Friday, June 15, 2012

Tool 9: Incorporating Devices for Learning

Lesson objectives allow teachers to connect student learning to specified state-mandated standards. Having them keeps planning organized, relevant, and meaningful. Using technology to enhance the learning experience is very effective in that it is still somewhat new to many students. Since the objective provides the blueprint for student outcomes, lesson components need to reflect the goal.

Using classroom devices will be especially effective with smaller groups of students. At a station, a lab group can use a variety of apps such as MindMash and iBrainstorm to organize thinking and spark discussion. Content apps such as GoogleEarth and TinkerBox can be used to lead students to discovery  and understanding of science concepts. Smaller groups allow the students to work collaboratively so that tasks are completed and students are held accountable for their own learning.

Having students use the devices to create a simple product that demonstrates understanding of the day's objective serves two purposes. First, it meets the accountability requirement and most importantly, it shows that students are getting it. When kids have fun with the lesson, they will remember it. As I explore the tools presented in each session, I am continually thinking of more and more ways that my students can benefit by being part of this much-needed classroom technology upgrade.

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