Monday, June 30, 2014

Blog #10

What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Mrs. Kathy Cassidy

Mrs. Cassidy is a first grade teach at a school in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada. She has embraced the 21st century by completely immersing her classroom in the use of technology. In her video, Little Kids...Big Potential, she gives an idea of the different things her students do through the year. Through the narration of her own students, it is evident that Mrs. Cassidy has created students who enjoy learning what they learn.

In this video, we see students creating videos that teach the viewer how to do different things (say letters, count, etc.). The use of video recording for instructional purposes is a great way to not only help students enjoy class, but also remember their material better. This is definitely a method I want to adopt and adapt into my future classroom.

In her first interview video with Dr. Strange, Cassidy 13 Part 1, Mrs. Cassidy talks about how the computers the kids use at school are special computers that don't allow any downloads of any unauthorized programs. She says she also teaches her students what's appropriate to click on and what's not. I feel like these are two very simple approaches to monitoring students using technology. Many parents are concerned with viewing controls on school computers, making them very apprehensive about allowing their students to use computers at school. However, if measures are taken like those in Mrs. Cassidy's class, then parents won't have to worry about what their students see on the computers at school.

Mrs. cassidy also talks about how she has immense support from those higher up than her. She said that she "pushes the envelope" all the time, and her technology coordinator in her district and the administrators at her school are always willing to help her out because he's seen the potential she has with her students. This is the kind of teacher ever education major should strive to be. She uses her skills with technology to create a class that is admired not only by fellow educators, but also by those above her. It is through this respect that she said she was able to acquire more funding for her classroom.

Her use of blogging is very pleasing to the parents of her students because they can see their children's progress throughout the year. This is just one reason why I think blogging is one of the greatest ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. It is definitely something I will be incorporating into my future classroom!

In her second interview video, Cassidy 13 Part 2, she talks about how to start using technology in your classroom. She says the best way to do that is to start with something that you are comfortable with. That way you are able to start students off with something you know you can easily explain.

Even though Mrs. Cassidy does not use social media (Facebook,Twitter, etc.) a lot in her free time, she does say that she thinks it is a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom. I also believe this to be true, but I'm not sure it would be useful for younger students. I am wanting to teach high school, and almost every high school student has a Twitter or Facebook. If these were used in a classroom, teachers could create a class group on Facebook or create a class hashtag on Twitter so students would have a central location they could go to to get assignments, help each other with work, or talk to the teacher about the lessons. As for teachers, social media is a GREAT way to build our PLN's.

In her third and final interview, Cassidy 13 Part 3, she talks about she is flexible with her blogging in class depending on the class size and the speed at which they are progressing in class. I think this awareness is a very good quality to have because it gives the classroom a little more laid back feel while still having structure.

Mrs. Cassidy also talks about how blogs aren't really a problem as far as cheating. Instead, she says they are good for collaborative sharing among teachers. She said some of the stuff she does in her class is piggy-backing off of another teachers work. She says that teachers are beginning to lean more towards this "collaborative sharing", and I couldn't agree more!

Mrs. Cassidy's approach to technology is wonderful! Starting students off at a young age using technology is definitely preparing them for the future ahead of them. I want to adopt this in my future class. I predict that with high school students, the use of technology in the classroom will be less restrictive than what Mrs. Cassidy's class is. I would also predict that students would exceed my expectations all the time because of how easily the younger generations can learn technology. I look forward to seeing how my future class excels with technology!

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