Little Kids, Big Potential
Ms. Cassidy focuses on what fantastic abilities children have if they are given the proper tools to enhance these abilities. She states an insightful claim in her title, "Little Kids, Big Potential." This may seem like just a catchy title; however, it is a fascinating way of conveying the message that when children are given: support, an audience, the possibility to create friendships and share ideas from other continents, new tools and the ability to learn on their own- amazing facets of learning can be possible. I really enjoyed hearing the way Ms. Cassidy became interested in technology. I found it very interesting that she has not always been a computer geek. I like the fact that she was given computers and took it upon herself to find an integral use for them in her classroom. After watching the video with her students, it was very apparent that the children really love the work being done with technology in the classroom. The children mentioned loving an audience. There are several benefits to children having a worldwide audience. Ms. Cassidy mentions in her Skype interview that there is a cluster on her class blog that shows students where the visitors of their blogs are from. I can only imagine how much it would excite a student in Alabama to get a comment from another student in Italy. The possibilities of personal and educational connections are limitless. Collaboration with students all over the world is a wonderful way to teach students to have an open mind and consider the many different ways traditions or everyday tasks are performed in different areas of the world. The children also commented that they felt their writing was improving each day. Ms. Cassidy contributes this partially to the fact that her first graders want to impress the viewers of their blog. She states in her Skype interview that her children become so excited when a post they wrote receives a large number of page reads. This is another way to get children excited to learn.
In Ms. Cassidy's Skype interview, she shared with the EDM 310 class her views on technology in the classroom and its extreme importance. She stresses the idea that technology will not go away. The world is forever changing and we will need every aspect of technology to change with it. So how then would teachers expect to stay stagnant? Then, would we not be teaching our youngsters the ways of the past? Sure, some information may stay the same but the ways in which we find it, use it, and apply it are rapidly changing. Furthermore, I believe it is ignorant of us as teachers to expect our children to come into a classroom eager to learn if we are unwilling to perform that task ourselves. What kind of example is that for our youth? It was very comforting to hear Ms. Cassidy speak on the use of her PLN. I must admit that I am a bit overwhelmed of what my first experience in the schools will be like in a few months. It put my mind at ease a little to know that with the use of Twitter, nings, plurk, or various other networking sites, I can build a solid PLN to ensure my intellectual journey will never cease.