Ms. Cassidy's Approach to Technology In the Classroom
In the series of interviews above, Ms. Cassidy discusses her approach to using technology in her first grade classroom. From these interviews I have come up with some techniques that I will implement in my classroom, impediments I might encounter, and benefits I might anticipate by using Ms. Cassidy's approaches.
One of the things I noticed about Ms. Cassidy, is that she is a pioneer. The interviews were conducted in 2010 and she recalls getting her first set of computers in her classroom ten years ago. The five computers she had were unable to download programs, so all she had was the internet and basic computer functions and she took what she had at-hand and used it. When technology progressed, she progressed with it and now her first graders are making webpages, videos, and blogs. Her approach was just to dive in and make a modern classroom. Ms. Cassidy said: "It is cool because students don't have to 'power down' when they get to school." Which means students are using the same technology inside the classroom that they are using outside but they are using it to learn.
As a future secondary geography and history teacher I will implement blogging into my classroom with an emphasis on writing. I do not think high school students today are writing enough to prepare them for higher education or the professional world. Through blogging, they will have an alternative to pencil and paper and improve typing skills. Ms. Cassidy brought up one aspect about blogging that I had not thought of and that is parents being able to monitor their child's progress and work in class. Communicating with parents this way will cut down on face to face meetings, letters, etc.
The impediments of using this approach to education are the "old school" teacher and technological glitches. Many teachers out there see lecturing and using busy work as the only way to educate and some teachers have a lot of say in board meetings. Not to mention any administrators who might not want to fund such a program. My solution to this would be to make a case in important meetings. Also, when using technology, there are many things that could go wrong such as programs not working, student's not saving work, a glitch in a computer, or wifi being down. To counteract these mishaps, I will always have a back up plan or activity.
Using Ms. Cassidy's approaches will not only benefit me but it will benefit my students. They will benefit by genuinely learning content. Through technology they will explore, create, and write more effectively. These are qualities of a quality education in which everyone benefits from.