1. Technology integrations need to connect with, and build upon, the objectives in order to strengthen the rigor and relevance of students' learning. We create objectives based on TEKS and Bloom's taxonomy, so we must ensure that the technology pieces promote higher-order thinking, engaging learning opportunities. Otherwise, their time with the devices does not mirror the purposeful and meaningful education that we strive for in class.
2. We need to incorporate accountability pieces throughout work stations and centers because it promotes students to take further ownership of their learning; further, it provides both teachers and students with insights into their learning at that moment/stage. These stations give informal assessment/feedback into how well students grasp a concept thus far. Accountability encourages students to remain focused on the objective and goals, while giving them an avenue for how to record their thinking and oftentimes produce a product that highlights their ideas, knowledge, creativity, collaboration, etc.
3. I liked the Thinkfinity site, especially the interactive game and activity sources organized by content area. I can see students using tools like Calculation Nation at centers to practice their math problem-solving strategies. They could journal about one of the questions that they answered correctly or incorrectly, recording the question, explaining how they went about it and why or why not it worked. I also liked Manga High, and students could play interactive games on a particular unit (or review units) at a math center. Manga High gives teachers access to a class page, which I can use to easily monitor how each child progresses through the quizzes and games.
4. Word Games for Kids - Futaba builds students' vocabulary as they identify and match words to images (some of which are provided, and teachers can add more images via dropbox). It's a small-group word game in which they pass the ipad around, and it provides ESL students with an additional opportunity to expand their language skills. Afterwards, students can add the words that they encountered to their picture dictionaries, create imaginative stories using some of the words, etc. Multiplication Rap 2x HD allows students to practice their multiplication facts on the ipads and times each round. Students can record their time from each round in their journal to self-assess their progress, and they could also create a multiplication story problem after each round based on the district model of problem-solving steps that they, or a partner, could solve step by step. This would balance the drilling of facts with explaining your thinking behind multiplication.
5. I see my students using ipad apps and tools (like notepad or skitch) to record and present their thinking in new ways. Rather than always making posters or anchor charts in small-groups during times like research activities, students may choose between paper/markers, ipad tools and netbook tools. They may choose to create photo shows, blogs, movies, prezis, and other products on the ipads and netbooks instead of hand writing and drawing everything. Then, their peers can pass around the devices in discussing one another's products, so we don't always need to print everything out. It expands the choices that I am able to give them in how they wish to showcase their thinking while strengthening their creativity.