I have found that many of our students see technology as a chance to play rather than learn. This can have its advantages and disadvantages in a classroom. I have many times technology thrown into a classroom just to have it in the lesson rather than it be an integral part of a lesson. With education currently trying to transform it is crucial to not just throw technology into a lesson but rather plan it to align with your objective and TEK you are teaching as to ensure it benefits the students.
It goes along with this that students must be held accountable when using technology in a classroom. Since many students at my school only see technology as entertainment they may not realize the benefit or the purpose of the activity they have completed that day without taking the time to do some kind of reflection. This also helps students stay on task. As mentioned in the blog many times while students are working on a station using technology the teacher is pulling a small group or doing one on one work with other students. Since the students are not being directly monitored there must be some form of accountability check to ensure they stay on task and focused during the time they have to use the technology.
I really enjoy using MangaHigh in my classroom. The 'games' on this website are actually very fun yet truly utilize skills the students are learning in my class. I had several students ask to come play MangaHigh after school or during lunch this past year!
I also enjoy some of the resources on Manipula Math. One in particular I liked was on ratios of area and side lengths. The applet available here are pretty specific, thus would be helpful ways to let students see a concept they are struggling with from another point of view.
Many of the apps listed as free in our database actually had a fee, so I did not get to look at many of them. I liked the Freddy Fraction game for students having difficulty with conversions, however there were times when multiple answers were correct and one was counted incorrect.
The MathSnacks App is noce to have as well. I have used MathSnacks in my classroom before and it is great to have the app rather than having kids go to the website to search!
I look forward to using the Ipad as a way for students to record themselves showing how they worked through problems and then sharing it with others!!