Math Co-Integrate Seminar Series: Dr. Kaitlin Torphy


Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


B310 Wells Hall

Title: Educational Professionalism within the Fifth Estate: Networks of Influence Within Social Media and Education

Bio: Kaitlin T. Torphy (Michigan State University), Ph.D. is a Research Scientist and the developer and Director of the Teachers in Social Media Project. This project considers the intersection of cloud to class, nature of resources within virtual resource pools, and implications for equity as educational spaces grow increasingly connected. Dr. Torphy conceptualizes the emergence of a teacherpreneurial guild in which teachers turn to one another for instructional content and resources. She has expertise in teachers’ engagement across virtual platforms, teachers’ physical and virtual social networks, and education policy reform. Dr. Torphy has published work on charter school impacts, curricular reform, teachers’ social networks, and presented work regarding teachers’ engagement within social media at the national and international level. Dr. Torphy’s other work examines diffusion of sustainable practices across social networks within The Nature Conservancy. She holds a Ph.D. in education policy, a specialization in the economics of education, and is a Teach for America alumni and former Chicago Public Schools teacher.

Abstract: Dr. Kaitlin Torphy will speak about an emergent phenomenon, social media in education. She will present the notion of a Fifth Estate within the digital age, redefining network influence (Dutton, 2009). Dr. Torphy will review research regarding teachers’ engagement within Pinterest, a prevalent social media platform amongst teachers nationwide. In related work, she will explore how teachers are turning to social media (Pinterest) to connect with instructional resources and one another as they work to support the academic needs of their students and respond to education reforms. Dr. Torphy will provide a first look at characterizing the quality and standards alignment of over 5000 mathematics tasks within Pinterest. For more information on the work or the Teachers in Social Media project, visit