The days of students reading only books, writing only on paper and becoming literate in an isolated classroom have past, says primary teacher Kathy Cassidy. Even in Grade One, students need to learn new vocabulary, new mediums of communication, and new ways to connect with the world.
The beauty of blog-based digital portfolios, says teacher-author Kathy Cassidy, “is that as the children and I are constantly assessing their learning in a formative and summative way, the students are also demonstrating their growing knowledge for a wide audience and learning about digital citizenship and appropriate online behavior. What great by-products of the assessment process!”
Teacher Kathy Cassidy has used Skype for years to connect her primary-aged students with the world. So when the company offered free group video to educators, she jumped at the chance. Five classrooms and lots of Lucky Charms to count! Find out what happened and read her “lessons learned.”
When Brisbane, Australia experienced floods in 2011, Kathy Cassidy’s connected grade-one students wondered if their seven year old skyping friends were safe. They tweeted them from Canada to find out. Result: meaningful and authentic writing and reading.
For Kathy Cassidy, going back to school means “I set up my classroom, I think about how I will meet the needs of the students I will have, and I plan new ways I will meet my curriculum outcomes.” She’s done these things her entire teaching career, of course. “But because I am now a connected educator, I no longer do them alone. I do them with an entire network of educators online.”