Monthly Archives: January 2014

Too many Twitter accounts?

I’m having a stay-inside-while-the-wind-howls kind of day today. Here’s a tweet from my professional Twitter account:

But today’s post really isn’t about snow. It’s about my Twitter accounts and cross-posting. You see, I have three Twitter accounts.

@huskychemist: My personal account, used for following my favorite college (University of Washington!) and sports teams and other miscellaneous stuff.

@ThomsonScience: My professional account, used for my PLN, sharing ideas with other teachers, and all things related to my professional life as a teacher.

@MrThomsonAISB: My teacher account, used only for sharing with my students at AISB. From this account, I do not follow anybody, as I want my timeline to only show posts I intend to share with my students.

But today a funny thing happened. I was browsing my @ThomsonScience timeline and @2footgiraffe posted a #bedheadchallenge. Being a bit follicly challenged and willing to poke fun at myself, I posted the following tweet using my Google Nexus 7 tablet after taking a selfie.

The “problem” was that I ended up posting from my teacher account (@MrThomsonAISB) rather than my professional PLN account (@ThomsonScience) from which I follow Adam Taylor, A.K.A. @2footgiraffe. After using the tablet to make the post, I wondered why it didn’t show up on my TweetDeck timeline for @ThomsonScience. I found out a few minutes later when @2footgiraffe responded to my tweet and I got the notification email in my school inbox. OOPS!

But then I started thinking, is it such a bad thing that my students might see me interacting with some of my PLN on Twitter? I think not. The idea that I can model appropriate and fun interactions on social media seems like a good thing. So I’m leaving the post there and I’m not going to worry about it. I wonder, in fact, if my students will even wonder about the post.

What about you? Do you use multiple Twitter accounts to try to keep parts of your life separate? I don’t do this to hide anything. I share my personal life willingly with my students and don’t post things on any of my social media accounts that I don’t want the public – and my students and their parents – to see. I just find it more convenient to have separate accounts for different parts of my life. I don’t think my PLN wants me to fill their timeline with 20 Tweets about a Husky football game on a weekend. But what is your philosophy? Does it work for you?



Filed under Social Media

New blog post on ChemEd X

I just posted some thoughts on improving my teaching through showing my students the chemistr. My seniors are working on organic chemistry and we were learning the difference between reflux and distillation for oxidation of alcohols. My post discusses the use of a demo to help them understand the difference.

Check it out:

I’d love to get more ideas for ways to create more engaging lessons. What changes have you made to your teaching to become more engaging?

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Filed under Chemistry

A new place for my ideas

I might be slowing down a bit on my blogging here because of a new opportunity. I recently joined as a contributor to the ChemEd X-Change. ChemEd X serves as a bit of a clearinghouse for ideas related to the study and teaching of chemistry. It is focused mostly on the pre-college and 2-year college levels. As a high school – and IB – chemistry teacher, I’ve used this resource for a while to find ideas. I signed up for the email notifications of any new posts. These have included lab ideas, safety discussions and other issues related to the teaching of chemistry. It’s one of my go-to places for resources specific to chemistry.

The front page - and description - for the ChemEd X-Change.

The front page – and description – for the ChemEd X-Change.


In late December, I got contacted by Deanna Cullen about joining the team at ChemEdX as a contributor. Of course I was thrilled for this opportunity. My first post was published about a week ago and explains my route to the team and the role social media plays in my life as a teacher. You can find the post here: Social media brought me here.

I’ll be posting at ChemEd X on topics that are specific to chemistry – and my use of technology in my teaching. I’ll still likely post here occasionally about general topics, as I like to use this blog in a reflective capacity  – a task my ChemEd X contributions aren’t really suited for currently.


Until next time.


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Filed under Chemistry