Posts Tagged ‘job’

My New Part-time Dream Job

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment

I really don’t know how else to put this – I am now part of Team Desmos!  For now, most of my time is spent running the Desmos twitter feed.  I remember three months ago, a person asked me, “Luke, what would be your dream job?” I responded, “To teach at a community college and to work for Desmos.”  Now, all of the sudden, poof, it happened. But how did a community college instructor who lives on the opposite coast from where Desmos is located get this chance of a lifetime?  Good question.  The following post gives a short description of how all of this happened.

I first came across the Desmos calculator back in late 2011.  Honestly, the first attraction that hooked me in was the price, which was free.  So, I began messing around with it and I quickly saw how easy it was to use.  If I had a question, Eli, who is the CEO, would respond to my emails.  (I remember thinking how cool it was that the CEO of the product I was using was helping me.)  Then as I used Desmos in the classroom, by using an overhead projector, I saw how much more my students were engaged.  Also, Desmos allowed us to explore math concepts in a way I could have not done earlier.  The combination of customer service and student enjoyment motivated me to see just how many different ways could I apply Desmos to my teaching.

Some graphs I made were art. Some graphs I made were math demonstrations.  Some graphs were for my own enjoyment. So, yeah, no need to hide from the truth, Desmos became one of my hobbies.  A collection of my graphs can be seen here.  When ever I finished  a graph, I would share it on Twitter.  Once in awhile an educator would respond and most of the time Desmos would give a RT (retweet).  This gave me nice warm math fuzzies.  I love to share math and  knowing that people across the world were seeing my math influenced me to begin promoting Desmos when ever I could.

I did three different presentations (NCCTM, NCMATYC, and SOCOMATYC) and all of them had a bit of Desmos with the topic I was discussing.  Each time I would ask the audience if they had heard of Desmos and only a few hands would go up.  Then as I would introduce them to the slider feature, the choice of colors, the projector mode, and so on, each one would be amazed.  The look on their faces reminded me when I first began.

Another place I was sharing Desmos work was on a facebook page .  I run a facebook page  for the students at the school I work.  Like I said, I like to share and talk about math and this is just another venue.  So, on this page I would post Desmos graphs that my students would create and Desmos would see and share them as well.  Students loved to showcase their work and I loved to share it.

Overall, the main theme in my story is sharing math.  Social media removes the physical distance and makes sharing easy.  Sharing is a common part of life and Desmos has integrated that into their calculator.  I was able to share my graphs with two clicks, copying and pasting a URL.  Students can do the same and, even better, they want to.  Also, students can print out their graph and share a hard copy, too. They did this once to make a coloring book for Kindergartners.  And, yes, I print mine out, too, and I have them hanging in my office.  So, just how did I get to join Desmos? I would say by sharing what I love to do.  I know there are thousands of people who do the same and that is why I feel so lucky to have been chosen.

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