Twitter can be a pretty cool thing. Last evening, Dan Meyer, sent out a request to 7th and 8th grade math teachers for help regarding his PhD research. I have benefited from Dan's work so many times the past few years that I was happy to offer.
The task was fairly straightforward. My classes were to answer a question and I was to scan their answers and get them to him for his research. The question involved a picture of a graph and gave a worded description of the graph giving specific information regarding its period and amplitude and asked the student what was an amplitude. The material was a bit above the level of seventh grade, which Dan mentioned when he sent the question.
I was able to have two of my Blocks work on the question and was quite pleased with the way they attempted to answer the question - even though the terms and type of graph were unfamiliar to them. I told them we were helping out one of my Twitter contacts - they like to make fun of my Twitter "friends" that I mention in class at times, especially when we use material from Estimation 180.com or visualpatterns.org.
Overall, they seemed happy to have been asked to take part in the research. It showed in their approach and answers to the question. It was nice for me to have been able to help Dan as well.