15 April 2012

Blog post #11

Kathy Cassidy

Ms. Kathy Cassidy's first grade class video, "Little Kids...Big Potential", was impressive. If anyone has a question about weather or not technology in the class room works a simple hyperlink to this video would dispel any doubts. Her students absolutely love their technological journey in her classroom. They are learning skills that 10 years ago wouldn't have even been introduced as a subject matter until high school, if they were lucky. My daughter is in 7th grade and she has never had a class that even scratched the surface of what these 1st graders are learning about technology. Ms. Cassidy is right, it is the future, but it is also the present. Ms. Cassidy seems to have her students leaps and bounds ahead of their peers. She is lucky to have had administrations that did not limit her technological education program. I thought it was interesting to hear that some of her coworkers have the mind set of "that is how it has always been and it works so why change it". That is a very lazy frame of mind. One of my pet peeves is when someone answers a question with the answer: Because that is how we have always done it. That tells me that there has been no thought about something different, better, more efficient. They just do what has always been done because that is the easy way to do it. As educators, we have to think outside the box. Find new, more luring ways to educate our students. Once the mentality of "it is good enough" sets in, innovation ceases and we will never progress as a civilization. What a terrible thought...

It seems like every week in this EDM 310 class, I get more and more frustrated with the current state of our school system. My children go to school in rural Mississippi, so the technological deficit here is exacerbated. The most frustrating fact is that the problem is not one in which a single educator can fix. It has to be the focus of the entire administration, from the local school to the federal Department of Education, for the technological infiltration to take place. I just don't think, as a nation, we are ready to commit the tax dollars needed to right this wrong. The money is there, it just has to be allocated. At one point, America was spending $1billion per day in Afghanistan. Just imagine if that amount of money was spent on the education system...

Just saying...


Cassidy's Kids

3 comments:

  1. When they say "well this is the way it has always been" I don't feel like it is just because they are lazy. I feel like it could also be because they are sacred of change or that they haven't been shown a different way. Some people have a hard time finding something new. I know I am awful at finding anything on the Internet. I also know from seeing my aunt and uncle verses my grandfather that some people just don't know. My aunt and uncle live on a farm in Sheboygan, Wisconsin while my grandfather lives here. The difference is they don't see technology every day. They are ignorant to technology. They don't know how to find anything out. My grandfather on the other hand reads the news and explores the internet. Some people are just not able to explore and find new ways. Also if the resources aren't there can you blame them for going with this is the way it has always been? I do agree with you on how our money is going elsewhere. Here in America our focus is not on the education system. Education is not an investment to many people and falls in the cracks. Somehow and I don't know how but this needs to change. Good post and good luck!

    Ash

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    Replies
    1. Ash, you are right. Some people are afraid of change and/or are scared to venture into the unknown. Those are not the people I want teaching my children, or my neighbors children. If you want to get to the other shore, you have to lose sight of this one...

      Everyone has things that they have difficulties with. What separates exceptional people from average people is the amount of work the exceptional one does on the things that give them the most difficulty. The willingness to do the things that they don't like and are not good at so that they can become better is the key.

      As future educators, we need to be those types of human beings. We have to set examples for the future generations. The ones that are sitting in your classrooms.
      I'm not worried about our generation or any prior generation's education. They are adults. If they chose to let technology pass them by it is their choice. My mother in law is 76 years old. She has a Facebook, 200+ friends, and has an amazing Farmville. My Grandmother is 73. She can't turn on her cell phone and dial a number. I get it and I'm OK with their choices. My job will have to do with the development of children. The next generation and maybe the next one. All I can worry about are the things I can control.

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  2. Robert,
    I also find it alarming that our country does not invest in our students' futures. It just seems short-sighted that the federal government places our country so deep in debt, and yet does not see that the next generations will be the ones who will be left to find a solution, thereby making education of these future workers and lawmakers even more important. Maybe they do see this, and they don't know exactly what to do. But, as you said, all we can worry about are the things we can control.

    I think the good thing to know is that there are teachers like Ms. Cassidy out there who are positive, and who, at some point, made the decision to embrace change, to be realistic, to look at the bigger picture, and to offer her students the best classroom and opportunity for growth that she could. Experiencing her classroom in these videos, as you pointed out, can soothe worries that some people may have about technology in education. It is here to stay, and as long as it is managed properly and used effectively, it can improve education for the better. If too many naysayers go into a mad panic, what can be the outcome but negativity?

    I would like to say that your blog post, while a bit defeatist at some points, was well appreciated. I admire your work because you thought critically about the assignment and were able to express your frustrations and misgivings. A lot of people did not see what you saw because they did not look at the bigger picture! Don't be discouraged! While the situation remains that some will be unopen to change, and our country perpetuates debt and failing, traditionally capitalist ideals, there are some things that are in your control. I hope that you may find a way to use what you have learned in this class from people like John Spencer, Miss Cassidy, and even Dr. Strange. Maybe one person can't accomplish or control much change on their own, but the use of technology can go a long way. It opens doors and makes connections that were previously unavailable. Through Skype, videos, and the internet, Ms. Cassidy was able to make a difference in people very far away from her immediate reach.
    Great post!
    Carly

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