Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Blog Post #11
In this blog we looked into Ms. Cassidy's classroom. Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada that absorbs her students with technology. I enjoyed watching the video she made of her classroom showing viewers how her children are using technology daily. It really is incredible. What I found most helpful was the interview of the teacher. Ms. Cassidy breaks down for us what her kids are learning and how she successfully incorporates technology into their lives. She explains that technology is not something that kids, even 6 year olds, shy away from, or don't know how to use. She says that they enjoy not having to "power down" when they come into the classroom. They are allowed to learn freely with computers, blogs, and video games. I thought that was an interesting point, because it does seem like kids have to turn their technology driven minds off when they enter today's traditional classrooms.
One question that really hit home for me was when Dr. Strange said that some of his students do not feel like they will need technology as much because they are going to be elementary school teachers. As much as I support technology literate teachers, I can't lie and say that I didn't also feel this way. I guess I honestly didn't realize that kids this young can efficiently use technology and learn so much from it. I too want to teach first grade and it's amazing what these young kids are doing and how it is helping them grow. This video was certainly a wake up call for that way of thinking.
I also really like how Ms. Cassidy uses blogs with her students. This obviously isn't the first time we've watched blogs being used in the classroom, but as I said, I relate the most to this classroom because this is the age I want to teach. Her video made me think about the classroom I am currently observing in an elementary school. Every morning when the children come into the room they are required to sit down, be quiet, and write for 20 minutes in their journals. The differences in the attitudes between what Ms. Cassidy's students do in their blog and what the students I observe in my classroom is black and white. Ms. Cassidy mentions in her interview that by giving her students an audience they try harder, learn more, and are overall more excited about their writing. I wish the students that I observe were exposed to technology in this way.
As I stated earlier, Ms. Cassidy's classroom really opened my eyes to how an elementary classroom can use technology. I want to incorporate everything she uses into my classroom. I want to give my students their own blogs and excite them about writing and getting comments on their posts. I want to have a classroom website that can serve as a hub of information for parents, students, and other teachers. I want to teach them how to use wiki and ask questions to the rest of the world. I'm glad I had the opportunity to watch this video and interview, because it truly changed my mindset.