Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Assignment # 11

Little Kids.. Big Potential

I enjoyed watching this video and all the great resources and tools being provided to the kids. Mrs. Cassidy opened their minds to using different technologies to learn. The students are not just expected to do worksheets, listen or read, but encouraged to explore different methods of learning using technology tools.  The kids were able to think outside the box and really use their own thinking in her class. They were able to learn being hands on creating blog pages, and using Nintendo DS’s to provide learning. I believe she has gotten the class involved and interested in learning by allowing the exploration in using the internet and hands on projects.  Mrs. Cassidy’s learning techniques and approaches are excellent! In regards to the whether or not she was talking about Edm 310 students when she implied Alabama students I do believe she was but also about another Alabama class. I think she was talking about the class that joined in on their Wiki page in creating letters of the alphabet by drawing, videoing, or movie making. The kids seemed to really enjoy all the opportunities and learning Mrs. Cassidy is providing them with.

 The Skype interview with Ms. Kathy Cassidy was to help provide Edm 310 students with an insight and advice on incorporating the use of technology with learning. She has had a classroom blog for about 10 years now. Ms. Cassidy is always adding new things to her blog. She first started with 5 simple Microsoft computers with the internet being the only use on each one. Instead of letting the center go to waste she wanted to be able to use and incorporate the tools she had been provided with. Ms. Cassidy began doing her own internet research creating her own ideas on incorporating learning with the use of the internet.  Her willingness to learn more and to create usage of the tools she was given is magnificent it shows her passion for wanting to help expand the minds of her students and their learning. Ms. Cassidy doesn’t set limits, but opens minds and doors to new learning for her students and their knowledge on how and what to use the internet for.
They children love learning how to create and use a blog they created and can work on daily. The parents also like it because it allows them to see the work and progress their child has made from the beginning to the end. It provides a portfolio of the students work and learning over a period of time. My favorite part about her creating this is she still makes sure her students are protected by only allowing the first name and making the pictures not match with any name.
Ms. Cassidy has been such a motivator and influence to another first grade teacher at her school wanting to learn how to involve these methods in his own classroom. Her motivation for learning more and researching for what to do next is outstanding. The question asked to Ms. Cassidy was “Do you believe all teachers should be technology literate?” Her reply was absolutely! Technology is changing and improving more and more than it had years ago. It’s important you know how to use it. She explained how over the years it has changed from just using word, spreadsheets, documents and programs to blogging, and tweeting.  I liked how she implied how important it was to keep up with what is being created around you. Never stoop learning as an educator always want to learn more.
Ms. Cassidy expressed her thoughts on Twitter and how relevant of a tool it has become. It is a huge helpful tool in gathering ideas, sharing ideas, learning, resources, websites, and advice to help encourage incorporating technology. Twitter allows you to share ideas and dreams with other educators wanting to create what you’re wanting also.  Find something that interested in and research using that she referred to it as your “entry point” and everyone’s is different. You’ll find that they provide one for writing, videos, communicating, and sharing.
I learned from this interview that you can’t be closed minded to researching or the use of technology, but to be open in researching new tools and learning more about what is out of your comfort zone and to pursue the new developments around you. I loved her teaching techniques and all the different methods to learning she used. I liked how she made it hands on and visual learning. She changes their thinking and mindset on what learning involves. I would use many of her tactics in my classroom. One that stood out is the Skype being used to communicate, read, and listening with other students and classrooms from around the word. The benefits I would encounter from using her approaches would be huge. I would help change mindsets and ways of learning in kids. To expand the learning area by incorporating technology and the resources provided. I will open unlimited opportunities for them to use, explore and think on.

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