Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #9

Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective? In order for students to comprehend objectives, they must be active participants. Almost all students love the opportunity to demonstrate learning through technological means. Also, almost every career path involves at least some technology use. Most careers don't require people to take written tests in a room for achievement. Most careers involve use of writing skills on computers and now handheld devices or presentations via Skype or other programs. Successful members of the workforce use art, music, writing, photography and other forms of expression to create presentations. These forms are expanding on technology and continue to do so at a rapid rate every day. We do not know what technology will be relevant for our students when they begin their careers so they need to practice as many different skills to achieve objectives as possible. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers? Students should not see stations/centers as mere busy work or play time. They need to connect these centers with the objectives being taught and need to have the skills to demonstrate understanding of these objectives. Students that are held accountable using stations/centers are more engaged, ask better questions and collaborate better in small groups. 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? I really liked ThinkFinity which incorporated activities in all subjects. One activity provided students with an easy to use letter creator. It even differentiated between personal and business letters and explained aspects such as indenting paragraphs and greetings and salutations. These would be used to have students practice their letter writing skills and they could print their final product. There were also many other activities to improve reading, writing and social studies skills. Most of the activities have a product which can be printed to use as an accountability piece. I also enjoyed subtext, although it is designed for older students. It allows teachers and students to collaborate within digital books. Teachers can create quizes on the app as well as ask questions at different points in the book. Students can also ask questions, make observations and more. The teacher can see the progress of each student in the book which is helpful when trying to determine which students need additional support. The video also makes a good point that students that are reluctant to speak up in class may feel more liberated to do so on the app. Again, the biggest challenge would be to find grade-appropriate books to use this for. 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? Audiopal is a great source for allowing students to create voice messages to add to our different technology programs. It has been my experience that students provide significantly deeper detail orally when analyzing what they read as opposed to writing it down. Using this program they can listen to themselves and their classmates and understand what more responsive answers sound like. Then, they can use this to write more thorough responses to different texts. is a great tool for students responses to reading. A person will create a primary bubble (ex. Why do you think the main character made that choice?) and others can reply with a connecting bubble. This would also be a good individual tool for students to gather their thoughts on a subject (ex. What do you know about Harriet Tubman?). Dragon Dictation (which was mentioned in an earlier tool) will be a great source for students that verbalize well but have difficulty with spelling. It also allows them to put their thoughts down quicker so they don't lose track of their responses to reading. is a great tool for the artistically talented to demonstrate understanding of reading comprehension skills. It would also be a useful tool for certain aspects of social studies (ex. advertising). Playtime Theater will be a great way for students to use technology and creativity to form their own stories or to retell texts they read in class. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station. The iPod Touch/iPad will be a useful tool in accessing the classroom Wikipage. It will also be useful in performing research using the SBISD website to access safe internet searches for students. It will allow students to create slideshows and video presentations. Students can communicate on Edmodo and other collaborative programs. I also plan to have students discuss ways they use technology at home, in the library on other places and will extend opportunities after thorough investigation to make sure such ways are safe for the class.

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