Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blog Post #11

Ms. Kathy Cassidy and Technology in the Classroom

kids playing with a nintendo 3ds        Kathy Cassidy is an educator in Canada that has wholly embraced technology as a vital tool for education. In her video Little Kids...Big Potential the methods of introducing technology and the skills the young kids have developed are showcased.  The first thing that really caught my attention in this video is the amount of hands-on experience and freedom the kids are allowed to have when working with technology. As evident in Sugatra Mitra's famous Hole in the Wall experiment, this is without a doubt the best way for kids of future generations to learn and develop skills for our highly technology reliant world. I have seen this first hand as I have a young nephew who loves computers and can do things far beyond what most could assume a 4 grader could do. Another thing that got me very excited in this video was the implementation of a wide variety of technology. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Nintendo DSs were used in the classroom to help develop skills. For me this was proof that some educators are finally moving forward and embracing the changes our society calls for in the age of technology. I can speak on this as a product of the world of technology as I learned how to read in LARGE part thanks to playing my Game Boy as a child. Children have an ability to adapt to and learn to utilize technology in a way we still cannot completely quantify and it is vital to provide chances for constructive early exposure/experience. As Ms.Cassidy says in this video children and technology go hand in hand and we CANNOT teach a new generation with outdated programs and methods.

Kathy Cassidy
       I really like all of the methods that Kathy Cassidy employs in her classroom but one specifically I would consider using would be the use of student blogs. Blogs could be very useful in doing many things for the students. With student blogs the students progress can be tracked, an audience is readily available for their work, they can be easily connected with other students, their work can be stored in one place, and probably most importantly basic online/technology skills can be developed. In using blogs or a class website one obstacle does arise that Kathy Cassidy brings up that I did not think about . This obstacle is the caution needed when it comes to ensuring the kids' privacy on the web. Ms.Cassidy ensures this protection by only using first names and then not associating pictures with kids names specifically. Another problem to consider in this same context is brought up in the interview videos with Kathy Cassidy by a student, the problem of monitoring what the kids are doing on the technology provided. This more applies to lower grade levels as that is when you are monitoring students with technology you supply them but it is still something to consider and monitor with any students when possible.  Another method of using technology to teach  I would utilize would be using a podcast as a group PLN. Podcasts are one of my favorite forms of media as they are very easy to consume and can be very informational. They are relatively easy to create and are conducive to intelligent and thought provoking conversation which I consider one of the greatest ways to learn and teach. Kathy Cassidy later addresses the use of creative presentations. I would definitely have students present their work and requiring it to be creative and personalized not only makes the work more interesting but Ms.Cassidy brings up a great point in saying that prevents the kids from being able to just get by by piggy-backing on someone else's work. All-in-all Kathy Cassidy has developed great methods to utilize technology in the classroom that I am definitely taking notes from. It really makes me very happy to know that there are teachers out there making big strides to create a learning environment fit for this age of technology.


  1. Jo, I really enjoyed reading your blog post about Kathy Cassidy. You did an excellent job of explaining how Ms. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom. There was so much that we could learn from her, and you definitely explained that in your post. It was very well-written and easy to read. Also, I loved the pictures that you included! One of my favorite techniques that she uses was student blogs just like you said. Awesome post!

  2. "This more applies to lower grade levels as that is when you are monitoring students with technology you supply them but it is still something to consider and monitor with any students when possible." You can really have this problem with any age of students, but using iCurio helps with protecting what the students are able to access on the web.

    Good job.