First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's class
The students of Ms. Cassidy's class have an amazing learning environment. I have seen some of the work that she has done with her class in her blog. She uses technology for her students and she also gets their parents involved as well. The students have an opportunity to create new things, problem solve, and use critical thinking skills that many places do not incorporate. These first graders have their own blogs which gives them a chance to get real feedback upon their work. They learn from different teachers, professors, and many others around the globe. In the video they actually mention the class that I am in right now as a reference for their work online. The interaction that they are involved with is serious and puts them far above their peers. Ms. Cassidy's students play their own roles in the video which is a testament to their higher learning as first graders. I highly suggest this video to all parents as well as all teachers. The knowledge that is being taken in is far greater than that of the average classroom. Parents should definitely take part in this type of atmosphere at home if you are at all concerned with your child's development. If it cannot happen at school, then we can definitely do it on our own time to make sure their education continues.
On a personal note, I allow my child, who is almost 2, to play on my computer. She also has her own computer that allows her to push buttons and gives feedback. It's probably not a great idea to let her play on my computer now, but the images and sounds that the internet puts out are expanding her rapidly growing brain. This will ultimately help her in the future since the majority of a child's brain development happens within the first five years. I believe that the information that our children are being given is based on historical protocol and limits their learning. Answer this: Why can't a child be given the same information as an adult? If they are going to learn it anyway, why not teach it to them when their brain is at its maximum. It only makes sense to incorporate limitless learning. Do not be afraid of limitless knowledge but embrace it so that your students and children will forever benefit from it. Watch this short video and it will give you a better understanding of why I believe this.
Ms. Cassidy's First Grade Class
Ms. Cassidy's Skype Interview with Dr. Strange
Ms. Cassidy is a fabulous teacher as I have already stated. Dr. Strange has conducted a video with her about technology and the classroom. Questions are provided by Dr. Strange mostly to imply that technology works and is relevant to any age level. Ms. Cassidy formed her base for technology in her class with the 5 computers that were donated to her with the Sunray program through Microsoft. Blogging is used on a regular basis with her 6 year olds and most of the work that has been done by her and of course she mentions that she has good supports within this technology. She is always concerned with the safety of the children and acts as a mediator for the children which I believe should always be done by the parent at home as well. I concur with each and every idea that she proposed for technology in the classroom. Her students enjoy the process and their parents do as well. The parents can view their children's progress and see exactly what they are doing at any time by simply logging on.
She specifically says the word "change" to imply that all teachers need to be technologically literate and I believe this as well. It does not matter how old our students are in order to take advantage of the tools available to us, to provide a higher level of education. The children have been given an audience of people that can essentially read and comment on their work instead of just turning in an assignment to Ms. Cassidy. This helps them become better writers and better audio and video makers. Ultimately it provides them with the ability to think on a higher level. Her ideas have expanded a bit in her school and I hope this continues. To add to this an online learning network is huge is the development of students. Of course, teachers need to be highly involved in this as well. PLN's are a big part of the class that we are in, and it broadens our ideas since others may have something we need to know or use. She also discusses one of my favorite topics; we must continue to learn. Our learning network is essential for this and websites such as twitter are very useful. Technology is resourceful for any teacher, no matter what field you may be in. I personally love twitter because I have had the pleasure of meeting so many new people that have broadened my learning experience. This is a great discussion of ideas that should certainly be considered by anyone is the teaching field. I recommend experimenting with ideas that you feel comfortable with to enjoy and gain a better knowledge of what your children could be learning.
Ms. Cassidy and Dr. Strange Skype Interview