Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher from Moose Jaw, Canada. Over the past ten years or so, she has incorporated and got her students involved with many different forms of technology. In her video Little kids... Big Potential, she gives us a little insight and overview of some of the ways her students have used technology to learn. She included both pictures and real video clips into this video. She even had some of her students talk about what they had learned and what they had liked about the different kinds of technology they had been using. Ms. Cassidy used many techniques and resources to help her students learn. One technique Ms. Cassidy uses is student learning through blogging. She explained that her student's blogs are online portfolios of their work. Her student's know exactly how to write a quality comment and they know their work will be available for anyone to see. One little girl in this video said her writing gets better every time she writes a blog. Another child said they liked blogging because people can see it and leave comments. A second technique Ms. Cassidy uses is a classroom webpage. They have their own classroom webpage so that her students can find things on the Internet in a safe way. When her students go home, they are still able to access it. A third technique Ms. Cassidy uses is video making. Her student's make videos on the things they learn and then they upload them onto their blogs. Sometimes they get into groups and help each other make the videos. A fourth technique Ms. Cassidy uses is learning through Skype. By using Skype, Ms. Cassidy's class is able to talk to other people in other places. They Skype people from different classrooms and they have even talked to experts. The last technique I will be discussing that Ms. Cassidy uses for learning is by playing on a Nintendo DS. At first I wasn't sure how playing on a Nintendo DS would do anything to increase learning. However, I learned that by using them to play games, it helps students become better problem solvers and they learn about sharing and working collaboratively.
In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 1, Ms. Cassidy shared with us how and why she got involved with using technology in her classroom. She said she got involved in technology about ten years ago because they were suddenly given five computers in their classroom. She also said when you have five of anything you can turn it into a center, so she wanted to make use of the computers they were given. Ms. Cassidy then explained that she started with making a class webpage which then lead up to blogging and then on to other technological techniques. Her student's parents really like the idea of blogging. They like being able to see their child's progress through the year. Ms. Cassidy likes using blogs for learning because blogs provide students with two things that pencil and paper can't provide; an audience, and feedback through comments.
In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 2, Ms. Cassidy discussed where people should start when they want to incorporate technology into their classroom but do not know where to start. She said, "Do it for what you're interested in and push that way. If you're interested in video, start with using videos, get a YouTube account, and go from there. There is a a different entry point for everybody."
In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 3, Ms. Cassidy answered questions from Dr. Strange's class of students. One student asked Ms. Cassidy about how often she used blogging. In her reply she said it depends on the year. Most of the time her class blogs once a week, and occasionally twice. She said it also depends on how things are running in the classroom, there isn't just a set number of times. Another student asked about using Face Book in classrooms. Ms. Cassidy said that Face Book would be a great technique and tool to use in a classroom. She suggested that in order for Face Book to involve educational learning, students would need to set up a separate Face Book account for a specific class. Face Book would be a great source for posting of information, posting of assignments, and for other resources.
Out of the different techniques Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom, I would highly consider using Skype and blogging in my own classroom. Although she did not specify that she used Face Book in her classroom, she did say that it could be a great source to use when she was asked about it from one of Dr. Strange's students. I would also highly consider using Face Book in my own classroom. I would use Skype in the same manner as Ms. Cassidy used it. I think that it is great that her students are able to chat with different classrooms and experts from around the world. I think my students would really enjoy it and they would also learn from it. I would use blogging in my classroom also as an online portfolio of my students' work. I will give my students specific topics to write about. They would be using writing skills along with 21st century skills through their blogging. By using Face Book as a tool, my students would be able to learn how to use Face Book and they would be able to turn to it as a source of information. By using these techniques and resources, my students will be able to combine educational work with 21st century skills. They would become more familiar with Skype, blogging, and Face Book in an educational manner.