What is the problem you're trying to solve?
Educators wishing to teach mathematics and numeracy as tools for understanding current events can find some inspiration from print books and static websites.     However, we live in a world in which information and misinformation are dynamic, not static. Students also have diverse interests and experiences, and they expect diverse and relevant content in their lessons.
Instructors wishing to select relevant news content are advised to “Have 80-90% of the articles to be studied assembled ahead of time and organized into topics with specific learning objectives.”  This places a burden on the teacher who must not only find all these articles but also design and refine accompanying lesson plans in accordance with best practices. All of this is compounded by our own evolving understanding of media literacy, as well.  
Wikiversity provides the infrastructure to make this process more efficient and effective for instructors, but it is missing two important elements:
- a learning project pairing news with math lesson plans, and
- a community of math educators to sustain the project.
What is your solution?
We propose a two-part solution.
First, we will lay the foundation of a new learning project on Wikiversity. The project will be based on user-contributed entries, each pairing a news article or social media post with a math lesson plan. The foundation we provide will motivate and orient new users with
- engaging example entries,
- clear contributor guidelines and tutorials, and
- thoughtful information architecture.
Second, we will assemble an inclusive community of math educators who can
- steer the project,
- sustain it with entries on emerging topics,
- verify data sources and review analyses,
- refine entries based on classroom experience, and
- update guidelines with knowledge from education research.
We will call the resulting collection of up-to-date and diverse lesson plans Eventmath. Since mathematics and current events are unlimited in breadth and relevant to all, Eventmath will provide an unparalleled growth opportunity for Wikiversity.
Portal goal: Create a portal for a new learning project on the Wikiversity platform, based on our existing Eventmath template and example lesson plans. By following sound SEO practices and design principles, this portal will help more math educators discover and join the Wikiversity community.
Campaign goal: Execute a campaign to recruit volunteers and teach them topic-specific editing skills. This will create a new community of math educators who can contribute their expertise to Wikiversity.
How will you know if you have met your goals?
For each of the goals listed above, we have measurable outputs and anticipated outcomes.
|Portal goal||Rank on the first page of a Google search for “math lesson plans based on current events.”||Educators will discover a well-structured, inviting portal.|
|Receive positive feedback from at least two thirds of responses to each of two questions in an end-of-project contributor survey asking whether it is easy or difficult to learn how to contribute to Eventmath and to use it.||Instructors reaching the portal will be able to find and use Eventmath resources, and they will learn to make their own contributions.|
|Campaign goal||Recruit fifty participants for one or more workshops on contributing to Eventmath. Each will bring an article or social media post, or they will use one from a backup list that we will prepare. During the workshop, participants will each create a new blank entry from a template we provide, and they will supply it with a link to their article or post.||Participants will add a diverse set of starter entries. They will also pair up with other participants after creating their entries, in order to receive feedback and ideas to expand their stub. This will give them a common purpose and an immediate sense of community.|
|Supply at least one article to at least one popular blog or newsletter for math educators, based on a featured Eventmath entry.||Publishers will regularly partner with Eventmath: the publication will receive quality content to attract new readers, and Eventmath will receive promotion that will help sustain the project.|
|Gather at least one community endorsement on each of three entries. For example, if a user creates a stub that links to a news article, one endorsement might read "This is a great news article to plan a lesson around!"||Contributors will continue contributing when they receive positive feedback for small and large contributions.
Moreover, in order to gather endorsements to get their work featured, educators will share their contributions with others, thereby promoting Eventmath.
Do you have any goals around participation or content?
The campaign goal includes target outcomes regarding both content and participation.
Our activities will contribute to one or both of the main goals: creating the Eventmath portal, and executing a campaign to recruit users. The table below organizes these activities into themes, and it labels which goal(s) the activities contribute to. We each plan to contribute approximately ten hours per week, for a total of twenty hours per week, from mid-May through mid-August. This will allow us to ready Eventmath for the beginning of a new academic year. With the primary activities completed, we will conduct follow-up workshops near the end of 2021.
|Adapt existing materials to Wikiversity||
We will adapt our existing Eventmath template to a Wikiversity portal, paying attention to link structure within Wikiversity. In particular, the following sections of the template document will be separated into appropriate areas of the portal: Intro, Browse (by subject, application, and date), List of community members, To-do, Entry guidelines, Research, and References.
We will also take entries from the existing template that pair news articles and social media posts with math lesson plans, and we will adapt them to Wikiversity pages to serve as guiding examples.
Lastly, we will build a template for new entries to assist contributors. The template will be based on our guidelines, two of which are worth noting here:
Portal and campaign
|Develop quality standard||
We will develop a quality assessment scheme for entries, modeled after the WikiProject Mathematics scheme. The assessment scheme will encourage the types of contributions we would like to see, including peer review, endorsements based on classroom experience, and alignment with standards and research-backed practices.
Along with the assessment scheme, we will provide a process for featuring high-quality entries on the main portal, along with a permanent page listing all entries that have achieved featured status. In addition to directing users to existing quality content, featured articles will give recognition to contributors and encourage them and other users to contribute more quality content.
|Promote on social media||
|Deliver live online workshops||
Live online workshops will be hosted by bwsulliv. He has been editing Wikimedia projects since 2006 and is skilled at running online group sessions, since he has been teaching online math classes for the past year.
Before the workshops, participants will be asked to bring an article or post that could form the basis of a new Eventmath entry. They will also be asked to bring a friend to partner with, if they like; otherwise, they will have the opportunity to network by working with someone new. The workshops themselves will be structured in four parts.
When enough content exists, workshops can then focus on helping participants to expand existing entries. To continue building the community, past workshop participants will be asked to attend a follow-up session to do this, alongside new community members.
A first round of workshops will be held before mid-August, in order to populate Eventmath with varied entries for the fall academic term. A second round will be held near the end of 2021 as educators prepare for the spring term.
Portal and campaign
Greg at Higher Math Help runs the Higher Math Notes YouTube channel. His top video has over 100,000 views, and he has over 2,300 subscribers. He will produce engaging videos and host them on his channel. Specifically, he will produce videos of the following approximate durations and types:
Portal and campaign
|Promote via the press||
We will develop a list of contacts at relevant media outlets, including contacts at newsletters and blogs. Publications followed by significant numbers of math educators will top our list.
We will then craft and distribute press releases to announce major updates, such as grant approval and completion of the project portal.
We will also work to establish ongoing press partnerships: publications will receive valuable content in the form of featured Eventmath entries, and Eventmath will receive ongoing promotion. The wider recognition gained from these partnerships will also incentivize Eventmath contributors to improve their work so that it can be published more widely.
|Promote to events and organizations||
The activities described above require time and expertise, so we will outline a budget below based on how many hours we expect to spend working on each theme of activities.
|Theme of activities||Estimated total hours|
|Adapt existing materials to Wikiversity||60 hours|
|Develop quality standard||30 hours|
|Promote on social media||20 hours|
|Deliver live online workshops||30 hours|
|Produce videos||60 hours|
|Promote via the press||20 hours|
|Promote to events and organizations||20 hours|
This yields a total of 240 hours and, at a rate of $40/hour, a proposed budget of $9600. We believe this is a reasonable hourly rate for the kind of work to be done, given the technical and content-area expertise that is required.
We are directing our efforts toward math educators because of the expertise they derive from classroom experience. Not only do they create lessons, but also they use those lessons to help students in real time. This immediate feedback about what works and what doesn't can then be fed back into the lesson plans that are the heart of Eventmath. This is the virtuous cycle that we need in order to create a best-in-class resource. To set this cycle in motion, we are beginning with lesson plans that teachers will want to use. Since spreading awareness of these lesson plans is one of our two main goals, we have included a detailed promotional and engagement strategy under the Activities section.
Grantees and project leads
- Content creation
- Produced a video with over 100,000 views on YouTube.
- Attracted over 2,300 subscribers to his Higher Math Notes YouTube channel.
- Crafted thousands of customized tutoring lessons in high-school, undergraduate, and graduate-level mathematics.
- Tutored math full-time for over a decade.
- Delivered tutoring sessions exclusively online since 2013.
- Taught both high-school and university courses in the classroom.
- Relevant technology
- Edited Wikipedia articles on mathematics.
- Created highermathhelp.com, including assets and content.
- Designed interactive presentation on basic linear algebra using LaTeX and Beamer.
- Founded and marketed the tutoring service Higher Math Help since 2009.
- Reached new clients across the US by optimizing highermathhelp.com for search engines.
- Tutored math in Spanish to groups of students, both as a volunteer and as a paid tutor.
- Served as a volunteer translator and interpreter in settings including a refugee center, a tax clinic, and Habitat for Humanity.
- Edited Spanish-language captions for YouTube and could contribute to a Spanish version of Eventmath after this grant ends.
Brendan W. Sullivan
- Taught undergraduate-level mathematics for over ten years, currently as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics.
- Focused on teaching numeracy and quantitative skills through courses aimed primarily at non-mathematics majors.
- Authored a textbook introducing students to mathematical proofs.
- Delivered live online math classes to groups of approximately 20 students throughout the past year.
- Relevant technology
- Contributed Wikipedia edits since 2006.
- Worked with HTML, LaTeX, and Beamer.
As the primary grant activities are completed from late May through mid-August, the Wikiversity advisors will join the project leads in monthly video calls to learn how the project is progressing and to advise the leads on relevant Wikiversity practices and policies.
- Guy vandegrift (talk): Wikiversity Custodian and Professor emeritus at Wright State University-- 04:30, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
- Dave Braunschweig (talk) Wikiversity Bureaucrat and Professor at Harper College -- 00:25, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Interested users and contributors
These individuals and organizations have expressed interest in contributing to Eventmath or in using it as a teaching resource.
Please add your name and institution/organization to this list if you are also interested in using and/or contributing to Eventmath!
- Benjamin Allen, Emmanuel College
- David Earls, Emmanuel College
- Heather Pierce, Emmanuel College
- Michael Anthony Lewis, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
- Volunteer I would be interested in using these materials for our liberal arts mathematics course (an perhaps other courses as well). 22.214.171.124 16:19, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- Volunteer I would like to contribute relevant data to the project. 126.96.36.199 15:06, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
- Volunteer I would love to help test some of these lessons and provide feedback, and maybe work collaboratively to help develop some lessons! Jkrueger13 (talk) 18:59, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
- announced Eventmath in a post to the r/math community and in a post to the r/matheducation community on Reddit;
- contacted colleagues and others with an interest in numeracy;
- posted on the Colloquium page at Wikiversity;
- messaged Wikiversitarians who have made contributions related to math or current events, on their user talk pages; and
- contributed an article about Eventmath to the Global Math Department newsletter for math educators.
Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).
- Support The proposal appears to be well-planned and well-written. Its stated goals are consistent with the v:Wikiversity:Mission. Its targeted outcomes are attainable. We have a variety of legitimate educational resources that appear in the top five on Google searches. My only concern is that neither of the primary contributors have experience working with the Wikiversity community. I trust that they will be able to work with us when the time comes. -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 14:23, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
- Support As the WMF enters its third decade, we need to focus on fostering the smaller projects and Wikiversity has a huge potential to scale. —Justin (koavf)❤T☮C☺M☯ 16:41, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
- I am interested to see if students can get more out of their math classes. It is frequently argued that math improves critical thinking skills, but I think that is much more likely to be the case if non-contrived real life examples are used that actively facilitates that skill transfer, rather than leaving the students to their own devices. A community effort is the best way to achieve that goal. I have studied and tutored math with Greg, so I am confident that he would be a great contributor. --Tarek Fadali Tarek150 (talk) 17:29, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
- Math projects based on current events are key to engaging students and cultivating mathematical literacy. But crafting a good project is difficult and takes time! I would love to be able to share the projects I've created, and borrow good ideas from other creative math educators. 2601:197:A80:2810:1CC8:184A:3668:28CD 01:53, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- Greg has been been my tutor off and on for several years. He has been so helpful. It is very rare to find some one who can teach basic and advanced mathematics. He is very passionate about helping and educating others. I am very glad he wants to help even more people with this new project. MathGoddess77 (talk) 04:55, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- I am a former colleague of Greg Stanton's at Indiana University and taught college level mathematics for ten years. I often tried to construct lesson plans around news articles and current events to motivate and interest my students as well as to provide relatable, grounded examples to better understand abstract concepts. Lessons of this type were hugely costly in time and resources and often times resulted in dead ends when the connection between the article and the lesson proved weak. The resource described in this proposal would have been hugely beneficial to my lesson plan construction and would have greatly aided my students in learning and comprehension. --Dr. John Williams, Mathematician/Data Scientist at Chronotruck France.
- I'm a mathematics educator who would absolutely love it if there were such a resource. --Spencer Bagley, Westminster College (UT) 2601:681:4B01:6D0:CD7A:470D:D02A:1E0C 17:11, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- I appreciate that students ask how mathematics relates to the real-world and their daily lives, and I strongly support a project that endeavors to answer this question concretely. 188.8.131.52 17:28, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- As a college math instructor, I am always trying to find real-world data and resources to help my students see the relevance of mathematics in today's world. This project would make the search that much easier, and provide lessons to tie in the math as well. 2602:306:24D1:4039:E48F:25B0:C44C:DA45 22:39, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
- I'm a math educator (college professor) and a resource like this would be invaluable for me and my students. I often want to create lessons like this but don't have the time day-to-day; a pooled wiki-type resource would be wonderful! 184.108.40.206 06:39, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
- This looks like a great way to share ideas to increase engagement for those who teach non-math-majors. 220.127.116.11 21:36, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
- I found this resource through online networking and feel that it will grow to be a productive and creative resource for math educators and students. This project allows for community engagement, which is something that needs to be more present in mathematics education. --Marissa Maldonado, Boise State University
- This would be an *amazingly* useful central resource for mathematics and statistics instructors, and could eventually make adopting and OER approach much easier across the board. 2601:602:81:2880:55B8:7983:9EFD:48FE 17:25, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
- I am always looking for relevant problems to use in my mathematics courses, especially introductory courses like College Algebra and Introduction to Statistics. Using current, relevant information helps connect the material to actual information relevant in the real world today. 18.104.22.168 15:06, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
- Simply this seems like a great idea and good resource. I often try to do this on my own, on the fly, for my own classes. It would be helpful to have an organized pool of resources. 2600:1700:6C70:4F60:B037:EA4E:4FBA:C09 15:26, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
- Support DavidMCEddy (talk) 20:58, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
- Support Looks like a solid project. It would also be good for Wikiversity, I think. -Guy vandegrift (talk) 02:46, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
- Think this is a great idea! I'd definitely be interested in using Eventmath as it would facilitate collaboration amongst colleagues. This will, in turn, ultimately enhance the student learning experience 22.214.171.124 18:38, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
- As a college math professor, I try to help students see how math applies to the real-world and in their daily lives. A centralized resource for sharing ideas would be very helpful! 126.96.36.199 20:51, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
- This is a timely and worthwhile project to benefit everyone. Please endorse. 2601:18E:C501:9330:C1EE:3A7C:AFD:56F6 18:58, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
- As a secondary math teacher in a small rural district, these types of lessons that teach how to use math to support or refute claims, specifically ones that students encounter in social media and the news, are critical for developing students who can analyze a claim and the numerical evidence used to support it. Jkrueger13 (talk) 18:58, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
- This project fills a big need in math courses, especially as educators work to bring math to bear on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Having a central repository of news with learning activities, as well as committed curators, will shift a huge burden off teachers' shoulders. 2601:19A:C101:38D:68D9:5EC2:F571:6FFD 20:24, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
- I would absolutely use this resource in my teaching, and would contribute to it. 188.8.131.52 20:31, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
- Great resource for teachers and students of mathematics! Educators can join forces to provide robust lessons and corresponding resources based on real current events to support students in making sense of our world through math. 184.108.40.206 15:39, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
- All responsible voting citizens need this information and the understanding and knowledge to use it effectively. 2601:18E:C501:9330:40C6:590C:D698:FC14 15:39, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
- Support I think this would be a great resource and use of the platform. 220.127.116.11 16:50, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
- I would love to have had this resource when I was teaching. Students need these types of resources that can help them make connections between the math they are learning and their lives. 18.104.22.168 23:45, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
- Bolker, Ethan D.; Mast, Maura B. (December 31, 2016). Common Sense Mathematics. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 978-1939512109.
- Blastland, Michael; Dilnot, Andrew (January 1, 2009). The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life. Gotham Books. ISBN 9781592404230.
- Department of Education, Tasmania; Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania; Newspapers in Education, The Hobart Mercury. "Numeracy in the News". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- Boersma, Stuart (ed.). "Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- Boersma, Stuart (ed.). "How to Teach Quantitative Reasoning with the News". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- Jeong, Se-Hoon; Cho, Hyunyi; Hwang, Yoori (June 1, 2012). "Media Literacy Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review". Journal of Communication 62 (3). doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01643.x. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- Kendeou, Panayiota; Robinson, Daniel H.; McCrudden, Matthew T., eds. (November 1, 2019). Misinformation and Fake News in Education (Current Perspectives on Cognition, Learning and Instruction). Information Age Publishing. ISBN 978-1641138512.
- Eyal, Nir (November 4, 2014). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Penguin Publishing Group. ISBN 9780698190665.