Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tool # 9 - Incorporating the Teckie Toys

I like the term Teckie Toys better than ClassRoom Learning Devices.  The latter sounds so formal!

  • Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?  Simple, you need a destination before you begin - and that's your objective.  

  • Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?  The key to students with sticky fingers or students as vandals is "ownership".  Once the students come to think of the computers, iTouches, iPads et. al. as "theirs" as opposed to "the schools" they will take care of them and police each other.  At Housman the students have easy access to everything and we've (knock on wood) only had one problem with theft.  They students were so incensed when that occurred that they banded together and solved the crime for us.

  • 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?  Things are a bit different in the library where students (hopefully) come in with a project already assigned.  I did check out some of the links/  I've been meaning to play with Thinkfinity for ages.  Via it I found Comic Creator which is easy to use.  I was tres impressed till I finished and discovered that my only option was to either print my work or create another carton.  There doesn't appear to be any way to save it as a jpeg so that it can be posted to a blog.  Oh - just occurred to me that I can use the camera tool from the Activ Inspire software.  That's a bit clunky and the software isn't on the netbooks.  Given the cost of paper and toner we're trying to wean everyone away from printing everything.    I had fun with Fractured Fairy Tales, but once again the final results can only be printed.  This is a fun site to use with my PGP students!   Thinkfinity is an idea site to use with centers since many of the projects are short.   I also explored Learning Games and came across US State Learning Games.  It's a fabulous replacement for the Facts on File State pages.  Due to budget constraints we no longer have Facts on File and their state pages were something I always used to teach "mouse skills" and "point n' click" to our little ones. Unlike South of the Freeway schools our students are not placed in front of a keyboard at birth. Tomato Bounce is a kids version of Angry Birds and the Logic Games in Brain Games are another resource to use with my PGP kids.  Anything in Learning Games is a perfect match for an ActivBoard. 

  • 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?   I used Google Earth on the iPads with my Book Club last year.  We read The Thief Lord, which is set in Venice and Google Earth helped us explore the canals. We've any number of games on the school iPads, some of which are not educational but are very popular during Family Library Night and Library Lunch Time.  Pimple Pop, which has no redeeming value at all is a favorite (it's so gross) as is Angry Birds lite. I must admit that I like Angry Birds too!

  • What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad?  Last year I loved using the iPads for research.  They are always logged in so the kids could zip right to the Library Resources Page and get started.  

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