Hi, friends! It's Kim here from For a Love of Teaching! Our 2nd Annual Teacher-Blogger Interviews have been another big hit this year. Be sure to check out our previous posts as we have interviewed some pretty awesome teacher-bloggers this month!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin from Erintegration. Erin is super talented when it comes to integrating technology (particularly iPads) into the curriculum in a variety of fun and innovative ways. Her love and passion for technology are evident in her creative resources and blog posts for teachers. She has a desire to help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms in easy to manage ways. The products she creates are so easy to follow, and her directions for students and teachers take the guesswork out of technology. Erin is continuously coming up with creative technology lessons that students are sure to love. When browsing her store, I find myself saying... "What a great idea!" or "How did she think of that?"
Keeping reading to learn more about this technology guru along with her blogging tips and tricks!
Erin: I started blogging a few years ago when I got an iPad in my classroom. I wanted to share how we were using it, what apps we liked, and the projects we made. Since then, we have acquired access to a whole cart of iPads and started to use Google Classroom, so that has changed my focus from blogging about being a one iPad classroom to blogging about technology integration in general. I also have written more about my feelings regarding the use of technology in the classroom – how to manage it and students using it, how to reduce screen time and the goals of technology integration. I wanted to join in the group of classroom teachers giving voice to these ideas – our perspective is important to the discussion even if we are not the ones with the purchasing power and decision-making responsibilities when it comes to technology use in our schools.
Erin: Usually, my teaching informs my blogging, but sometimes I will be thinking of something to blog about and I will end up creating ideas to use in my classroom. That is how my “At Home with Google Apps” series started and now thinking of and making projects on these posts has increased my use of Google Classroom.
Erin: Family always comes first so the balance is always tipped that way. Teaching is a huge part of my life, too. However since it is my 11th year teaching, I’m very efficient at using my prep time and planning. I have tried to reduce paper greatly which also cuts back on time copying. I have the students take responsibility for a lot of tasks in the classroom included checking their work, which also helps them take ownership and learn from their mistakes. I try to blog once a week but I’ll be honest, this gets pushed back a lot! I have 3-year-old twin girls so my blog is at their mercy!
Erin: I think the key is to blog about something you are passionate about. Being interested in everything technology integration means I always have something to write about, and I can write my ideas very quickly because they are bursting out! A more specific tip is to learn everything you can about SEO, what it is, how it works, and how you can utilize it on your blog. Most teacher-bloggers are writing to help other teachers so you want other teachers to be able to find your blog!
Erin: I think the last resource I make is always going to be my favorite. Right now it would be all of my Emoji resources – both digital for the iPad and tech-free. Before that, it was my Google Forms Pick a Path Math interactive adventure story. Earlier this year it would have been all of my iPad Scoot Games. Ask me in a couple weeks and it will be whatever I have just posted!
I actually first found Erin on Twitter (@erintegration) and started following her instantly! I figured out fairly quickly that she was the mastermind behind the famous #tptchat on Sunday nights. I asked her to tell us more about this Twitter chat for TpT sellers and how we can join in!
Erin: I love Twitter and was trying to find other TpTers to connect with so I started the hashtag and chat on Sundays 8-9PM EST. Luckily other teacher-authors joined in and I wasn’t chatting to myself! Each week there is a different topic and questions to guide the discussion. I write them or the guest host of the chat does. Then any TpTer can join in! More info can be found on my blog. You can also use the hashtag anytime you are posting something TpT related on Twitter – I use an aggregate to round up all of the tweets with #tptchat in them each day.
With Twitter, you can Tweet anywhere and responses are short so it makes for quick and easy Professional Development. You can ask a question and get a response from a teacher across the world. So it broadens your ability to connect with other teachers, but you can do it in PJs with a messy bun!
Since Erin is the queen of iPads, I didn't let her go without asking... What are your top 3 favorite apps to use in the classroom?
Erin: My favorite apps are all free and facilitate creation: Chatterpix, PicCollage, TACU, Haiku Deck, and Tellagami. And Google Drive for storage and sharing. That was more than 3!
Erin's blog, Erintegration, is ah-mazing! It is a wealth of technology information and tips & tricks at your fingertips! Be sure to visit her blog to learn more about Erin, how she incorporates technology into her classroom and her brilliant ideas for engaging those digital learners in the classroom.