Who am I and what am I doing?

My name is Kate Klingensmith, I am 29 years old, living in Oakland, and enjoying some time off of work.  Until December, I was working for an exciting education startup out of Berkeley called Inigral, Inc, which has developed an outstanding Facebook application for colleges and universities, as well as a website for K-12 teachers to share content.

In 2008, I resigned from teaching after 4 years, thinking that I can possibly make more of a change from the innovation side of education, rather than in the classroom.  I taught Biology, Physics and Anatomy at an incredible charter school called YES and, though I loved my students dearly, grading quizzes and doing lunch duty were just not how I wanted to spend my time.  I have a degree in Brain and Cognitive Science from MIT (’02), with a strong interest in learning theory and cognitive architecture, and I’m hoping to apply what I’ve learned over the past 10 years to figuring some things out.

My friend Michael Staton got me very interested in looking at education as a new beast – one where students are out-growing traditional classroom styles faster than most teachers can adapt, one where the overwhelming amount of data available can be harnessed as an invaluable tool for shaping instruction, one where there is a definite need for innovation in order to realize every school and every student’s potential.  Social networking plays a huge role in this by allowing you to build your own Personal Learning Network, whether you’re a teacher or a student.  Enter: Web 2.0.  There should probably be an army of people dedicated to taming this beast and putting it to work for us…..are you out there?

I started this blog as a way to share what I find, to try to make teachers lives’ richer and easier.  I also want to make this offer – if you’re a high school science teacher, I have a ton of material that I created over the past couple of years and would love to share it with you!



31 responses to “Who am I and what am I doing?

  1. Caro Arc

    OMG! Your ambitions are amazing. Kudos to your energy and mindset. You made a brave move and I can’t wait to see where your travels take all of us.

  2. Love keeping tabs on your thinking. As a principal and staff developer, I feel so responsible for guiding my teachers in new teaching approaches so we are walking side by side with our students in emerging technologies. Thank you for doing what you are doing to help people like me!

  3. Kudos Kate – for your intellectual curiosity, integrity and energetic drive to help tame Web 2.0.

  4. M. Klingensmith

    Wow, Kate, pretty cool sweetheart.

    your uncle, Matt

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  6. Kate,
    I am fascinated with what you are doing. Let me know if you are looking for partners in this adventure!

  7. Chad Kafka

    Hi Kate – saw you follow me on Twitter so I checked out your Twitter page and your website. Very impressed by what you’re doing. Thanks for the follow! Some great things you are posting here on your site as well…

    Take care

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  9. I just checked out your article.
    Very cool!
    What do you think of http://www.helpology.org?

  10. I think what you’re doing is great and for someone who works in Student Affairs in Higher Education, I can totally appreciate your story. I will continue to follow your updates on Twitter!

    Best wishes,

  11. Kate, I’m thrilled to have found your blog (I saw you on Twitter first when searching for PLN). I’m teaching anatomy and I look forward to learning more from you about what I can do differently do improve the learning experience for my students.

  12. Mack McCary

    Thank you for sharing! I am assisting a collaborative of 6 middle college/academy schools plus a middle school in Greensboro, NC learn how to develop a virtual learning community to share what they are learning about using classroom assessment to empower teachers and students. Your overview of PLN very timely and helpful! Can’t want to forward your offer to share to two outstanding science teachers in our group.

  13. Michelle Davis

    WOW! I am a 20+ year veteran science teacher always looking for ways to keep up with my students. Embracing a new way of learning is always a challenge. Thanks for your efforts. I think it will help us adapt.

  14. Keith

    Hi, Kate,

    Cool stuff! I’ll take a look around here. I found you when I did a search for an image of Bloom’s taxonomy for my school’s newsletter.

    I’m very interested in the possibilities of the digital world for my students.

    All the best,

  15. psycholiloquy

    Your words and work are inspiring. I’d have the pleasure of following you and liking you up.

  16. You have become the starting point for my PLN and those of my students. Thanks for saving me hours of work, and I thank you for the positive impact impact you’ve already had, and we’ve only just begun. You can follow my progress and those of my students if you like, because I am blogging about my processes. I’m a relative newbie at the PLN concept, but my knowledge seems to be doubling by the hour. If that’s not evidence of the PLN in action, I don’t what is.

  17. kcaise

    Thank you for having the courage to step away from the classroom when you discovered that it wasn’t what you envisioned for your profession. Too many teachers stay in the classroom that don’t have the passion and drive to work with the students in today’s age and society.

    I love hearing what you have to say knowing that you have an educational and corporate mindset view of things. I applaud your for doing what you are passionate about while encouraging educators like myself that have been in education for over 20 years!

    Kim Caise

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  19. Kate,
    I came here from google, looking for descriptions of some elearning tools. But I’ve stayed for much longer, than I supposed to.

    You have an amazing blog.

  20. Recently attended a PLN seminar. This has been a terrific read in follow-up. Your outline of the structural process is an effective tool. I will be listening to you.

  21. Tibor

    Kate…great stuff!!

    I teach learning challenged students in middle school and I wonder if you have any ways to use PLNs in this field.


  22. Vincentte Kofi-Ackam

    Hi Kate,
    I just love your enthusiasm and I want to learn to create similiar thing on my own to help both my students and colleagues.

    I need your assistance

  23. Hello, Kate – Does the offer to share teaching materials still stand? I teach HS biology, advanced biology, and MS life science. This is my first year in a secondary school setting; most of my experience is in informal science education. I am very interested in using Web 2.0 resources to facilitate rich, individualized learning experiences that extend beyond the typical school day and traditional learning environment.

    Please let me know what you’d like to share when you get a chance. Thanks for the great blog post about Twitter!


  24. Hey Kate, landed on your blog as it came up in a google search near mine. My blog is A teacher’s adventures in cyberspace.
    I teach Physics, Biology and Psychology, I have enjoyed reading your blog,
    Penny (Australia)

  25. brad5patterson

    I’ve soaked up some of your twitter knowledge, and it was by just stumbling on a page while trying to better understand PLNs.

    I’m impressed with your direction, and wonder why no bloggin for a year.

    Best of luck in 2011,


  26. Hi Kate. Thanks for the posts on Twitter for teachers and 21st Century learning. I’m a new HS science teacher (Biology and Chemistry) at an independent school that is very strongly pushing 21st century learning, design thinking, etc.

    I would love to take a look at any teaching materials/resources you are willing to share if the offer still stands. Best of luck on your new endeavors!

    T.J. Edwards
    @TJEdwards62 – Twitter

  27. Love the blog!! Thank you for helping out teachers like me!!

    ~M. Hunter
    @RHOyalEducator – Twitter

  28. Raihan

    i stumbled upon your web when i was looking around for inspiration. i think i got one… keep up the great work🙂

    p/s: im a biology teacher too😀

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  31. Grace Andrade

    Take me into your trip of wonders! I as well will be a contributor of what ever I can find and share during my own trip to this amazing world of science e-learning. Have a nice weekend dear Kathy.

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