The following is the second in a series of guest posts written by real teachers across America who embrace Kidblog in their classrooms. We’re excited to showcase their stories of dedication and success right here for you readers at home.
About 15 months ago I became a connected learner when I joined Twitter and met incredible educators from around the world. I followed the links they posted and read and commented on their blogs. True friendships formed through these comments and conversations.
Becoming a connected learner has completely changed me as professional. While I have always been passionate about what I do, my passion for teaching has increased immensely after meeting like-minded individuals. These people push my thinking by showing me new ways to look at old problems. They show me that there are many things I can do with my grade one students that I would otherwise thought to be impossible. And in turn they give me the strength to adapt ideas and create my own innovative lessons.
Professional blogging has played a huge roll in all of this for me, as it is a platform to share my thoughts and ideas with others. It has made me really think about what I do and why. Many global connections have started on my professional blog. But it goes beyond that for me because I want my students to be connected learners too. We tweet as a class. We have a class blog where we share our learning with the world. In addition my students have their own individual Kidblogs. We read and leave comments on other class blogs. We make authentic connections and we are constantly reminded that the earth is a small place, and as much as we are all different we are still very much the same.
Being connected, and collaborating with others from around the world is an incredible way to learn. Kidblog has given my students their own voice. No longer am I the only one reading their writing because now it’s open to the world. In addition it has made them curious to see what other students are learning and writing.
Recently one of my students has struck up a conversation with a student across the country. The dialogue continues, as they are curious to learn more about one another. It is exciting to see them connecting. Being a connected learner and educator has changed my outlook, my teaching practices, and me. I want the same for my students.
Kidblog Co-Founder Matt Hardy talks with Karen Lirenman to discuss her role as a “connected educator” and how she brings the benefits of a global learning community to her first-grade classroom in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Her students use Kidblog, but her insights apply to teachers using any blogging service with their students.
If you’re looking for us, we can be found at the following places:
- @klirenman (me)
- @MsLsClass (my class)
- http://learningandsharingwithmsl.blogspot.ca (my professional blog)
- http://mslirenmansroom.blogspot.ca (our class blog)
- http://kidblog.org/MsLirenmansClass2012 (my students’ blogs)