I feel that technology is an important objective because, well.....technology is EVERYWHERE! These kids are going to grow up and be in a completely different world than we are! I cant even begin to imagine what sort of technology they will be using! Thats why I think as teaches, it is our job and very important to instill the basis of using technology for many different reasons. Teaching first grade and having anxious 6 year olds makes it even better! For some of these kids, this is the first time they have every used an iTouch or laptop. Its exciting to see them learn to use it, then to see them grow and ask to use it to help them learn something.
I think it is important to hold students accountable for using the devices during centers because it is important for them to know that we are here to learn. I think having them write (or draw) about what they did while they used the devices is a great way to hold them accountable. I even think something as simple as having them share with the class, or even show the class, will get them excited and also help them to understand that they need to be accountable and use them for the correct reasons. And I think that they will be fooled! Sometimes they feel that that the "learning" games are not as fun, but I know if we find the right ones, they will have just as much fun!
I visited www.learninggamesforkids.com and found some great games that the kids can play. There are so many options and I like how its easy to navigate so the students can figure it out on their own if I am unable to help them at the moment. Another app I discovered was off of the SBISD database called, I can Read. I think this will be a fun app for some of my struggling readers. It has over 60 words that they can practice on. I also liked the handwriting/letter tracing app for my kids.
I read a fellow VOE teachers blog and she was talking about how she is excited to put all of her listening center cds onto the iTouch. I didn't even THINK of this!!! This is so exciting bc as you know with the younger kiddos, changing the cd/tape in listening center can be quite chaotic! I am excited to teach my class how to find the book on the iTouch and use it from there. It will also be fun to be able to have kids listen to different books if they want. Right now, I have 1 listening center and all the kids in the group listen to the same book. But since I will have FIVE iTouches, the kids can pick different books that interest them! Woo hoo!