Friday, April 13, 2012
Blog Post 11
In Kathy Cassidy's video, "Little Kids, Big Potential", she uses her 1st grade students to give us an inside look at how she uses technology in the classroom. The students are using the class website, blogger, Skype, Wikis, Nintendo DS and computers. It is easy to see that Ms. Cassidy's student enjoy learning with technology. Some of the students were very well spoken, that comes as a surprise to me as they are only 6 and 7 year old. I really enjoyed the video. It was a positive example of how teacher can use technology in the class as well as how just how much the students really enjoy this approach to learning.
Skype Conversation with Ms. Cassidy
Ms. Kathy Cassidy, is a 1st Grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She has been involved with technology for the past 10 years. Technology in her classroom began when she was given five SunRay Computers. Mrs. Cassidy stated she has had a website for about 10 years now, a class blog for about 5 years, and has been doing a video for about 2 years. She uses Blogmeister in her classroom. I visited her blog. I enjoyed the things the she and her students shared. I feel that it is one of the best teacher blogs that I have seen that not only show what the students do but also demonstrates how technology is being used on a regular basics. Ms. Cassidy also has a personal website , which is also a great resource for teachers.
There are two things that really stood out to me that Ms. Cassidy shared in the skype interview. She stated, "kids and the technology go hand in hand", and "We have to change because the world has changed." I could not agree more with the two statements. In today's world, technology is all some kids know when it comes to entertainment and most importantly, learning. In 2007, when I got my first teaching job, Smartboards where the "IT" factor in the schools. While Smarboards are still very valuable in the classroom there is so much more technology that is not just available to teachers but to the students as well. I say all of this to make a point that even 5 years ago, which seems to be not long ago, there is much more to offer in the classrooms. This class (EDM310) has really provided me with very useful information that I plan to utilize when I am fortunate enough to get a teacher position again.
She also states that is very important for students to start developing their personal networks. Before this class I had no idea of what a PLN was. I have learned that it is a valuable resource for teachers. As teachers we have to change with the time and students. Having a PLN helps teachers develop new ideas that promote student learning. Although I am still new to the idea of having a PLN, I have already found and bookmarked blogs, people, and sites that I feel will help keep me updated for the future.
In the future, I plan to use several of the ideas that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom. I really enjoyed Ms. Cassidy's Classroom Blog. While I was exploring her site, looking at several of the student's blog post and work, I thought.... Portfolio. I like the idea of having an electronic portfolio. Although it may take some time for me get into the habit of electroniclly recording information, I feel that it will be very well worth it in the end. Parents have access to what their child is doing on a regular basics as opposed to waiting every 9 weeks or so for the parent-teacher conference to find out how their child is doing in school. I feel that having the videos of students working in the classroom, hearing audio files of their child read, etc, will give parents an instant progress report. Hopefully, it would encourage the parents to work with their students more at home as well. Students also get to track their progress. By using the blog as a personal journal, they get to see how their literacy skills grow as time progresses. Overall, I feel that blogging will keep the students actively engaged in their learning.
I also like the ideal of using Skype in the classroom. I think that it would really help the student connect to other parts of the world that they may never have access to. With Skype, students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge in amazing ways. On the website, 50 Awesome Ways to use Skype in the Classroom, it gives many additional ways as to how I can use Skype in my classroom.