Ms. Cassidy was not used to using technology in the classroom, but she knew that she needed to incorporate it. She was passionate about doing what was best for her students, and she knew that bringing technology in the classroom was what was best for them. She started using technology about 10 years ago because her classroom was given 5 computers. She started with a webpage for the class, and then she started having the kids blogging about 5 years ago. Then two years ago she started to use video. She started with what she was comfortable with then moved on from there by developing other technological skills. She received funding from the government to get professional development help in bringing in this technology. She didn't have much help from the school or the district, but she had a very supportive technology coordinator that helped show the administration the importance for technology in school.
Ms. Cassidy uses blogging in the classroom but how often depends on her class for that year. If she has a smaller group of kids, they blog once a week sometimes twice a week because they blog all together. If she has a larger group of kids, blogging is used as a station. There are also some kids that blog from home, and they gain more experience with blogging because of that. With a blog, her students have a bigger audience. Why have just the teacher see their work when they can have the entire world available to see it? Her students even talk to college students on Skype to help develop their writing skills. Students love technology because it is a part of their world. It is only natural for them to be engaged by it in school. Their parents also love it because they can see their child's progress at any time of the day. If you would like to know more about what the students think about technology in the classroom, you should check out Ms. Kathy Cassidy's video Little Kids...Big Potential.
I will be using a blog in my classroom like Ms. Cassidy does. I think it is a great way to give fun assignments, and allow the students work to have a large audience. I am also planning on having a class webpage. I think this is an amazing tool. I can post links to websites. I can also make videos and post them on there or organize the webpage to offer a lot of additional math problems and help for the students. This way they can see every step I took and why I took that route. I can put the rule/theorem/property that allows me to algebraically manipulate problems so they can be solved.
There are a few issues that I might encounter when bringing technology into the classroom. Just like Ms. Cassidy, there might be other teachers in the school that oppose what I am doing because they don't want to change. The way I can overcome that issue is to show the importance of it. I can show how technology in the classroom can truly help students grasp information better. This way they can grow in their understanding of math and other students. If this happens, they will want to continue their education past high school. Isn't that what every teacher wants for their students? Another issue I might face would be my technological skills. I know that I have a long ways to go before I am well-versed in all of the technologies that can be used in education. However, I am fully prepared to learn as many as I can so that I can offer the most to my students. I want them to succeed, and I will make sure I am doing everything in my power to help them make that happen.
I expect to see many benefits from using technology in the classroom. The webpage, as I said in the previous paragraph, will help them truly understand math and all of the steps and concepts involved in it. With the blog, they will feel like their work is important. They will try harder and see the value in the work that they are doing. Using technology in the classroom will also help them develop 21st century skills. Collaborating, critical thinking, creativity, and many other skills can be cultivated through technology!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole