I think teaching Maths is the best job ever – I love doing it and I love improving at it. I actively seek out ways to do that and the #MTBOS has given me some great ideas over the years I’ve been lurking. I’ve a full twitter feed and a bulging blog-reader. I also have a full-time job, a family, a church and (though I haven’t been there in a while) an allotment. Getting the balance is something I find tough.
There are times of the year when I am on top of my blog and twitter feed – I think I sometimes see it as a competition and if I can get everything down to zero then that’ll be great. But, this is unsustainable – there is so much great stuff out there that I don’t want to be left behind. When I see something I like, I add that blog to my blog feed – on average that clocks up 100+ posts a day. I need some survival techniques and I’ve come up with two.
For twitter, it’s using notifications. I found out about this over the summer and I’ve loved it since. If you use an iPhone or similar device, you can select particular users to get notifications for. Then, when they tweet, it pops up on your screen. I use this to make sure I don’t miss tweets from friends and people I’m finding interesting. If I find someone tweets too much for me, I can switch them off. If there is something I want to respond to, it is there straight away. Occasionally, I turn them all off if I want a break. This has helped me not open twitter like a nervous tick which I like a lot.
For blogs, it’s quality over quantity. I’m still struggling with how to do this well – but I want to read blogs until I find a post I find interesting, stop and engage with it. Too often, I find myself skimming and racing to get to the end, to get to the next post, to get to the end, to get to the next post, ….. That’s probably a sign I shouldn’t be reading that post, right? Or do you persevere with the hope there might be a great idea coming up? I want to allow what I read to affect what I do. Otherwise, what is the point? I love reading but skimming blogs sometimes leaves me feeling a bit morose – either overwhelmed because there is no way I can implement all those great ideas or numb because there are so many ideas I haven’t engaged with any of them.
Do you feel my pain here? Do you have any award winning strategies to help make the deluge of information manageable and useful? How do you make sure that your engagement with the #MBToS changes your practice?