1. When planning a lesson, one must first determine what the objective is and then determine how to achieve that goal. The technology can be the tool used to achieve this outcome, or it can be used to demonstrate the learning that has taken place. If the technology does not support reaching that goal, then it can become a distraction. Ultimately, our goal is to first and foremost be sure that students can demonstrate their understanding/application of the knowledge.
2. The accountability component to a workstation is critical for the teacher to determine to what degree a student has met the set objective. In a station activity the teacher is not always right there to monitor the level of understanding and/or compliance. An accountability component allows the teachers to assess understanding, and adjust accordingly.
3.I visited the Thinkfinity site, and found many interactive applets that will be useful in supporting middle school math objectives. I particularly liked the applet that uses seating at linear vs rectangular table arrangements to explore perimeter. Students could explore arrangements that create rectangles with the greatest and least perimeters and they could also explore area as well. The voltage game with batteries brings an application to the use of positive and negative numbers. The second site I visited was Manipula Math. The applications for demonstrating the Pythagorean Theorem would be useful in helping students understand that the sum of the squares of the legs equals the square of the hypotenuse. Both of these sites would be great for students to use in stations so they could explore and draw conclusions. The accountability component could be for the students to write a brief description of their exploration and the findings, or the student could answer some pre-planned questions.
4. Everyday Mathematics - Name that number would be an iPad/iTouch app that math teachers can use in stations to support the understanding of the order of operations while using problem solving skills. In math lab classrooms, teachers can also have students use the app - Math Drill Lite to help students visually work on facts. This would allow students to build understanding using visuals. The teacher can use the iPad/iTouches as part of a station rotation that allows students to review previously learned concepts. The accountability piece could include having students share number sentences they created, and for the Math Drill Lite, students could demonstrate understanding using visual representations of the facts that they create or that they used while practicing with the app.
5. Teachers could use the iPad or iTouches for students to research a topic and then share information with other students in the classroom. In other words, they explore and help other students develop understanding of a concept. Students could also take turns developing a course study guide by taking notes each day using a notes app.