Little Kids.... Big Potential!!
This video is so inspiring and absolutely adorable! These children have a great teacher and are learning so many useful tools to learn. I think it is great that Ms. Cassidy had incorporated all of the different technological ways she is using to teach her students. It is also great that she has started these children using Wikis and Blogs at such a young age. They are so advanced for just being 1st graders. I have never seen this approach in this young of a classroom but I think it is a huge step forward in learning. If you start these children young using these tools of technology to learn, the easier they will pick up on it and the more they will want to learn. I find it very inspirational to incorporate all of these techniques with my students even at a young age. I want to teach kindergarten and sometimes you think that the young children are not capable of using computers or other ways of technology but this is proof that they can! I want to teach my kindergarten class to use these tools and let them explore learning in a new way. This was a great video for an aspiring teacher to watch, especially a teacher who would like to teach the younger students :)
Discussion with Ms. Cassidy
Ms. Cassidy has been using technology in her classroom for about 10 years. She chose to do so because she received 5 Sunray computers in her classroom. The computers were great but you couldn't put any programs on the computers so she needed to find a way to teach her six year olds with the Internet on these computers. These ideas came from having blogs and webpages for the children to learn from.
Ms. Cassidy starts working with her six year olds with this technology at the beginning of the year. She has had a classroom blog for five years now and a video blog for two years. She adds things as she goes and as new things arise.
Ms. Cassidy has a technology coordinator that is support and helps assist her if she needs it but overall she does all of the planning and work on her own. However she has a great support system from administrators and others have not really had an input. In order for her students to work with computers they must have a permission slip signed. They also have to have a permission slip signed to have their pictures taken and posted on their webpage or blogs. Ms. Cassidy only posts first names and does not correlate children's names to faces in pictures. Parents enjoy their children learning through these tools. Parents like it as well because they get to see whats going on in the classroom. They can keep up with their child's progress and can check it whenever they like instead of just during the conferences.
The children love this way of learning. They don't find it unusual at all, it is part of their life. Ms. Cassidy thinks that technology is not going away. We cannot teach children with the tools that we used 5 to 20 years ago. The tools have changed and we must learn to use them.Ms. Cassidy enjoys blogs for her first graders because there is an audience. They enjoy that people view their blogs and want to work harder for more people to view their work. It makes the children happy that people can view their work and give them advice or comment on their work. Ms. Cassidy uses tools to show her students how many people view their blogs. It shows how many times that their page is viewed and she has a map that shows when people from other countries view their blogs. Ms. Cassidy thinks that every teacher should be technologically literate. Technology is not going anywhere and teachers must be up to date. You need to keep up with what is happening. She suggests that students develop their own network online right now. She thinks this will help them develop a better technological background. She suggests people start with what you are interested in and go from there. If you are interested in video then start there! If you like photography then start there! Just what ever grabs your attention will get you on a great path. Ms. Cassidy is aTwitter user but not a big Facebooker. She got Dr. Strange into Twitter even. Ms. Cassidy and Dr. Strange are very enthusiastic on Twitter and find it very helpful for homework. I thought it was great that the students in Dr. Strange's class asked Ms. Cassidy questions as well. It was great that they got to interact in this video and be able to ask what was on their mind. The overall approach that Ms. Cassidy uses in her first grade class is collaboration through different forms of technology. She uses blogging, Wikis, and Webpages as the main sources for her teaching and learning philosophies. I think she is a great inspiration for future teachers, especially because she has taught her six year olds to do all of these different things with technology. I would really like to use blogging in my classroom because it is an electronic portfolio. I really like that all of the students work can be accounted for and viewable for others and their parents. I would anticipate more parent involvement in my classroom if their children had blogs. The parents could see what their child was up to and see their progress in the class. I think this would be great and beneficial for all parties involved: the teacher, the parent, and the student.