Mrs. Cassidy's Class
In Mrs. Cassidy's first grade classroom they use many approaches to technology. Some of these include: blogging, websites, Wiki, Skype, and even the students Nintendo DS'. Mrs. Cassidy set up blogs for all of her students. This allows them to work on their writing skills. She and the students particularly like this because it is not just Mrs. Cassidy reading their work, but the whole world! The students write usually about a sentence or so a day and they get feedback from lots of viewers. Their teacher set it up on their blogs so they can see how many people have visited their blog that day. Mrs. Cassidy sees this as a reinforcement for her students. This tool also allows them to be more focused on what they are writing. Another perk of using technology in her classroom is that the parents get to follow their children's progress. They do not get to post everything online, but most of their writing is online and their parents have access to see their child's progress in the classroom all while learning to use technology. The children have been taught by their teacher that safety is crucial while on the internet. They only go by their first names, no last names are displayed. Also, if their picture is up, their name will not be directly beside it. Before the students use technology, papers are sent home to the parents to explain what their children will be doing exactly. Some other items the students use are Wikis. This helps them ask questions to others about topics such as traditions and rituals from around the world.
In the Skype video with Dr. Strange, Mrs. Cassidy tells us that she got involved with technology because she was given five computers and that was enough to create a center, so she thought why not! She realizes that there are some teachers who still like the traditional way of teaching, but as she said, the students love it. It can become an issue when teachers do not like or care to learn about technology because it deprives their students of the world they live in. Like Mrs. Cassidy stated: "technology is apart of our world and it's not going away". I think Mrs. Cassidy has a great approach to technology and I think as long as we are using technology in the classroom there will not be much room for impediments. From what I can tell, technology is engaging to our students, not distracting. I think there are many benefits to having technology in the classroom. By allowing students to have their own blog, access to a class blog, or learn how to navigate a website is beneficial to them. Of course they would have to be taught what is right and wrong when it comes to browsing the internet. Nonetheless, technology might be strange to us, but it is not strange to them. This is their world and they have to be taught how to navigate it for future purposes!
Check out Mrs. Cassidy's First Graders here!
Check out the Skype conversation between Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy here!