Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post #9: What Can I Learn From Mrs. Cassidy?

Picture of bee in flowers with text: Creative ClassroomMrs. Cassidy is very determined when it comes to using technology in the classroom. The reason I choose to use the word “determined” is because she has not done it without meeting challenges along the way. In order for Mrs. Cassidy to be able to incorporate the use of technology at the level and frequency that she does, (which is very frequently), she has been willing to take the time to do the research and also she has the creativity that it takes to overcome the many challenges on the technical side of things. When her technical journey began, Mrs. Cassidy tells about how they received five computers in their classroom that only had the ability to access the web. Using this as the only tool, she wanted to come up with ways to incorporate using these computers in her class as educational tools. She states that “five of anything in a first grade classroom is considered a center.” So with this in mind, Cassidy got to work doing the research and exploring ways to use these computers that would get her students excited about learning while also teaching them how to navigate the web. This is so much more than learning about technology and how to use it, it is about redefining how we teach and how students learn in the classroom. Some of the ways that her class is using these tech. tools is through skyping, blogging, wiki and at times the students bring their DS to school and play learning games on them.  Through skyping the class has been able to bring in various visitors that they otherwise would not have had access to and through blogging the students are able to write about what they have learned from their visitor as well as any of the other various things that they are learning in class. Mrs. Cassidy also uses the blog as an online portfolio that parents are able to access at their convenience to see firsthand what their children are learning. Blogging has also been a learning tool that helps improve the writing skills of the students, “My writing gets better every time I blog,” states one student.  Mrs. Cassidy states more than once that technology is not going away so we need to learn to use it for our advantage as well as teach the students to learn to use it and learn from it.

There are a few ideas that I feel that I could take and use from  the interview with Mrs. Cassidy but the one in particular that I was most excited about was a simple one. When one of Dr. Strange’s students ask how Mrs. Cassidy keeps the children in safe areas on the web, Mrs. Cassidy states that she uses her class web page as a hub for the students to use when accessing the web pages they will be using for their assignments. I love that idea. What a simple yet effective way to help the children navigate the areas they need to go that will be safe zones! There really is much to be learned about technology in the classroom from these interviews with Dr. John Strange and Mrs. Cassidy. I have made them available using the links below so that you too can access and watch them!

Interview with Mrs. Cassidy part 1
Interview with Mrs. Cassidy part 2
Interview with Mrs. Cassidy part 3


  1. I loved your post. Your choice of using the word determined is the perfect choice. In order to make something better you have to be determined and open minded to change. I couldn't agree with more.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I think you have done a wonderful job on everything. I like Mrs. Cassidy she is one of the very few teachers that are ready to move forward with technology.