Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tool #9

It is important to tie technology to the objective so that there is a clear purpose for using it.  Becoming a technology based classroom doesn't just mean that you have the ipads and other things out and the students are playing on them.  They should be used to enhance the learning.  There are many different programs that can be used to do this.  When you have a clearly stated objective for the technology that ties into the lesson, then the student is accomplishing more and benefiting from the use of technology.

Students should be held accountable for the learning that is going on in stations, otherwise it can become a play session and the objective is not reached.  Many students just want to "play" on the technology.  They don't understand it is a tool, so holding students accountable for the learning will help minimize that mindset.

I visited Learning Games for Kids and loved it.  There are so many different language arts activities that can be used.  In fact, one of them is being done in my class on paper.  I could set up a station where the student could do the activity on the ipad, write the answers down, and show that they did the work, holding them accountable.  Also open-ended sentences could be created that would reinforce whatever activity is being used.  Another site I visited was Thinkfinity which had some higher level activities such as writing and interacting with literature.  Most of the games on Learning Games would be for reinforcement. The second sight has more comprehension and higher level activities.  These could be used in a station as a springboard for group discussions and a short answer response could serve as accountability.

Two apps that I would like to use are Poetry Creator and Simple Minds x - mind mapping.  The Poetry Creator could be a station for individuals to work on writing poetry and the accountability would be the creation of a poem or the work that was produced that day.  Simple Minds is a brainstorming app that would be good for individuals or a small group to learn how to brainstorm and the list that is produced would provide accountability.

Ipads/Ipods can also be used for research purposes and a station could be set up for individuals or small groups to work on for papers that are being produced in class.  Google docs or Padlet could be used to post notes that they find on their research.  What they post would serve as accountability.  I would require a certain amount to be posted to ensure that work is being done.

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