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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tool 9: Incorporating the Technology

1.  Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?

Technology should be incorporated into the classroom lessons- not just be something cool for the students to use.  Since the objective drives the classroom lesson, the technology aspect should be part of that objective- otherwise you run the risk of losing the value of adding technology to the classroom, thus it just is something fun to do but not applicable to real-world situations. 

2.  Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?

Each station should add something different to the lesson- maybe a different skill, a different application, a way to differentiate the learning, etc.  Therefore, each station should contribute to the whole objective.  Therefore, if students are not held accountable, they miss out on key pieces of the lesson, the learning, and/or the content.

3.  Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

Thinkfinity seems to have lots of different kinds of tools, depending on the classroom.  Since I do not have a classroom, I was drawn to the essay writing activity to see if it would be a good way for students to work on their college essays.  Although it seemed a bit "young" for juniors and seniors in high school, I think it could be an effective tool for younger learners.  Depending on the content, you could use this site for many things- as part of a station where students get initial information about a specific topic (i.e. The Spanish-American War) or as a way to practice a skill that has been taught (i.e. figuring percents).  Additionally, the site could be used to re-teach a particular topic or to differentiate for gifted and talented students.

I also checked out the SBISD database- a great way to see all the different tools available to teachers. 

4.  List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

I was particularly interested in the apps that allowed students to create a product, such as Bit Strips, Create a Graph, and DoInk.  The accountability is built in if students must create a product- they have something to show for their time.  Apps such as BBC, History Buff and Geo Cube are tools that could be used for initial learning and research. 

5.  What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.

Students can connect with those not in their classroom and work collabortively on projects, communicate about their learning, and learn more about the topic at hand using IPads and IPod Touches.  By designing specific tasks and using rubrics, students can grow as independent learners.

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