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Erin Klein discusses how she uses blog writing to make her a better educator, to continue her learning, to share her learning with others and to communicate with other leading educators and education professionals. Pay attention to how Erin has used her blog to make positive change in her community and her classroom.
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Erin Klein has been a classroom teacher and has developed her own blog which has been successful in its own right.
Erin has taught 1st grade, junior high school and now 2nd grade and she loves it. She used a website for her classroom highlighting her students work and her website became so successful in her school that she got recognition by her district. And then was asked to give presentations to other teachers and she began to blog as a resource sharing site to share her students work and share resources with other teachers.
As a teacher, Erin feels that the blog helps her become a better teacher and gives her an opportunity to share, get feedback, and offers an opportunity for self reflection. She knows that maintaining her blog has helped her become a better teacher and by sharing she has helped other teachers become better.
A recent activity Erin Klein did in her classroom that she shared with others is “If Our Characters Had Instagram,” where students are encouraged to act as if they were a character and then encouraged to think of what types of pictures they would take and share on Instagram which has taken off and teachers all over the world have been downloading her If Our Characters Had Instagram lesson plan.
Erin uses Twitter and Facebook to connect with educators. She loves using Twitter more so than Facebook because, to her, Twitter is more of a professional outlet. She loves the ability Twitter gives her to connect with different types of educators all over the globe.
Blog writing is important for Erin because she uses it to share resources and reflect on what she’s doing in the classroom and it also gives her a way to connect with the parents as to what’s going on in the classroom.
One thing Erin didn’t expect when she began blogging is the amount of businesses that would contact her asking her to use their product in her classroom. Some products she’s recently used in her classroom is the Sifteo Cubes and the Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen, which she says her students love.
Erin would like to see a lot more student choice in the classroom, more teacher-driven content, more creativity, more student voice, more projects, more top-level blooms taxonomy, more mobile and technology apps (used less by particular district approved apps). Ideally, she would like to put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other. Putting teachers in a more facilitative role and putting the learning into students’ hands.
Learning is a priority to Erin as she’s always looking for opporunities to learn and grow. She encourages teachers to ask administrators for things and don’t take no as a final answer. If she feels something is in the best interest of her students then she wants to ask why and that new teachers are so often told no and that that kills the creative process. Erin does recommend being professional, but still challenging administrators to accomplish goals that she feels would be in the best interest of her students.
Erin equates success and happiness to each other. Monetary value doesn’t mean success. Many people she knows who some people would deem successful are often very unhappy. She thinks if people are happy doing something they love, regardless of money than they are successful.
Engaging Discussion Question(s):
- Where do you see the future of education going?
- Where would you like to see education going in the years to come?
Links to Great Stuff:
- Kleinspiration – “Erin Klein the technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association, a national A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, Really Good Stuff Monthly Blogger, Edutopia Guest Blogger, Edudemic Guest Blogger and Magazine Contributor, National Writing Project member, and award-winning EduTech Blogger.Klein has most recently appeared in the Scholastic Instructor Magazine and co-authored Amazing Grades with experts from 13 countries around the world.”
- If Our Characters Had Instagram – A lesson plan designed by Erin Klein which can be used in classrooms from Kindergarten to High School – If a character/historical figure had Instagram, what kinds of pictures would they take?
- Sifteo Cubes – “Sifteo Cubes are a magical new interactive game system built on the timeless play patterns of legos, building blocks, and domino tiles.”
- Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen – “Record everything you hear, say, write and draw. Wirelessly sync notes and audio to your personal Evernote® account where you can replay, organize, search and share your interactive notes any time and anywhere.”
- The Tutoring Solution’s Share Your Passion Scholarship – The Share Your Passion Essay Contest is open to all High School students. For students to be eligible for one of their scholarships they had to write an essay from the prompt: “What are you passionate about? Why are you passionate about it? How do you plan on using your passion to help others?”
- Welborn Media
- #EdChat – Join the Discussion on Twitter.
- “Put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.” – Erin Klein
- Share The Tutoring Solution’s Share Your Passion Scholarship with any passionate individual in grades K-12 who is willing to share what they are passionate about with others.
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