Ms. Cassidy + Technology with 1st Graders = Inspiration
There have been numerous assignments involving the reading of a teacher's blog during the summer semester of EDM 310. However, viewing the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy in Canada seemed to bring a realism to the concept of teaching with technology. To actually hear how the implementation of technology began and evolved in her class confirms that everyone begins somewhere. Her clever use of technology (blogging, educational games) in centers is something that I will use. I can also envision myself having students post writings and work on blogs. Students in her class seemed so proud to see their work posted on a blog. They were also encouraged by comments left by family and other students.
Ms. Cassidy's method had many advantages. First of all, blogs form a portfolio of work. Students, parents, and teachers are able to see students' progress over time. Everyone learns that good manners are important. The second advantage I noticed is Ms. Cassidy's lesson to her students of the importance of social manners online. Hurtful words cannot be taken back once they are said or posted. This is a lesson in responsibility and good citizenship. Ms. Cassidy isn't simply satisfied with teaching her students to blog and play educational games. She introduces other elements of technology such as Wikis and videos to keep her students interested while laying the foundation of tools they will continue to build upon.
One comment made by Ms. Cassidy struck a negative chord within me. It is discouraging to hear that while administration may have tolerated and allowed her to use technology in her teaching, she wasn't always encouraged. She also did not refer to many other teachers using these methods in their classrooms. To be honest, if I were her, I would not be able to resist wondering why other teachers could not see this importance and join in. Would other teachers be judgmental behind my back? It seems like it would be difficult to be unique. Hopefully, I will be surrounded by other teachers who value technology in the classroom as I have learned to.