#1. Ultimately, technology is a tool for learning, not THE learning. No matter what tools the teacher is using we need to remember what we are teaching. We still need to be responsible for the information our students are learning. We need to make sure that we use the technology because it is relevant and it will enhance the learning, not because we feel the need to use technology.
#2. I think students need to be held accountable 100% of the time, which would include stations/centers. In a workshop setting, the teacher needs to be able to work productively with small groups. The students need to be engaged in purposeful activities to enhance their knowledge of the content or provide them with additional opportunities to practice and gain fluency in the knowledge.
#3. Since I only work in a small group setting, students are engaged in actual reading work the entire time. They have opportunities to use these devices within their center time when they are in their classrooms.
#4. I am hesitant to use apps on the iPad/iPod Touch with my students because the students tend to focus on playing a game rather than the concept behind the learning. There is an abundance of phonics apps out there that are little more than glorified phonics worksheets. Shooting at letters isn't any better than circling a letter on a worksheet. These apps can be far less useful than time spent reading and learning how letters and sounds work within authentic text. Apps like ABC Long Vowel Words and Phonics Genius offer no instruction, forcing kids to either guess or just practice being wrong over and over again.
#5. I could see a student using these devices for research. If we were reading a book on volcanoes for example, these devices could be handy for the student to research background knowledge on the subject. Unfamiliar subjects come up often during reading, and students would be able to get the information they need quickly.