|Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades|
by Kathy Cassidy, Published by PLP Network
As I've written about before, we have somewhat limited technology access at my school. Kathy's insights have pushed me to continue to seek out opportunities and make the most of what we do have. She shares her journey with all of its trials and successes, as well as many of the tools she has used to help her students get connected.
What resonated with me throughout the book was Kathy's idea of teaching young learners safety and etiquette for being digital learners right from the start. Instead of limiting their access and connections, we have to assume they are already participating in these online communities. It's important to teach them safe ways of being a part of a global society and model appropriate ways of interacting.
For those who don't consider themselves "tech-savvy," Kathy breaks down her message into easy-to-read and easy-to-manage directions to help you move forward. She will walk you through everything from Skype to blogging. There are lots of links and videos that add to her message and illustrate her students' learning. There was very much an "If I can do it, you can do it" feel to the book, so don't be afraid to jump in!
I've been fortunate to have a connection with Kathy through our weekly #1stchat on Twitter. She is a regular contributor who joins in the conversation, asks important questions, and shares her thinking. I very easily could have finished reading her book in one sitting, but just like our weekly chats, my brain was on fire and I had to pause to let some of it simmer down. Since I did plow through the book on my first reading, I do plan on returning to it to reread and savor what Kathy offers us. I will also be recommending it to my colleagues (and anyone else who will listen!)
I'm excited to chat with others who have read Kathy's book to compare notes and ideas! It's a book that I know will have a profound impact on teachers.
My review, submitted to PLP Network's site:
"Kathy Cassidy's newly released e-book is an absolute must-read for elementary educators. This media-rich book is filled with practical tips, years of experience, and honest writing from a teacher's perspective. She opens teachers' eyes while calming their fears about seamlessly integrating technology into classrooms, even in the earliest grades. Authentic learning is the focus of her work, and she inspires us to do more with whatever we have. This is a book you won't want to miss!'"