Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blog Post #11

By: Mrs. Kathy Cassidy

This is beyond the cutest video I have ever seen!! Mrs. Kathy Cassidy is not the typical first grade teacher. She is not all about the students learning the concepts presented in textbooks. She more embraces the idea of technology in the classroom. She has everything from computers to Nitendo DSs in her classroom. The children have a great wealth of knowledge from using Blogs, Skype, Wiki, Video Games, SMARTboards, etc. I know that it will be essential for my classroom to have a SMARTboard and computers. Most of my children will be special needs so there will be certain technologies that my students will have that others will not. I would love to use blogs and wikis as well, but depending on the severity of the child's disorder, he or she may not be able to use them. I feel this is unfortunate because I firmly believe that every child has the potential to be something great no matter what condition he or she may suffer from. I would love to possibly some type of technology that would read the child's brain waves to determine a response or simply get an iPad so that my non-verbal students have a voice.

He or she would be able to look at the iPad screen and tap on the thing or event they want or need. iPad App For Special Needs would be a prime example of what I am talking about. Apps for Coomunication would be another great video to watch to better understand my point. That would be so cool to me!!! I honestly believe that she is doing a great job because she is using a what the children are familiar with to her advantage. Children at that age are very tech savvy because this is the age that they have been born into. I would love to follow her example when I get into my classroom. She is not worried about what her co-workers or administrators think of her or what she is going. She is more focused on the kids and their experiences. Experiences that they can grow from and create a creative foundation upon. There are so many benefits to using this technology method, aside from the ones that I stated before. Not only are they enhancing their skills with technology, they are opening new doors to different worlds and different people. For instance, the fact that Mrs. Cassidy uses Skype to allow the children to talk to pen pals and even experts in different subject matters. I think that is awesome. How she introduced them to wikis!! When they wanted to know about Traditions and Rituals...all they did was post a wiki and people from all over shared their personal traditions and rituals. With that she also taught them internet safety and how to only give your first name if you want to even give a name.



Dr. Strange skyped with Mrs. Cassidy This was an interesting chat. Dr. Strange is a little hard to hear, but she is perfectly fine. She explains that the kids' voices in the video are from her previous students because they had a bit of a speech problem when they were in the first grade which we all have had experience with. She has some encouraging words about her support system with children blogging. I see that she never let anyone phase her, even the Principal. She even got in good with the superintendent of the school board in order to keep her technological classroom going. In order to protect her student she firmly teaches them not to use a picture or full name and the parents love it! They love to see how their children are progressing and the kids have a fondness for it as well.  She is so right when she says that as a teacher, we have to change because the world is changing and we are handicapping our children, as well as, ourselves by not embracing technology. I am in total agreement with that. As I have said before children these days have been born into the age of technology. See, she and I share so many of the same views. I love how she allowed her children to create relationships with other students using Skype. I was a bit surprised that she and her students has blogged with other schools in the South in Gadston, AL. I guess because the South is so behind in technology period is the reason for my surprise. "TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY AND IT'S NOT GOING AWAY" I love this. She uses social media to keep with with different ideas. This is something that. This is something that Dr. Strange is trying to get us to recognize. I see that now. I really don't know why it took me so long to realize that. She gives great advice about how to choose what media outlet to use based on what they (the students) are interested in. This may be the most basic idea, but it will surprise you how some people do not recognize this. I think that Dr. Strange and even some other professionals should use this because not all students are bloggers. Some people aren't good with words. Some people can express themselves better with video or pictures. I understand writing is important, but I do not believe that it is number one way to communicate. After listening to the kids and Mrs. Cassidy, I realized that I am really going to have to bring my A game in the classroom. I would love to mirror my class after Dr. Strange's class because his ideas and views on technology are "what is in". The times are changing, the children are changing, the technology is changing so making a change is not going to be a hindrance...IT WILL BE THE BIGGEST BENEFIT EVER!!

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