Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Assignment 11

These are little kids sitting on the ground.
Ms. Cassidy's Use of Technology
Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada who uses technology in her classroom.  In First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class and Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy, I was able to see some of the ways she uses technology with her students.  Her students have blogs that they comment on every week.  They also Skype and use Nintendo DS educationally.  Ms. Cassidy is very concerned with her students' safety.  She makes sure that they only use their first names on their blog.  Also, she makes sure that their pictures are not attached to their names on the blog.  The way Ms. Cassidy uses technology with her first graders actually reminds me of how technology was used when I was in first grade.  Even though that was ages ago (14 years ago), we were still allowed to use the computer in some of the same ways.  We would go into the computer lab several times a week where we would work on our spelling words and play educational games.  I don't care how advanced technology gets, there is only so much that a six-year-old can learn about a computer.  That is why I feel a connection with the methods Ms. Cassidy uses.  I think Ms. Cassidy even agrees that first graders can only do so much with computers.  That is probably why she doesn't have to worry about her students ending up somewhere on the web they don't need to be.  They are so young that they only do what she tells them.  I know when I was six that I didn't know how to do enough things on the computer to "explore."

Even though I like a lot of the ideas Ms. Cassidy had, I got irritated with some things.  First of all, the first video with the first graders is set up to make the viewer think that computers perform miracles.  The students in the video seemed extremely intelligent for their age.  They had good vocabularies.  They also looked like they were making lots of progress with technology.  After the Skype interview we find out that all the "success" in the video was just a sham.  She cut and pasted the best parts of her classroom throughout the years.  She didn't even use real first graders as the speakers in the video! The speakers were her "former students."  That means they were probably third graders.  I just don't like how people try to sugar-coat technology and make it into a magical thing instead of facing reality.  Yes, technology is helpful, and it is not going anywhere.  I just don't think it's right to fabricate results.

Another thing I didn't like was Ms. Cassidy's response to a student's question on the Skype interview.  The student asked if Ms. Cassidy felt that there would be a problem with cheating if everything was done on the internet.  Ms. Cassidy answered that when you use someone else's work in your own work that it is really collaboration and not cheating.  I would love to see the reaction of my English professors if I cut and pasted something from the internet, turned it in, and called it collaboration.  I just feel like some people want to support their argument so much that they say things that don't make much sense.  I think a lot more people would be more open to technology if everyone was realistic.


  1. Susanelle,

    After reading your post, there are several things that come to mind. Namely was your concern with students treating collaboration as an opportunity to cheat. While I tend to agree with you - that it is both unwise and unfair to allow students to roam freely for information on the web - I think that the idea of teaching children how to properly research (and cite) sources is important.
    I agree with your point, but I think that this could be overcome by simply teaching your students how to properly find, use, and cite information. The internet is an important resource that children need to be able to utilize.
    Thank you for actually presenting a legitimate opinion, I appreciate the fact that I was stimulated to think.


    Rebekah Lloyd

  2. Susie,
    I completely agree with your thoughts about this video. Like you, I was irritated to find out that the video was a recording of the whole year because I thought this video showed what the students did, if not everyday, almost every day. I was also irritated with the idea of using older students to talk during the video. If this video is about first graders using technology in the classroom, then they should be the ones talking. I understand that a second or third grader can articulate better, but in reality the video is not about second and third graders, it is about first graders. I also agree with your irritation about the cheating and collaboration response. I do not think that any students, even 20 years from, will be able to use "collaboration" as an excuse for coping and pasting. People say that we, as educators, are taking creativity out of the classrooms; well, we will surely be taking away creativity away if we allow our students to use other people's work and not their own. I was completely shocked with this comment. Great post! Good luck with the remainder of EDM 310!