Kathy Cassidy: SuperTeacher
After watching Ms. Cassidy's video, Little Kids...Big Potential, and also the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy, I feel like I can finally see how I can use the tools learned in EDM310 in my future classroom. Ms. Cassidy makes using technology in the classroom look so simple and easily accessible as well as beneficial for students. I was so impressed with her students as well as her own zeal for technology and its advantage in the classroom.
In Little Kids...Big Potential, Ms. Cassidy gives viewers a look into her classroom and an overview of the amazing ways that she uses technology with her students. She approaches everything that the internet has to offer, in terms of education, and utilizes it to its full potential in her classroom. In the video, you can see how her students use blogs as an online portfolio of their work. Not only can Ms. Cassidy see their work, but readers from across the globe can access their blogs and leave comments. Her students say that they love to receive comments from people and not only do they gain communication skills but also their writing improves as they post to their blog. Students also have a webpage that they can access either at home or at school to find useful tools on the internet, to catch up on work, or to learn about something new. They also make use of wikis and are able to ask questions to people around the world in order to learn more about a certain topic. Ms. Cassidy's students make videos about what they learn and can post them to their blog and they also use Skype in order to talk to people in different places. Another technology that they use is the Nintendo DS. Yes, they use a Nintendo in class; it's for educational games of course! By using the DS they become better problem solvers and learn to share. Oh yea. Did I mention she does this with 1st graders? Talk about impressive!
The Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy answered a lot of the questions I had regarding technology in the elementary classroom setting. I've always been concerned with how I would protect my students but Ms. Cassidy says that she does so by keeping their last names private, by not putting children's names with a picture, and also by acquiring parental consent for children's work to be put on the internet. She said that parents were generally in favor of blogs and other technology because it allowed them to be able to view their child's work without scheduling a meeting. Another concern that I've had has been if my students would be able to use these tools or not. Of course, now I know that Ms. Cassidy teaches 1st grade, telling me that they are very capable of using the internet and other various technologies. Ms. Cassidy urges us to modify our material to fit the capabilities of our students. I have definitely noticed that children now seem to be born with the ability to work any device they are handed. Technology is not foreign to them and they are excited to use it in learning.
After watching Ms. Cassidy's video and the Skype interview, I can definitely see my vision for the use of technology in my classroom. I've wanted my own teacher blog for quite some time, but I believe that I will definitely utilize student blogs as well. It benefits students greatly to be exposed to the world of blogging and also exposes them to the world outside of the classroom. If a parent or administrator had a problem with this, I would try my best to show them the benefits of blogging. I could even show them Ms. Cassidy's class as an example. I also plan on showing my students how to create a PLN and allowing them to create their own. This would be a great way to organize their work as well as show their parents what they are working on. Also, I'd be in favor of creating a webpage for my student to access important information, to learn new things, and to catch up on their work just as Ms. Cassidy does. I may incorporate this in reading centers or during time in the computer lab. I plan to utilize all of the tools that Ms. Cassidy's class uses in my future classroom in some way or another. As Ms. Cassidy said, we are handicapping our students and ourselves if we do not use technology in our classroom. I'm now excited to implement technology into my classroom for the benefit of the future of my students.