Saturday, November 2, 2013
Blog Post #11
Ms. Cassidy's Approach to the Use of Technology in the Classroom
Dr. Strange provided the EDM310 classes with a few videos regarding Ms. Cassidy's approach to using technology in the classroom. The first video provided, Little Kids...Big Potential, is a movie of Ms. Cassidy's first grade class. In this movie, her students speak about how they use technology in the classroom, and the movie also provides pictures of her students actively engaged in the technological tools. The last three videos provided, Interview Part 1, Interview Part 2, Interview Part 3, include an interview with Dr. Strange, his EDM310 students, and Ms. Cassidy. In this three-part interview, Dr. Strange, his EDM310 students, and Ms. Cassidy speak on many topics regarding technology in the classroom.
One of my first thoughts when viewing the video "Little Kids...Big Potential" was, "Wow! First graders? That is incredible!" Then again, I should not be so shocked. The other day I was out shopping and I noticed a child around the age of three sitting in a stroller while his mother shopped. I watched him from a distance navigate on an iPad as if he were a technologically literate adult. My childhood was so different. This video really reminded me how rapidly our world is changing, how important it is for me as an aspiring professional educator to keep up with the generational changes, and how I should adjust my pedagogy accordingly. I thoroughly enjoyed watching such young students use technology in such an effortless way. Ms. Cassidy is doing a fantastic job integrating technology in her first grade class.
Ms. Cassidy's first grade students were definitely technologically literate. These students easily navigated on iPads, computers, and Nintendos. Ms. Cassidy's students blogged, skyped, and collaborated with many people of all ages all over the world through the use of these tools.
Ms. Cassidy had many great ideas when approaching technology. She mentioned that when teachers begin using technological tools, maybe they should follow an interest of theirs. I love to write and share my thoughts, therefore, EDM310 has given me a new found passion for blogging. It is sad to think that if I never took EDM310 that I could have possibly never developed this passion! This is an example of why it is so important for me as an aspiring professional educator to give my students ample opportunities to develop passions through the use of technological tools. I will definitely be a blogging teacher, along with having a blogging class when I become an elementary school teacher.
Ms. Cassidy mentioned many topics when approaching blogging in a K-6 classroom. Something that I had concerns about with my future students blogging was the students' privacy and safety. Ms. Cassidy mentioned in the interview that she has students only list their first name in their blog. In any pictures included in class blogs, there are no names attached to the picture in order to protect her students' identity. KidBlog is a great safe and simple blog for students and teachers, and this is the blogging site I plan to use in my future classroom. Another concern I had when having my students blog was cyber bullying. Ms. Cassidy really emphasized the importance of setting rules with your students and being very straight forward from the beginning on how to conduct themselves while online. Teaching students how to conduct themselves online at a very young age is a very valuable skill for students to learn before they enter the social networking world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I firmly believe that having my students blog will improve their writing capabilities. When students write something on paper and turn it in to their teacher, their reading audience includes 2-3 people: the teacher and the parent(s). When students post something to their blog, their audience, if permitted, could include people all over the world. I believe that students will put forth far more effort when posting to their blog, knowing they will have such a large audience reading the content, and knowing this audience could possibly comment on their posts.
Ms. Cassidy is extremely motivating when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom. Students must be prepared for life outside of the classroom. What their life will consist of when they graduate high school or college is far beyond my thoughts due to how technology is so rapidly advancing. Students being prepared for their life outside of the classroom begins with me. I look forward to using technological tools in my future classroom, and I look forward to all the new tools that will be introduced to me throughout my teaching career!