Ms. Cassidy's Skype interview with an EDM310 class in 2010 relates her journey into technology, what she has accomplished in ten years, and a few tips on what preservice teachers should focus on now while in school as opposed to later in a classroom. Creating a working PLN, personal learning network, has been stressed by both Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy. I have been working on mine by collecting Twitter buddies and following up on their tips, and exploring my C4T blog links. Both of these have been interesting and led to several sites that have potential. And I am confident that there are people on Twitter that would be happy to gives advice when I ask. It goes without saying that the use of Twitter has also pushed by both been pushed by Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy.
Ms. Cassidy states that technology is here to stay and is becoming more mainstreamed every day. The internet has many learning tools for students to practice their writing and communication skills. Teaching internet safety and responsibility helps the student when at school and also at home to be better judge of content and how be be careful with personal information. Being prepared is much better than having to address and fix and issue. She has built a web-page and a blog-site for her students to showcase their work and for parents to access and observe their progress. Encouraging parental involvement and keeping them involved with classroom activities is important.
The first impediment to incorporating technology into my classroom that I can imagine being faced with is the possible lack of interest and encouragement from my administration or faculty. Technology is still a new concept to many people and thus not widely embraced let alone encouraged. Blazing a trail into new territory without reinforcements is daunting at best. Ms. Cassidy had a good technology guide at her school and found the resources to assist her with the use of her new five laptops. Her principal and faculty were not overly knowledgeable about technology's use in the classroom at first. They did trust her to explore and start building a solid program. Starting something new is rarely easy. But I believe that implementing a classroom web-site and weekly student blogging would win over converts in very little time.
The internet can be an amazing source of information and also reinforce skillsets when used at school and at home. Also, allowing the parents web access to the daily activities in my classroom such as: current and future lessons, samples of papers, class news, and links to learning sites creates an open arena where they can observe, and possibly comment on posted work. I believe parents should be involved in their child's learning process from start to finish. With this type of involvement the parents are interactive partners in their child's education.