I am reacting to a post by Kathy Cassidy which includes a video presentation on her use of blogging, podcasting and wikis in her grade 1 class (first year of schooling in America). She explains how to use these technologies in a very clear, easy-to-understand manner.
Kathy uses her blog to communicate with the family and friends of her students. She also includes links to each child’s personal blog, as well as to classes with which they are in contact, and to class wikis they have created.
She extolls the benefits of the security feature of the blog she uses, that is that all entries must be approved by her before they can appear.
Kathy describes how motivating and validating it is for children to know that other people have read their work and to read their comments, compared to the traditional model where only the teacher reads a child’s work. The class also had a ‘blogging buddy’ class in New Zealand forming a highly motivating and beneficial symbiotic relationship. She also shows clearly how she put the children’s pictures on the blog using ‘Kidpix’ and ‘Flickr’, how they put on podcasts using ‘audacity’ and slideshows using ‘Bubbleshare’. Kathy also describes how they wrote collaborative stories using wikis.
After watching this presentation I feel empowered and a lot less intimidated by these technologies. I am someone who is very impressed and excited by the potential of these web 2.0 technologies, but I lack the necessary knowledge to implement them. Kathy Cassidy’s post contains links to all the technologies she mentions.