Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog Assignment #11

What Kathy Cassidy Taught Me
Kathy Cassidy interview
     Kathy Cassidy is a teacher who teaches first graders.  She caught my attention right off the bat when she said she had not used technology up until the past ten years.  I often forget there are teachers out there who are having to teach themselves how to keep up with their students.  She said she started learning the different technology out there when she was given five computers to use in her classroom.  She said they were very basic and had absolutely no programs on it, so she went hunting for things to keep her six year old students interested in learning.  She started with how to make webpages, which led to blogging, and now that's what her students use! She made the comment that her students love to use the technology because it makes them feel like they aren't leaving it at home when they get to school. 

     Ms. Cassidy said her students use their blogs as an online portfolio.  That intrigued me immediately.  As a history teacher,  I will have a lot of papers being going back and forth between the students so it would be easier if I had them place their assignments online.  I could find them better and I wouldn't have to worry about misplacing them (or my dog eating it).  The only problem I could see there is if I lose internet access, but hey, I remember my teachers always telling me they didn't get something graded on time!  She said she uses Class Blog Mister for the students to put their work up.  Her students enjoy putting stuff up for the world to see instead of handing in a paper for just the teacher to read.  I'm not sure my high school students would care for their papers on The Revolutionary War to be publicized or not, but it's nice knowing I have the option. 

     She mentioned if you're interested in using video in your classroom to start using YouTube.  I am on YouTube everyday looking at all kinds of different things.  I have some videos bookmarked that I want to using to enhance my lessons.  I have also went farther than that and found The American Experience.  This is a website that has many historical videos available to the public online, and they add new ones all the time.  It is also a television program on PBS.  I receive emails from them already, and when I see a special coming up that collaborates my lesson plans I will assign it to my classes.  Although I will probably assign it as a extra credit assignment.  In high school you have to be more careful springing things on kids as a grade with short notice.  Some students have extracurricular school activities, athletic events, and some simply don't have the resources to get it done with a couple of days notice.  I'll make the decision according to the school and students I am teaching. 

     Kathy Cassidy mentioned using Twitter and Wiki pages in her classroom, but I honestly don't think I will use those any.  I'm sure I could find some use with them, I'm not saying I can't, I just don't think I will try to put that in my lesson plans as of right now.  I did, however, love her idea about using a blog as an announcement source.  I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I have thought about that from the beginning of this class.  I might use a teacher blog and post the assignments given that day so any student who is absent can't use the excuse of not knowing.  I'll post lectures, slideshows we used, and any extra credit websites they can use on it.  I'll require it to be check at least three times a week.  I obviously took a lot from the interview with Ms. Cassidy.  I appreciate her sharing her knowledge with us, because as you can see I have a lot of ways to incorporate her first grade technology into my high school classes.

Also, I really appreciated seeing the snow! I have never seen snow before!
Frosty the Snowman


  1. Hi Erin,
    Really great post! It is very organized and easy to read. I really like how you really focused more on how you would use these thing in your future and how you are so sure of how you would do so. I really like your idea of allowing the students to place their papers on the blog. This could also be helpful in having them to proof read each others papers.
    Great job!

  2. "I often forget there are teachers out there who are having to teach themselves how to keep up with their students. " A lot. Probably the majority of teachers in schools today!

    Why just use blogs as an "announcement board"? Give your students real audiences through blogs!