The video Ms. Cassidy made of her first graders was really awesome, and I enjoyed actually hearing from the kids them selves. Even though I still have my doubts about technology in the class room, I saw a lot of accomplishments with her first graders. Ms. Cassidy's first graders have so much potential at their age and I hope they continue learning at this pace. I remember what one student said in the video, "Every time I blog my spelling gets better." It's one thing to engage young students with a blog, but hearing them share their own success is something else entirely! Young students really are engaging in their work when they can evaluate their own work, it is surely a great accomplishment with the use of technology. Other accomplishments they're making include internet navigation skills, typing skills, problem solving techniques, and even something as basic as sharing; and these skills will only improve with time.
After teaching the content, Ms. Cassidy seemed to be focused on developing skills (reading, writing, etc.) in group sessions called "centers." Team work can greatly encourage developing and mastering skills. She also used the approach of powerful encouragement. Teachers encourage their students everyday, but what really works? Ms. Cassidy says that young students really get excited when they know people from all over the world can see, and comment, on their work. I believe it makes the students perform differently when other people are viewing their progress and not just the teacher.
Additionally, Dr. Strange's interview with Ms. Cassidy opened up many doors. One thing that I would definitely take from the knowledge Ms. Cassidy shared with us is to protect the students. We will be responsible for the children that come into our class rooms, and we will have the duty to protect them. Online identity protection is very important, and so is parent involvement. I liked how on the first day of school Ms. Cassidy sent home a permission form just to have access to a computer. Protecting their innocent identities is one thing I learned to focus on from Ms. Cassidy. Another method I could use would be to establish an online portfolio of the students' work and progress. Even if it's not exactly a blog, having internet access to class work is very helpful. Myself, the principal, parents, and other classes from anywhere in the world could view and keep track of assignments.
There are many scenarios one could anticipate from Ms. Cassidy's use of technology in the class room; I immediately thought of a more technology savvy generation. A generations where (almost) everyone would know how to access information on a computer, how to save and upload documents and pictures, and to make presentations or movies would have a domino effect on so many other parts of life. Secondly, these students will acquire better communication skills with the use of blogs and skyping. And thirdly, these two ideas would work simultaneously to produce young adults who will be excellent workers in their future careers. There are a lot of skills that are trying to be taught in school to prepare students for careers, and I think the use of technology will absolutely help prepare them.