To hear how Mrs. Cassidy began integrating technology into her classroom with only 5 computers was truly amazing. Many times we let the lack of anything deter us from moving forward with a situation, but instead Mrs. Cassidy sought funding for additional computers and found multiple ways to bring technology into her classroom. Like many other 21st century educators, the key idea that Mrs. Cassidy wanted to convey was that technology is essential and that we cannot effectively teach this generation of students using dated techniques. Mrs. Cassidy stated that she began her webpage over a decade ago and her blog about 5 years ago. Since then she has worked for her students to express themselves through blogs because it provides them with an audience to which they may not otherwise have access. Being able to see how many page views they have is a way to keep the students engaged and encourages them to continue post to their blog. In closing we are reminded that is absolutely essential for teachers to be technologically literate. We are left with these closing thoughts from Mrs. Cassidy, even though some teachers prefer to do things the way they’ve always been done technology is not going away and we should all except the facts and adapt our teaching accordingly.
I think I will most definitely incorporate student blogs into my classroom curriculum, not only does it help to improve writing skills but it is also a fun way to use technology. At some point I'm sure that internet or computer access would be a problem for some students so for that particular group, I would allow classroom time to work on their blogs. I anticipate that some of the benefits would be improved writing skills and an increased opportunity to begin personal learning networks.
”Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2”
In this video Mrs. Cassidy provides us with ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms and outside lives. Your personal interests should fuel the way in which technology is used in your classroom. She mentioned Flickr, Facebook, and blogging as good entry points. Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy stressed the importance of twitter in expanding PLN's, but also warn not to give up quickly because it may seem like it isn't much help in the beginning. I used twitter daily for about 2 straight years and then I stopped abruptly. Since I have become and education major I see the benefits in using twitter and I would definitely recommend it to all future educators that I may encounter.
”Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3”
In video 3 EDM310 students asked Mrs. Cassidy various questions related to integrating technology into the classroom. The questions ranged from how often she did certain things to how technology could be used for none core curriculum classes such as physical education. Another important concept discussed was plagiarism related to blogs and explained that it is considered collaboration when the information is used to help someone present that same information in a different way. I feel that this was a very important point to discuss because many people wonder how effective blogs can actually be when others can read someone's post and try to use it as their own. Mrs. Cassidy's explanation was very insightful and will help a lot of students in the future. Another important topic discussed was blog safety. She adviced students not to post their last name, pictures of themselves, or venture off into areas not previously approved. I found these videos to be very informative and I would definitely recommend them for future courses.