Evaluating software applications
and web resources & using IT to
teach Language Arts
1Prepared by Ms. Ruby Yang, Department of English, HKIEd.
Information on the Internet is extensive and
The information on the Internet varies
considerably in difficulty, accuracy and quality.
Therefore, decisions have to be made about the
usefulness of the information examined.
The information on the Internet can be
obtained immediately, inexpensively and
without great effort. Strategies for evaluating
the Internet information are needed so that
teacher and students can use that information
selectively (Ryder & Hughes, 1998).
The site should have appropriate authority and
credibility. A credible site is backed by an organization
or educational institution.
The site includes interactive features, allowing for
responses via forms or e-mail.
The site is updated regularly.This can be checked
from the last update date.
The website should refer viewers to additional sites
that can provide further information.
The site can be navigated easily. It is obvious to
viewers what to click on and how to return to where
The site is searchable and includes an index to the
content of the site.
The objectives of the site are obvious.
The site is related to curriculum objectives.
The level of language on the site is appropriate.
Simplicity in layout.
The site clearly states what ability level the site is
aimed at and what topics are covered.
Links to plug-in applications, such as Shockwave or
RealAudio, are provided on-site where required, so that
the plug-ins can be easily downloaded (Treadwell,
Browse through 3-5 of the websites suggested
in the list.
Try to evaluate the websites based on the
criteria listed in the website evaluation
When you identify a software package that is
potentially suited to your curriculum, you
• its appropriateness to your students’ levels;
• the accuracy of the content;
• its relevance to the curriculum standards and
• its technical quality (including appropriateness of
feedback and student prompts, use of graphics,
animations, sound, and other media elements)
(Shelly et al., 2002).
• What are the objectives of the program?
• Do the objectives match your instructional goals?
• What knowledge or skills must a student possess to
use the program?
• Is the vocabulary appropriate for the grade level of
• Is the material presented in the program accurate?
• Can the student move back and forth in the
• Can the student return to the previous page of the
• Can the student exit the program easily whenever
• Does the program give feedback to the student’s
• Does the program start from simple to complex?
• Does the program have colourful graphics,
animation and sound?
Ease of use
• Is the program easy to use?
• Can the student immediately load the program?
• Can the student get access to help when it is
• Are there any help prompts?
• Does the program have error messages so that the
student can correct his/her mistakes?
• Are the instructions clear and concise? (Sharp, 2005)
Short stories / novels
Apple - Movie Trailers
The Education Podcast Network (English
CDex can extract the digital data directly from
an audio CD to a WAV file or a compressed
audio file (MP3 file).
Download CDex from this website:
Click here to change
the location of
your recorded track(s)
and then click OK
you want to
extract and then
Go to Download.com:
Type in YouTube Downloader and then select
YouTube Downloader 2.6.1.
Enter the video
URL and then click
Video editing involves integrating multimedia
elements such as text, video, and audio into a
Video editing includes cutting out
unnecessary parts of an audio or video,
recording dialogue, adding video and audio
transitions such as fades, and creating a more
finished product (Sharp, 2009).
YouTube (www.youtube.com) is a popular
video-sharing site that lets individuals post
A video blog, referred to as a vlog, is a log that
The clips are produced using webcams or
digital video cameras.
Students can then use their video segments in
electronic portfolios (Sharp, 2009).
Ryder, R. J., & Hughes,T. (1998). Internet for educators.
Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill.
Sharp,V. (2005). Computer education for teachers:
Integrating technology into classroom teaching (5th
Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill.
Sharp,V. (2009). Computer education for teachers:
Integrating technology into classroom teaching (6th
Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley.
Shelly, G. B., Cashman,T. J., Gunter, R. E., & Gunter, G. A.
(2002). Integrating technology in the classroom:
Teachers discovering computers. Cambridge, Mass.:
Treadwell, M. (2001). 1001 best Internet sites for
educators. Arlington Heights, Ill.: SkyLight
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