Little Kids...Big Potential
These students seems extremely excited to be writing and working on the internet. Moreover, I noticed how the kids were working with the smart board in the beginning of the clip. This is great! I can remember how fun it was just to be able to write on the chalk or draw-erase board as a child. I can only imagine how they feel with all the neat applications that the smart board is capable. Also, Skype video chats helps them connect and share information with other teachers and students around the world. How cool? I wish we had this growing up! They are are using Nintendo DS in the classroom to help share what they have learned. Little Kids....Big Potential is not only a cute video clip, but definitely leaves me happy about how excited the kids are learn and share.
Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
She started using technology when she was given five computers for her classroom with internet. She started by learning how to create web pages about ten years ago, blog five years later and always adding new fun ideas.
Cassidy's approach to the use of technology is inspiring to the fact that she just decided to get started on her technological journey to help the kids get involved. She basically stated this on her own with much support from the school. She uses release forms that let the parents know that the students will be getting on the internet and sharing their work. The parents love the technology and parents love being able to see an online portfolio of what their kids are learning. I agree that this would be great. I know that I would love to know what my kids are doing in school and to track and see their writing skills get better. This would give parents an opportunity to incorporate what the kids are learning into daily activities. On top of that relatives would be happy to keep up with their niece, nephews, or grandchildren.
This is a very powerful statement and Cassidy's initial reaction when asked why teachers should be familiar with all of the tools. I loved her video because the students did look excited and engaged. Moreover, Cassidy mentions the impotence of Twitter, blogs, and a social networking as powerful tools in teaching. She stresses the importance of being lifelong learners.
"Find a way that works for you, and a way to keep in touch with what is going on with technology."
I especially like what she said about how to start looking for technology tools. She highlights starting in a direction that you are interested in. For instance, writing, video, blogging, photography. As for Twitter, she mentions how cool twitter is when you eventually find people to follow who you respect, you see some posts and realize that you would not have learned if it was not for Twitter.
Cassidy also mentions that the kids like the audience. "100 page reads is exciting for a six year old." It is powerful that people can see it and comment back to them and also highlights that the relationships created through technology can be helpful.
Techniques I might use in my classroom are definitely the smart board, Skype, blogging has sparked my interest as well. The students seemed engaged and excited to be using Skype to talk to other teachers and students around the world. Blogging also seemed like a good way for the students to share about their class time activities with family and other students and to improve on their writing skills. Cassidy networks with other schools around the country and has peers from different college Skype to develop personal relationships with the students. The first graders definitely look up to these students and take their input seriously.
Some impediments that might be encountered that were addressed in the chat was how to protect the students from dangers of the internet. Cassidy made it clear that the students only used first names and the pictures did not correspond with the actual students. Also, she let the students know the internet etiquette when commenting on others posts. One of the tips were to always say positive remarks and to never to be mean. There are just trivial matters when compared to the benefits of being connected. The collaboration and sharing of information benefits both the students and teachers. This makes it possible for the students to interact with other students learning about the same things and expose them to other teachers that can help them get a concept. Blogging gives the students an opportunity to network with other students and analyze other information. Meanwhile all of this allows the kids to work on writing and social skills through sharing and communicating. Being technologically literate give the students a leg up for what is coming in the future and job opportunities. And the list goes on and on.....
Personally, blogging in this class has been a bittersweet experience for me. I was hesitant at first about putting my personal information out there on the internet for the world to see.
Coming down off of that, I digress because this Skype video brought up a very good point that resonates personally. When Cassidy mentions the importance of being able to have an audience to share work. This is what I feel about an audience.
Of course, students will write about what is assigned. Also, having an audience can be great for first graders as they are still learning how to write, however as teachers and adults, we should already know this stuff and people judge adults when they make spelling or grammatical mistakes. I know I have. Basically what I am getting at is that I love the idea of blogging and sharing and collaborating and teaching with technology. I really have come around to seeing the NEED to be technologically literate. This class has opened my eyes through videos, testimonials, and experiencing. Additionally, actively networking with other educators has demonstrated the importance of technology. I know Dr. Strange does not want to stand in front of the class and say, "Hey, this stuff is important. This stuff is worth while. This stuff will make you and your students better. Believe and take it as true." Instead, he wants his students to figure it out by showing how to see this and to come to the conclusion themselves. I have come to that conclusion. Thank you. :)