Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tool # 9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

It is important to tie technology to the objective because students are already technologically savvy. Technology holds their interest and, because it is already an important part of their daily lives, it can be used to engage and motivate them in the classroom.

We should hold students accountable for the stations/centers because part of their future success in the real world is tied in with their ability to collaborate and work well with others. They need to understand that effort and hard work pays off and that they need to be interactive learners rather than passive learners.

Two interactive websites that I found interesting are TenMarks and Learning Games for Kids.
Ten Marks personalizes instruction by helping individual students work on their own areas of need
with regard to math outside of the classroom. Teachers can make tutorials to help struggling students and students can view these tutorials when they are at home, when it is most convenient for them. Learning Games for Kids helps struggling students as well by providing the necessary reinforcement they may need but in a math game format. Math games are a great way to help alleviate the frustrations that some students may experience when learning new mathematical concepts. I also liked that it showcases games for all different subject matters.

Two apps that I liked for math are Brain Thaw and Equivalent Fractions. For Brain Thaw each level has a different mathematical rule that must be followed correctly in order to advance. For equivalent fractions students can create fractions by shading squares or circles. This app is appealing as it is geared for visual learners.

I could hold my students accountable for their time in these stations by making sure that they are completing either a worksheet that is related or by having them complete a reflection piece pertaining to that particular station. Having a rubric which clearly outlines expectations for the assignment is important as well. 

Other ways to use the iPod Touch or iPad is to use it for presentations. I can see them using the device in a station in order to demonstrate mastery of a particular math problem by creating their own student tutorials. As I mentioned in my previous blog, if they can teach it, then it stands to reason that they know it!

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