Our Work

Building Theory

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Teachers Turning to Teachers: Teacherpreneurial Behaviors in Social Media

Kaitlin Torphy

Sihua Hu
Yuqing Liu
Zixi Chen

2020

Today, there is growing evidence that educators engage in social media and virtual social networks across formal and informal settings to direct the trajectory of their curriculum. Dive in here or read the published paper by the American Journal of Education, 124(4). 

Educators Meet the Fifth Estate: The Role of Social Media in Teacher Training

Kaitlin Torphy 

Corey Drake

2019

This paper examines teacher candidates’ reflections on engagement with and in social media as it relates to their professional preparation and understandings of teaching within 21st- century classrooms. Dive in here or read the published paper by Teachers College Record Year Book Issue, 121 (14). 

Social Media, Who Cares? A Dialogue Between A Millenial and a Curmudgeon

Kenneth Frank

Kaitlin Torphy

Equal Authorship

2019

This is a dialogue between a curmudgeon and a millennial regarding the import of social media for education and for educational research. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Record Year Book Issue, 121 (14).  

Listen to the audio file.

A Roadmap for Incorporating Online Social Media in Education 

Hamid Karimi

Tyler Derr

Kaitlin Torphy

Ken Frank

Jiliang Tang

2019

Thanks to the advancements in communication and online social media, there has been a surge of useful online educational resources across the Internet. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Record Year Book Issue, 121(14).

Conceptualizing Virtual Instructional Resource Enactment in an Era of Greater Centralization, Specification of Quality Instructional Practices, and Proliferation of Instructional Resources

John Lane

Brian Boggs

Zixi Chen
Kaitlin T. Torphy

2019

 This article conceptualizes the enactment of virtual instructional resources. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Record Year Book Issue, 121 (14). 

Social Media and Education: Curation within and Outside the Schoolhouse

Sihua Hu

Kaitlin T. Torphy

Equal Authorship

Education in the United States has witnessed many technological innovations rise and fall. Since the invention of the computer, human’s ability to access knowledge and analyze data has grown exponentially. Within schools, technology presents great potential for students and teachers. Dive in here with the working paper.

Characterizing Instructional Content

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Culturally Relevant Curriculum Materials in the Age of Social Media and Curation

Sihua Hu
Kaitlin Torphy
Amanda Opperman

2019

Many educators across the United States are deeply committed to empowering students from various cultural backgrounds and facilitating the connection between students’ everyday life experiences and their formal schooling. Culturally relevant education seeks to address the needs of students with diverse languages, literacies, and cultural practices. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Year Book Issue, 121(14).

What Do Teachers Share on Socialized Knowledge Communities? A Case of Pinterest

Sihua Hu
Kaitlin Torphy

Amanda Opperman

Kim Jansen

Yun-jia Lo

2018

The purpose of this paper is to examine early career teachers’ Socialized Knowledge Communities (SKCs) as they relate to the pursuit of mathematics knowledge and teaching. The authors investigate Pinterest, a living data archive, as an opportunity to view teachers’ sense-making and construction of instructional resources. Read the published paper by the Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 3(2).

Educational Research in the 21st Century: Leveraging Big Data to Explore Teachers' Professional Behavior and Educational Resources Accessed within Pinterest 

Kaitlin Torphy

Hamid Karimi
Jiliang Tang

Ken Frank

Sihua Hu

Under Review

Pinterest, a virtual resource pool and facilitator of social networks and social capital within virtual spaces is one example of a new resource that has the potential to provide instructional resources and professional support to teachers and inform educational policy. However, in an era of big data metrics, researchers must find meaningful approaches to characterize resources accessed and shared. 

Mapping Social Networks and 
Influence

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Examining the Virtual Diffusion of Educational Resources Across Teachers' Social Networks Over Time 

Yuqing Liu*

Kaitlin Torphy*

Sihua Hu

Jiliang Tang

*Equal Authorship

2020

In a social continuum of fluid virtual and physical interactions (Supovitz, Daly, & del Fresno, 2015), notions of teacher social networks are no longer bounded by school building walls. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Record, 122(6).

Sources of Professional Support: Patterns of Teachers' Curation of Instructional Resources in Social Media

Kaitlin Torphy

Yuqing Liu

Sihua Hu

Zixi Chen

2020

Teacherpreneurs are those individuals who seek out instructional resources to supplement and direct the trajectory of their classroom curriculum. This work examines what factors contribute to similarity across teachers in the spaces they choose to access and share educational resources. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by the American Journal of Education, 126(4).

From Cloud to Classrooom: Mathematics Teachers' Enactment of Resources Accessed within Virtual Spaces

Sihua Hu

Kaitlin Torphy

Kim Jansen

John Lane

2020

In this article, the authors argue that teachers as professionals are increasingly turning to virtual spaces to solve problems facing them in everyday teaching. These practices, though not housed under a formal organizational structure like school or district, connect teachers to a larger Socialized Knowledge Community and a myriad of instructional resources online. Dive in here with the working paper or read the published paper by Teachers College Record, 122(6).

Teacher Connection in Online Social Media: Understanding and Prediction in Pinterest

Hamid Karimi
Kaitlin Torphy
Tyler Derr

Ken Frank

Jiliang Tang

2020

Increasingly many teachers are turning to online social media to supplement educational resources and meet students’ needs in the classrooms. The diffusion of information from online social media to the classroom is significantly faster than traditional curriculum-based approaches. However, this is contingent upon how well teachers across an online social media network are connected. Dive in here with the working paper.

Understanding Relationships Between Instructional Curation and Student Success 

Coupling the planning and understanding of teaching and education policy with the change in students’ proficiency over time, big data connected to administrative data provide an opportunity to examine rich data on school change and student success in a way never before achievable at scale.

Discussion Between Students

Building a Nationally Representative Sample of Teachers Online and Offline: The Public Instructional Network of School Resources

Zixi Chen*

Kaitlin Torphy*

Hamid Karimi

Nicole Donzella

*Equal Authorship

Under Review

This paper explores educational applications in big data analysis. Integrating social media data on Pinterest with various other data including administrative and nationally available census datasets, we measure the mutuality between teachers’ curation behavior and their students’ needs as reflected within school and district ecosystems. Dive in here.

Examining Policy Impacts

Biology Class

The Impacts of the Common Core State Standards on Teachers Resource Seeking and Access on Pinterest

Kaitlin Torphy
Yuqing Liu
Sihua Hu

Jiliang Tang

Ken Frank

In preparation

The paper leverages innovative analytic techniques with new forms of data to study educational processes and/or their effects. In it, we conduct an interrupted time series to examine the impact of the Common Core State Standards on teachers’ resource seeking and access within Pinterest.

How Do Teachers Align their Curated Online Resources to the Common Core State Standards?

Sihua Hu

Kaitlin Torphy

Zixi Chen

Brendan Eagan

This paper examines a sample of early career teachers’ curation of curriculum materials within Pinterest during a time of national education policy reform—the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in the U.S. By aligning the content of the resources that teachers actively seek out online to the Common Core State Standards, we provide an account of the instructional resources accessed and shared as teachers make sense and

respond to the policy implementation. Dive in with the working paper.

Supporting Teacher Training and Development

Providing teachers and students in teacher training with the skills necessary to curate instructional curriculum is a primary focus for the Teachers in Social Media Project. We see teachers' curation of instruction and supplemental curriculum as an integrated whole within Socialized Knowledge Communities and their own school-based collegial networks.

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A Reflection Guide to Instructional Curation of Virtual Resources: Developing Teachers Habits of Mind

Sihua Hu

Kaitlin Torphy

We piloted a Reflection Guide in Torphy & Drake (2019) that will support teachers' exploration of worthwhile mathematics instructional resources online. Check it out here.

Creating Systems of Sustainability: Four Focus Areas for the Future of PK-12 Open Educational Resources

ISTE and New America with contributions from Dr. Kaitlin Torphy, Dr. Emily Hodges, Dr. Marcia Mardis, Dr. Serena Salloum, Dr. Susanna Benko, & Rebecca Morales.

We know teachers' engagement in social media is not bounded to the Pinterest platform. The Open Educational Resource movement (OER) is an example of state and federal actors working toward distributed leadership in curricular curation and online engagement within schools. Moving away from written textbooks, OER provides districts the opportunity to localize and adapt curriculum to their state standards, and students interests. Read the full document here.

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Thank you to our Sponsors

Research has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Center for Business and Social Analytics at MSU, the National Science Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation under award numbers (NSF REAL– 1420532, WT Grant - 182764)

Contact Us

Tel: 517-353-3618

Email: torphyka@msu.edu

Michigan State University

College of Education

East Lansing, MI