Monday, October 28, 2013
Blog Assignment #11
’Little Kids, Big Potential’ Video
Ms. Cassidy’s first grade class is from Moose Jaw, Canada. This first grade class has individual blogs. They enjoy it because people comment back on their blogs and they get to see their own individual progress throughout the school year. They know the rules for commenting and to not say mean things in comments because it could hurt their classmate’s feelings. Ms. Cassidy has a classroom blog that the students can go to and it has appropriate links for them to click on. They can even pull up their blog at home, which they think is very neat. They used Wiki’s in the classroom as well to find out what rituals and traditions were. They made their own Wiki’s about the Alphabet. This class made all sorts of videos together to help them learn different things. They made videos of themselves counting and learning the ABC’s that they could go back and watch. This fist grade class Skype’s different teachers from around the world to learn about different subjects. Mrs. Cassidy's classroom is equipped with Nintendo DS, which is a hand held gaming device that contains educational games. Ms. Cassidy’s first grade class is a very good example of using Project Based Learning in an excellent way.
Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy
Ms. Cassidy got involved in technology about ten years ago when her classroom was given five computers. These computers could not have programs put on them so all she had was Internet access. She started using these computers for center time and wanted to learn how to make them useful for six-year olds. Ms. Cassidy began learning how to create blogs and webpages that she could use in her classroom. She was able to get some funding through the Federal Government at the time to get some professional development and to get some release time to work on things. It takes Ms. Cassidy’s students the whole school year to fully begin to understand technology. She started her webpage about 10 years ago and started her classroom blog about five years ago. Technology in her classroom is a process and she is always trying to add to it. It is mostly just her figuring it out, but they do have a technology coordinator that supports her in their district. The administration in her school does not discourage her from using technology but isn’t very much interested in it either. They are always willing to let her continue doing it though because the technology coordinator helps put good words in about using technology in the classroom. All the kids have a form go home with them on the first day of school for the parents to sign. This form gives the students permission to get on the Internet and allows their work to be posted online. It also lets the parents know that their child’s identity will be protected. Ms. Cassidy makes this happen by only posting first names and not putting certain names with pictures. Parents enjoy their kids blogging because they can go to their students blog and see what they are doing and what progress they are making. The children love it! Technology is part of their world now. Ms. Cassidy tells us that technology is not going away and in this generation, we as teachers have to change because the world is changing. You must take advantage of the new tools in this generation. She also tells us that blogging neat because a child can have an audience. Children like to write knowing others will be able to read it and comment about it. Each child can see the amount of page views that they have and they find this very cool. EDM310 classes here at the University of South Alabama comment on her student’s blogs, and she also is paired with other universities that comment to her students throughout the year. Skyping is also used in her classroom to other college students and teachers. There is also a first grade class in Gadsden, Alabama that communicates with her class. Some teachers struggle with change and haven’t started to incorporate technology in their classroom yet.