It is extremely important to tie your technology in with your objective. We have learned over the past few years how important it is for your lessons to be congruent. If the the technology doesn't fit the lesson, it can confuse some children or become a time just for 'playing around" with it. The children may not see its real value as part of their learning.
Holding students accountable for the time spent in stations is also a vital part of the learning that takes place in the classroom. It helps them to see that what they are doing is important and not just time for "fluff". It enables them to be both creative and productive. It also helps teachers in that their products can be used as forms of evaluation or assessments. It provides students with a variety of ways to show their learning- not just through paper/pencil tests.
I attempted to use the Mangahigh website this year. I spent the time to go in and set it up for my class to use. However, something (as is the case with me all the time) didn't work right and the lessons that showed up were way too difficult for my children. I don't know what I did wrong, but plan to try again this year. I know that Ms. Craddock used it to compete against students at other schools in other countries and really enjoyed it. I will get her to help me again this year. Hopefully, this year I will get it right because I really want to implement this in my classroom to help increase the children's knowledge and speed with math facts.
I will also try to use the Learning Games for Kids this year. I will use this as part of my math and literacy workstations. The children can access this website and use it to practice skills in the various subject areas.I hope to incorporate some of the games into the math plans that I do for our grade level.
Number Find Lite- I will use this when learning about number patterns in math. I will have this as a choice in my math workstations. The children will mark the date they complete this station as a way to hold them accountable.
iBird lite- I will use this app as a supplement for when we do our bird unit in the spring.
The children can also use the iTouches and iPads to video tape themselves reading stories they have written and then share them with other students. I also want the children to pair up with students in other classrooms to complete projects together. I think they will enjoy being with other children and learning from each other.