Over all, I think there is a lot that can be learned from Mrs. Cassidy in the following videos. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing them and found them resourceful for ideas.
Little Kids...Big Potential
These students enjoyed the use of technology being incorporated into their classroom.
One of the first things mentioned was how the students enjoy writing in their blogs because people see what they do and will comment. This probably gives the students a better feeling of having their work appreciated. It is like hanging the student's work in the hall, except on a global scale. It also lets them see what they have done and where they have come from. One of the students described the class blogs as being a portfolio of their year.
The class also had a class webpage. On this the teacher has links posted that will help the students with the lessons. The students have the opportunity to utilize this page during center time.
I feel the incorporation of Skype into the classroom is a great one. It creates a much larger opportunity for influence on the students. It is no longer just what the teacher said. The teacher might say it first, but it is reenforced by the person from that area, in that field, or doing whatever is being mentioned. I am sure this also makes the idea stick better for the students. This can keep the students interested in the lesson, incorporate technology, and still ensure the students are learning.
Another thing that can be clearly seen, but was not specifically mentioned is that it is a big deal for these students to have "the people from Alabama" commenting on their blogs. The fact that the students even mentioned it shows that it made an impact of them. The C4K assignments mean a lot to these students to be recognized by somebody (in this case) in a completely different country.
Frances Judd's Blog
Cassidy 13 Part 1
One thing that stood out to me was when Mrs. Cassidy said that her students really enjoyed the use of technology in the classroom because it was not strange to them. In their world it just is there. For the students that I will be teaching, most of the technology we have now (or at least something similar) has been around for their whole lives. They have not known a world without it. Also as she put it, it is a handicap to not take advantage of the tools now available for education.
According to Mrs. Cassidy, the best thing about the blogs is the audience. It is exciting for the students to see the page views and for them to know that are interested in what they are doing.
Cassidy 13 Part 2
I liked her advice that a good place to start is where you are interested. "For everybody there is a different entry point." Also, how she said that at first Twitter seems useless because you feel like you are saying something and nobody is listening, is very true for me. At first I was thinking that it is useless and that nobody was even looking. Shortly after I started getting more followers (I still do not have many, but there is at least something).
Cassidy 13 Part 3
While she was talking about how often she incorporated technology she mentioned that it varied from year to year. I definitely agree that it is important to change the classroom depending on the class and also to keep things original and updated. I liked; though, how she said in years where she has a larger class, she uses blogs as a station. I think that is a great idea.
Something she reiterated in this video that I think is important is how she helps keep her students protected. She teaches them to not use their last names, not to post pictures of themselves, and also what places are safe places on the internet for her students to go. She also tells them to only click on the things they should, such as telling the students, "the part in the middle is what you should click on that is what the teacher wants you to use to learn."