Friday, August 5, 2011

Tool #9

Why bring in technology to classroom?  Well it depends.  If it fits in seamlessly and is not there to do it because we just gotta have some technology, then it's a great idea.  Our world is changing and we need to change with it. The tools that are there to use from technology can help to engage students, allow them to connect, collaborate and bring their learning public in a relevant and rigorous way.  At the November training we looked at technology from different lenses and I loved the HEAT model with the rubric.  The HEAT rubric alllows us to analyze our use of technology and to bring it public through the tools and asking why are we teaching this and how does it affect my students?  Am I using the technology to please my administrator or am I using it as tool and thinking of my content first?
Why should we hold students accountable for centers in technology?  I'll answer that with a question.  Why are we using these stations to begin with?  If they are valuable and necessary for student learning and engagement, then all learning should have some accountability and reason to use it.  It's not there for the bling bling.  It serves it purpose and goes along with the content being taught.  If students aren't accountable for what they are doing then they will loose interests(some will) and if they think you aren't there sincerely caring about what they are doing then they won't care.  It goes with active participation and monitoring and checking for understanding.  You need to ask yourself, is this the best use of their time?  What are they supposed to learn from this experience and how will I know what they are learning?
Two games from the list that I liked are: the Learning Games and Thinkfinity.  I liked The Learning games because it's cross content and different grade levels. They have songs on there for science and the different processes to be learning.  Thinkfinity has some good literacy work and fun activities that are linked to read write and think website so you know it has to be good.  One game with creating comics!  Lots of ways to express your thinking that would be engaging.
Glogster and Creatly seem to be good apps for writing down your thinking and reflecting on what you have learned.  Students could work in a group of 2 to 3 to orally discuss what they learned and decide how to best present it and play around with the word and revise it until it says what they want then they present it.  Creatly you can create anything from diagrams to webs to whatever to share thinking and processes to share out with the class.
I don't know if they can use Twitter or Facebook but they could use those apps and make a page for their class to communicate with other classmates on what they are doing and learning.  They could create a page from a person in history and create their profile and then have them post what that person or character would do from a novel or critical essay.  Twitter they could be that person in character and tweet back.

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