On Ms. Kathy Cassidy's First Grade Class
I watched a video about technology in a first grade classroom, made by Ms. Cassidy, their teacher. In this video, her students describe how they use blogs and wikis, and learn decision making and sharing skills from playing games on their Nintendo DS's.I think this looks like a very effective way to introduce students to technology at an early age. The kids seem to understand what they're learning and how to use the tools they've been given. I like the way Ms. Cassidy's classroom says "graduating class of 2025" on the door. That's a very optimistic way to look at the first grade, and it gives the students something to look forward to. When I was in the first grade, I don't think I even knew why I went to school or that I would ever be done. It's nice to see this perspective on such a young age group.
On Dr. Strange's Skype Conversation with Ms. Cassidy
In Ms. Cassidy's Skype session with Dr. Strange and a few EDM310 students, many topics are discussed. First of all, Dr. Strange brought up his usual poll to see what percentage of EDM310 students believe that teachers should be technologically literate, in which about 5% say no. Ms. Cassidy discusses how important it is to keep up with technology because the way kids were taught years ago (20, 10, even 5) is not the way they should be taught today. As new technology is made available, we should be using it in our classrooms and introducing our students to it as soon as possible. Ms. Cassidy's class blogs regularly, and EDM310 students (among others)comment on their posts. It is exciting for first graders to see that over 100 people have viewed their blog post.
There is also a discussion about Twitter, which Ms. Cassidy says students classify as an "old people's Facebook". She suggests education students should follow other prospective teachers for advice rather than experienced teachers, because they would be going through more of the same thing. This is a valid point.