Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

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.
Cartoon with kids on computer and the adult says It's amazing what you kids can do with technology. My VCR is still blinking 12 o'clock. The dad walks away and one kids says What's a VCR? and the other kids says Google it.

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.
Cartoon of girl with a cord attached to her that says don't unplug me or just shut me down
In her classroom, she uses not only blogging, Skype and Twitter but also game systems like Nintendo DS to get students interested in their work.  I think she really convinced me to use blogging in my future classroom. The benefits that she outlined of this approach were persuasive.  I never really thought about the main attraction of blogging as being for an audience. However, I now see what a benefit this can be for my students writing. Not only do I think this is a good motivation for students but also will make them better writers. I do NOT want to UNPLUG MY STUDENTS when they get into my room.  I also think that using Skype to connect my students to other classrooms around the world and to experts and professionals would be beneficial for my students. Since I will be teaching History, I want to avoid the cliche boring History class where the teacher hashes out a lot of facts in lecture format.  I think if students stay connected and interested through sources available on the internet, History may actually "come alive" for 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.


  1. Jessica,
    Wow! You have an amazing blog! The imagery and the word flow is just amazing. I can't seem to think of another way to describe it. I really didn't see any grammatical errors or anything like that. I like how the interpretation you used on describing the feeling of neglect Ms. Cassidy talks about if students do not utilize their technology. I also can tell you are extremely passionate about teaching and the use of technology. It really jumps off the page! Nice job! Keep it up! We are almost at the finish line!

    1. Thanks for the feedback!! I can't wait to get ACROSS that finish line!!

  2. Hello Jessica,

    Wonderfully thoughtful post. You showed true thought on the subject at hand and provided key evidence to support your use of Ms. Cassidy's techniques in your future classroom. Keep up the great work.