I would like to start off this post by citing the videos that were integral to answering this post's driving question. In order to answer said question, I viewed First Grader's in Mrs. Cassidy's Class, Cassidy 13 Part 1, Cassidy 13 Part 2, and Cassidy 13 Part 3.
It is quite obvious that Mrs. Cassidy has much to teach in regards to the realm of using technology in an efficient and innovative manner as an educational tool. Frankly I was quite astounded at more than a few of her ideas as well as her zest for solving the intricate puzzle that is the application of technology to teaching. Her use of both the more "traditional" technologies such as blogs and internet research and the non sequitur practices such as the use of the Nintendo DS to teach sharing and puzzle solving were quite evocative. I will strive to bring this out-of-the-box style of thinking to my classroom, and I might just try to use some of her ideas in my future classroom. I'll have to give some thought to the Nintendo DS idea, but I do believe that Mrs. Cassidy is indeed on to something.
Now in regards to the advantages of this style of teaching, I can see many, but I do believe that the most prominent advantage would most definitely be the grip that one would have on a student's attention. Many students are bored with today's stodgy educational structure, which leads to them gaining nothing in terms of education due to their lack of attention. Therefore, I believe that this type of teaching would result in greater educational yield by keeping the students invested in the learning process. However, this in turn leads me to address the only major concern that I have about this type of teaching style, which is the what I call the "fun paradox". What I mean by "fun paradox" is that yes surely education should be fun and intriguing, but at the same time one must make sure that a student keeps using the wonderful tool of technology for play as well as education. In reality though, this must be addressed on the level of the individual and is unavoidable. Also, this problem is not so different from that of a child doodling if one were to think about it.
In closing, I would like to leave you all with a picture of what is known as the Hedge, or the realm that lies between the realms of faerie and mortals in Celtic mythology. My reasoning for this can be viewed as a metaphor for the growing use of technology within the classroom. This technology can propel us forward into a beautiful world full of new possibilities, but this new world can also be fraught with danger and should be treated with respect similar to how the Hedge may lead you to a beautiful if not dangerous realm. Without further ado, I present a photo titled Into the Hedge by ladyrheena.