I think it is important to tie the technology to the objective because we are using the technology as a tool to help students learn the content. We can also have the students demonstrate level of mastery through a variety of technologically based products.
We need to hold students accountable for the work done at stations so that we can determine whether learning is occurring. The stations provide opportunities for students to learn the content in a variety of ways. It is a way for us to differentiate the content to better meet the needs of our students. If we do not hold them accountable, then it becomes a “play” time and not a “learning” experience.
Interactive Websites – PhET was one of the links I checked out. Some of the interactive simulations were pretty cool, but others seem to lack clear direction and were somewhat confusing. I did see a couple that I feel can fit with my curriculum on Force & Motion. I still like having students actually using some of the flipcharts as a station. This allows them to review the information and you can hold them accountable through the ActiVotes/expressions and even using a quick write as a summary of their visit to the station.
Apps – A few of the apps that I like are, of course, Dictionary.com App. The students frequently choose to use this app over the old-fashioned book on the shelf. The iTalk Recorder would be another good app to use as a station. As a Science teacher, I can see using this as a way to have students discuss their observations during a lab and then the discussion that follows the completion of a lab. With a set of questions to guide the discussion, the students can record it and you can listen to help evaluate and assess whether learning occurred. It helps keep them accountable. We have used several different Flash Card apps in the past, but I would like to find one where I can type up the vocabulary information and then sync it to the iPods/iPads. One of the problems I found in the past is that students rarely check their spelling or even the information they typed into the device. If I could do it once, then sync it, I would be assured that the students had the correct terms and definitions.
Students can use the iPads/iPods to blog, or collaborate on documents together. They can also use them to research topics, read iBooks, and create a variety of electronic projects. We can also use them to Skype with other classrooms or individual students. I think there are so many ways to use the mobile devices, that we are only limited by our imagination and our time, and of course, a wireless connection! J