Student Voice and Choice

When looking for apps to use in class, I will normally ask my students what apps do they currently use and any if they find it useful or not.   I have also given my students a list of apps that will help them academically and allowed them to review the apps by downloading them on their own device or on the class iPads. I prefer to have student input because they are going to be the ones using it on a regular basis.  The best thing to do is to give the students a complete list of the apps that you intend to use in class and allow them to download them and use them first to get some feedback.

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How Many Times Did I Use The iPad This Week

I can honestly say that we have used the iPad everyday this week and most of last week. There are a lot of apps that awesome comprehensive biology reviews for EOC exams, tests, and etc.  Now that we have finished our biology curriculum, we have been completing introductory assignments for chemistry. I also downloaded some awesome chemistry apps that will help them succeed in chemistry and give them some insight on what to expect next school year.

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Keep Learning

While participating in the technology pilot, I have found many great educational uses for some of the social media apps that our students use. I especially like using Edmodo for my students as well as for myself professionally. It is wonderful online professional development tool to use so you can collaborate and learn from other educators.

When a teacher increases his or her understanding and knowledge of technology, it allows that teacher the ability to present the curriculum in a way that will allow his or her students to learn the material better. I will also provide the students with another way to study the information and present it in creative ways.

If you’re an iPad user, iTunes U is great.

 

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Using the Devices for the First Time. Eek!!!

Last week we used our i Pads for the first time!! It was pretty exciting and a little scary all at the same time. As a teacher, we are traditionally expected to maintain all control in the classroom and keep everything in an orderly manner. Well, if you are planning to blend your classroom and/or flip it,  YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LET GO!! If you have never done it, it’s a scary thing. I like being in control of my classroom but at the same time I want my students to explore the concepts that we are covering in more detail to help deepen their understanding and possibly clear up any misconceptions that they may have acquired.

We just started our Evidence of Evolution unit and our first lesson consisted of the following objectives:

Who is Charles Darwin and what did he contribute to the study of Evolution?

What is Evolution?

What is Natural Selection?

What is an adaptation?

To do this, had them view a video lesson on Khan Academy about Evolution and Natural Selection(love Khan Academy) and we used this awesome app called Evolutionary Biology https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evolutionary-biology/id513464425?mt=8 . They viewed the video then followed up the lesson by utilizing the Evolutionary Biology App which reviewed them over natural selection, evolution, adaptations, and etc.  What was really awesome that it ended with a natural selection game using snakes and mice. AWESOME!!! It really helped reinforce the objectives for the lesson and the students had fun. Toward the end of class, we shut everything down and had a class discussion about what they learned (i.e. the objectives). Class was extra wonderful that day.

One of the biggest issues that I think most teachers will have is how to manage classroom behavior while using the technology. Your classroom management has to be set in stone long before you put the iPad  in a student’s hands. Your expectations MUST be set and clearly defined and before they use any technology, an AUP is a must (Acceptable Use Policy). I put everything I could think of on my AUP. For example, my students know that if I come across anything inappropriate and/or misuse, I will take a screenshot of it and email it to their parents and principle. Then I will document it (hard copy), have them sign it, and they will lose the privilege of using the iPad in class. Plus, my students know that they will lose trust points. (They don’t like that) But it’s something that I establish from day one.

Other than that, I have had a great time using the iPads in class and I’m constantly searching for other ways to present the material to them via the iPad. It’s a lot of work, but I have fun doing it and once you start it, it’s hard to stop. (It’s a good thing!!)

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Biology Tutorial Website

Check out the University of Arizona’s Biology Place website. It makes for a great biology tutorial for students.

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/DEFAULT.HTML

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Another Great Site to Use

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Teach Thought Website.

Check this website out. Especially the other articles on the right side.
Teach Thought

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