. It is a process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals. Web 2.0 provides tools that can make that happen.

-You can subscribe to CLIME updates on the Indy Math 2.0 Initiative here.
-My latest tweet: If Egypt can do it, we can do the same for Math. Support Math 2.0 virtually or in person at @NCTM Indy #mathchat