Friday, July 1, 2011
Blog Post 11
Ms. Cassidy’s class has really impressed me! I love the fact that she utilizes all types of technology. In watching the video, Little Kids….Big Potential, I noticed laptops, a SMARTboard, desktop computers, video cameras, Nintendos and microphones. They weren’t collecting dust in the corner. No! They were being used! How exciting! I am mostly impressed that she is using blogs to teach her children how to spell and be better writers. I noticed when viewing the blogs that they did not have all of the words spelled correctly. I love the fact that she let them do their own work. This is the only way that they will learn. While blogging, they have also learned the etiquette of commenting and internet safety.
The classroom also has a webpage that they visit so that they can go directly to links that Ms. Cassidy has found for them. The students also know that once they get home, they can go visit the website to continue the learning process. With their wiki, they were able to do a collaborative project with people all over the country. What a great way to gain knowledge from other people. This was especially helpful in that they were studying traditions. People visited their wiki and were able to share some of their traditions. Past EDM310 students also helped in a lesson that they did involving the alphabet.
The students incorporate videos that they carefully plan with their group and post lessons on their blog. They also Skype with other classrooms and experts in that they may be helpful in teaching them about a particular subject. What I found most interesting was the fact that Ms. Cassidy allowed her students to use Nintendos. It shows me that she trusts her students by allowing them to use these as a learning tool. At the school that I work at, kids will get detention if they are caught with a device such as this. I can see both sides of the argument here. It is a great tool that can be used to engage our students, yet it can also be a distraction. I think that with it being used with such a young group, she was able to foster learning and problem solving through the game she chose to let them play. They also learned to share, and while working in a group, they had to make decisions together in order to be successful in the game. Maybe one day our school system will rethink the whole idea of devices being “against the rules”.
In watching the Skype Interview with Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy, I was able to learn about her background and how she got started with technology. She stated that she developed her first webpage about 10 years ago, her blog about 5 years ago and started incorporating video about 2 years ago. When asked if she is supported by administration, she was quick to state that she is mostly supported by her technology coordinator. He has been there for her on her technology journey. That is something we should all be on; a technology journey! Along with the support of administration, she is also supported by the parents of her students. The parents of her students are well aware of the internet use in the classroom and they are asked to sign a waiver at the beginning of the school year. We also do that here in the Mobile County School System. The thing that most impressed me is that she takes internet safety seriously. She makes sure that when they visit a site, they know to only stay in the “middle”, and to avoid all of the shiny things on the sides. She tells them that these may lead them to things that they shouldn’t be focused on.
Ms. Cassidy refers to blogging as an online portfolio. “Kids love it and they love that they don’t have to power down when they come to school.” She also states that there are so many useful tools on the internet, but blogging allows for an audience. Their work can be viewed by many others, other than just their teacher. Skype interviews are able to take place because of their blogs. She believes that all teachers should be technologically literate. She says, “Technology is not going away, it is here to stay.” What a profound statement! I’m seeing a pattern here. She is exactly right. She is setting a great example for up and coming teachers.
She makes it clear that our job is to teach them, and that is exactly what Ms. Cassidy has done with her class. I will strive to be a technologically literate teacher as she has demonstrated.