Mathematics conspiracy theory


Overnight and this morning, guess what was one of the things trending on Twitter?

Say what?

Why on earth would BEDMAS be trending on social media?

Of course, you remember this from elementary school mathematics. It’s a way to remember the order of operations in an expression with more than one operation.

B – Brackets
E – Exponents
D – Division
M – Multiplication
A – Addition
S – Subtraction

So, my question still stands. Why would that be trending?

Then, I got it. With Ontario schools coming back from their March, Spring, April Break, it has to be a concerted effort by mathematics teachers to get kids thinking about the subject again. If that’s the case, it’s genius. Why not reach out via social media and trick them into doing a little review?

Except that today’s typical student avoids Twitter in favour of other platforms where they can dance up a storm.

So what could it be?

I followed the hashtag and it became apparent in a couple of images.

It also lead to side arguments as whether BEDMAS is more correct than PEMDAS.

So, I guess it could be a conspiracy event led by mathematics teachers. I followed the discussion and I guess that the learning that we teachers think is at the heart of education isn’t as enduring as we thought.

Order of operations isn’t just restricted to mathematics either. It can be a deal breaker in computer science if you don’t create the code properly.

There are also fun things that can be done with mathematics that can lead to teachable moments and fun, provided you know the rules of solving expressions.

So, sir, why do we have to learn this? When will we ever use it in real life?

If only I’d thought to let my students know that it would help them be on the correct side of a flame war on social media.

OTR Links 04/20/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.