Friday, January 13, 2012

Tool #9

It is important to tie technology to the objective for several reasons: First, the use of technology must be relevant and congruent to the objective and not just there for the sake of using technology.  If there isn't value to using technology in a lesson, don't use it!  Secondly, when it IS appropriate for the lesson, technology makes the lesson more engaging and enhances the learning.

Stations are a great way to incorporate technology into a lesson, but students must know that they will be held accountable.  How many times have we given students the opportunity to use a computer or phone for research or some other virtual activity only to find them on Facebook (for social reasons) or texting?  Students need a clear picture of what will be expected of them and what will be acceptable use and non-acceptable use.  It is also helpful for them to have something that must be produced to hold them accountable, i.e. analysis questions, etc that can be shared via Google Docs with the teacher.

This year, I stumbled upon a Natural Selection Game that tied in perfectly to an adaptation lab activity my Biology classes do.  The kids ATE.IT.UP!  I had to share it with my co-workers and they have also reported that their kids {LOVE} it!  So this online game could be part of a station and the Tiger Stripes adaptation activity could be how we hold them accountable.  Science NetLinks is also an amazing site chock full of animations, interactive websites, and activities that would lend themselves perfectly to station creation.  I was also fond of Thinkfinity, which is a lot like Science NetLinks - great games & tools to enhance learning and engage the learner.  I saw virtual dissections, interactive human body stuff - just perfect for Bio!

There are lots of cool apps that I explored also.  I like the Cell & Cell Structure app.  This app would be a great intro or review into cell structure!  The animations and pictures are so cool!  It's a bit pricey at $2.99, so if you are putting it and others on all your iPads it will add up, but maybe we can figure out some departmental or technology funding to help ease the cost. The app is neat too - I have used TED-talks before in my classes.  Students could view a talk on a current topic and then right a reflection blog or Edmodo conversation debating/discussing it.

I plan on using my iPads & Netbooks for data collection, having students create video tutorials, making timelines, doing research, creating presentations.  Endless possibilities.  So excited!



  1. Natural selection and adaptation was one of my favorite unit activities to do with my 7th graders back in the day when I was a middle-school teacher. It was messy and required that I push all of the furniture to the perimeter of the room but OH they really grasped the concept. I could totally see how this would lend itself to an online version of the activity so THANKS for the idea! The apps issue is a good one to open up for discussion - especially at the iPad tutorial with Ed Tech next month - maybe they have some ideas about how we this could be done more (cost) efficiently?

  2. i dont remember you sharing anything with your co-workers?? may it was just me. hmm!! :(