Tool 9: Incorporating Devices
Technology should not be used simply because it is there. Its use should match the objective so that students can see a different way of accomplishing a task. It should complement what we are doing and not get in the way. The technology should not be used for "free time" when the lesson is finished.
Students need to feel like the classroom is an extension of their home. We already hold them accountable for neatness and calculators to keep their home presentable. Part of accountability will be taking care of the devices given because otherwise they will lose the privilege. They should be held accountable for activities done on the devices so that they understand the technology aspects are important and not random distractions used to kill time. They should see them as learning tools and not toys.
ManipulaMath and PhET have examples of some ideas I want to incorporate. Although Java applets do not work on iPads, there are ways to accomplish the same thing. In Algebra II, I really want the kids to be able to play with parent functions and under the effects of parameter changes and realize that everything can be graphed.
I plan on incorporating GraphCalc HD, Numbers, Pages, and possibly Educreations for some activities next year. Pages and Numbers allow for collaboration on spreadsheets and documents that can be quickly updated to the teacher's iPad and displayed on the screen. GraphCalc HD allows a much better look at graphing functions beyond the capabilities of our calculators. Educreations allows students to created annotated whiteboard lessons that can be given to other groups to teach them something or as an assessment on what they've learned.