Sunday, April 15, 2012
Blog Assignment 11
In Kathy Cassidy's video 'Little Kids, Big Potential', her students lead us through the many different things they use in the classroom to help them learn various things (such as the alphabet and counting). They blog like students in EDM310 do, they use Wikis, Skype, and a myriad of other programs to help distribute information as well as assist them in learning.
It's wonderful that such young students have access to the tools that help them learn beyond what a lecture can offer. Using these different mediums allows them to feel more responsible for the information they present, and helps them be more creative as well.
Later on in this post, I'll address a few options that I, as a Secondary Education teacher, will be able to use that Mrs. Cassidy's video brings light to.
A Skype Interview With Kathy Cassidy
In Mrs. Cassidy's Skype Interview, she talks about her start as a tech-savvy teacher, as well as how she implemented a tech-centered classroom for her first graders. She also outlines the various benefits of using blogs and wikis, and being a truly technologically knowledgeable educator.
She started with only a few computers. Working hard and achieving a Federal Grant, she furnished her classroom with more computers - and began to form her technique in how to augment regular teaching styles with technology to produce a better learning environment for her students.
Her approach to teaching with technology is very fluid. From year to year, she may alter her technique based on the students that are in her classroom. She may center more (or less) on blogs and wikis, to best benefit the students that she's teaching.
She raised on point that seemed by and large the most important to me - that technology is useful for any age group, as well as for any type of class. Physical Education, math, science, EVERYTHING can benefit from the use of technology - we, as educators, just need to think outside of the box to figure out a way to make them useful.
As a Secondary Education major, I'll be focused on Biology. In my classroom, I'd be able to use blogs to facilitate collaboration among students. Blogs, and other programs (such as TeamViewer) would provide a meeting place for students to work on projects, where in any other situation, they may have none. It would also allow me as an educator to spread information relevant to the class - such as due dates and assignment details, among other things. It would also be a place where students can reach me outside of class to handle any problems they may have with the course material or the assignments.
Using technology would also allow for complete immersion in the world of biology. Websites like Biology News Net offer up-to-date news on discoveries that are occurring each and every day. By being able to see biology research results as soon as they're published, biology students will be caught up in the 'here and now' of it, which would implant a desire to learn things at the rate they are being discovered. And if students can find research that interests them, their quality of work in projects will be much greater - increasing the amount learned from not just what they researched, but also HOW they researched it.
Also, websites like Cells Alive offer an interactive glimpse of how cells function, as well as microscopic views and comparisons with everyday items to give a sense of scale. Using websites like these would impart far more information in a much more interesting way than any lecture that comes to mind.
The only problem I can think of would be that some students may not have home computers. The best way to remedy this issue would be to have computers for the classroom (or spending regular time in computer labs) so that each and every student would be able to access the same information.
I'm really looking forward to using technology in my classroom. Luckily, the applications for biology are immense. It will be a lot of fun to watch students grow and enjoy biology - because if they enjoy it, they're learning it!