Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tool 9

Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?
Without a recognizable and planned for outcome, the technology is irrelevant. How this is done is at the heart of the pedagogical paradigm shift towards 21st Century outcomes. With the Technology Integration of decades past, technology was an enrichment added as another objective activity. The shift demands that objectives are arrived at through the 4 C’s – critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration

Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?
Without accountability for something resembling a desired outcome, why bother to do anything besides play? The question is not why but how. This is a problem that is exacerbated by larger class sizes, more classes, and less time per class period – Space and Span Issues 3.0!

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?
Of the sites that I was unfamiliar, I think I like StudyLadder and TesiBoard with a fair dose of cautious skepticism. While there are positives and negatives to be sure, my central fear is that the used as a station, both of these may become busy work stations. I have played around with Thinkfinity in the past, but have never really considered it as a platform to be used as a station. My preference has been to teach a set of skills using various tools and having students apply them to a self-designed product that attempts to demonstrate some desired level of competency. While that is still my preference in the use of new tools, I have to admit that the management and accountability piece can become thin and fuzzy. I like the record keeping/tracking features of StudyLadder, but am concerned that the time factor in creating tasks would become unmanageable. Still, I think there is great potential benefit in trying a set station approach.
I like the idea of having students record their daily progress in some form irrespective of whatever the substantive feature of a station might be. I think the idea of a video or audio accounting of the progress, but as always, am concerned that the sheer amount of such documentation is simply unmanageable. I like the idea of a Google Doc or spreadsheet for each class, but am concerned that other students could (maliciously or not) alter or erase another student’s comments. If such a document was shared with each individual student, then the problem of overwhelming unmanageability looms once more. A possible way around this is a weekly workshop inventory where a student records her work daily for the week. This will require some thought and experimentation

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?
Big Huge Labs – I am pleased to be re-acquainted with this fabulous tool! I discovered this a while back, but it got lost in a sea of PLN generated “other cool things”. The options available are very well suited to my style of facilitating wide and deep student choice within broad project parameters. I see students working in groups on individual projects sharing ideas and skill sets. I will have to get more experience with using this creativity toolbox to see if creations can be shared for product flow exercises.
Creatly. Bubbleus, and Mind Mapping – I was so very disappointed when the district dropped Inspiration. Even the very old version we had was very useful. I have the next to the latest version at home and use it frequently for personal project mapping. I have used MindMiester and NovaMind and they are Fabulous, but expensive. Contrary to the info in the app/link database MyWebspiration is no longer free. This is unfortunate, because it is a great collaborative tool. There are numerous other platforms for this type of tool, but I plan to give Creatly and a try with student project creation and task analysis. Others platforms that I plan to experiment are: Pages, Poetry Creator, History Buff, Mind Mash, and Lexipedia. (My students currently use the Visual Thesaurus tied to

From the Google+ aspect of my PLN, I came across Kathy Schrock’s Bloomin’ iPad. It is a matrix of free apps for the iUniverse. The apps she has selected are not only trustworthy, but lead to so many related apps. I think initially, I will have this as the substance of a station and ask students to try and critically review an app of their choice. These reviews could be written and shared with the all the students as a writing or presentation assignment. This same format could be applied to the district’s ultra-fabulous database. The outcome would be that students can hone their writing, speaking, presenting, and sharing skills while broadening their exposure to available creativity/productivity tools.

What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.
I see the iPads as Creative Production Workshop Stations. One of the Workshop pieces could be to create a movie or image collage or one of a gazillion products tied to explaining, analyzing and/or evaluating ANY topic the student chooses. That these products could be created in conjunction with another project for another subject/teacher is true bonus for student engagement and interdisciplinary connections. I am so excited to see what the students will create in their exploration of the movie production apps! I will need a raise!

No comments:

Post a Comment