Kathy Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada. Mrs. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom on a daily basis. She has a classroom blog that allows all of her students to make blog posts and leave comments on classmates blogs. In this interview she talks about the ways she uses technology in her classroom and the importance of it.
There are a number of ways to approach using technology in the classroom. One way is to simply start somewhere. Mrs. Cassidy suggests starting with something that you like. If you like to take photos, then create a Flikr account. If you like to write, then create a blog on Blogspot or Wordpress. Once you get started, you can implement that into your classroom and get your students on a path to being technologically savvy.
One of the techniques I would like to use in my classroom is having a class blog. I feel that blogging is a great tool to use in your classroom for the benefit of your students. I would like to have my students blog on a weekly basis and leave comments for their peers. Another technique I will also use is teaching them the importance of proper peer editing and commenting. It is important to have respect for your peers and that importance is carried over into the comments my students will leave on their peers blog pages.
One impediment that I could encounter is my students running into sites that are not appropriate. You can find anything on the internet and with those kind of limitless possibilities, it is possible to run across sites or images that could be inappropriate for my students. I intend to educate my students on the importance of internet safety, such as not posting their last name or posting pictures of themselves. I will also teach them what to do if they are to end up on a site that they should not be on. I feel that it will be important to emphasize as well that they should not be on a site that is not an aid in learning. If the site has nothing to do with what we are currently working on, then they should not be on the site.
There are incredible benefits to using some of the approaches that Mrs. Cassidy uses. I think that one of the greatest benefits the students receive from creating a blog is they can see the progress they are making. The blog acts as a type of portfolio. It displays their work and it gives a great timeline of how far they have come each week. It is also beneficial for the parents. It allows them to see what their children are doing and it lets them know what is going on in the classroom.