LITTLE Kids BIG Potential
Ms. Cassidy teaches first grade in Moose Jaw, Canada. She uses "centers" for learning in her classroom that include (among other things) using computers for blogging and internet work, Nintendo DS for educational games, and making videos. The video link about called "Little Kids Big Potential" shows her classroom and how these students use technology for their education.
Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
In this interview with Dr. Strange, Ms. Cassidy explains her approaches to using technology in her classroom. I think her approach to technology can be summed up in one word: "Kids and technology go hand in hand. They don't want to 'power down' when they get to school." Obviously, I know she is an advocate of technology in the classroom (see the above video of her classroom), but I think it goes beyond using it because it is available. She thinks that if you are not tapping into tools like blogs, internet, Skype, wikis, etc that you are actually putting your children at a disadvantage. We must change, because the world outside the classroom has changed for these students. She also said that information has become more collaborative, which is a great way to look at information that student's view on the internet. I think it's also a new philosophy on "cheating." Her approach also goes beyond the students to the teacher. She invested in professional development and has developed her own personal learning network online via Twitter, blogs, etc. She stresses the importance of future educators like the students of EDM310 keeping up with technology and being well-networked in things that interest them.
Ms. Cassidy had a lot of support for her endeavors in the form of a "technology coordinator" and principals who were either actively encouraging or weren't necessarily discouraging. However, I may not have these resources or that encouragement in my school. I may actually have a principal that is weary of technology or thinks that internet use is too risky in a classroom. I think the only defense I have against this is to become my own technology coordinator or advocate. I will need to convince my principal that the benefits of technology far outweigh the risks. Maybe I could even use some of the videos, blogs, etc that we have seen during EDM310. After all, they convinced me.