INSTRUCTIONAL SOFTWARE:WHAT & WHY? Roblyer and Doering (2013) define it as “computer programs designed specifically to deliver instruction or assist with the delivery of instruction on a topic.” The relative advantages of using instructional software include Increased motivation and engagement Instantaneous feedback Allows for more 1 on 1 interaction between student and teacher Self-paced learning environments
TYPES OF INSTRUCTIONAL SOFTWARE Drill and practice Tutorials Simulations Educational games Problem-solving software
DRILL AND PRACTICE SOFTWARE:WHAT & WHY? Students work on example problems one at a time and are given feedback on their correctness. Some programs provide explanation of why answers are incorrect. Provides immediate feedback, helps develop automaticity, appeals to students more than worksheets, reduces consumable material waste, saves teacher time correcting students work Potential uses: Practice basic operation facts, review material before a test or quiz
DRILL AND PRACTICE EXAMPLES IXL Math Practice problems for each grade aligned to state standards Quizlet Virtual flashcards which can be either created by the teacher or students can search for sets already made by others to help review concepts and facts Mr. Myers Flash Cards Flash cards to practice basic operation facts
TUTORIAL SOFTWARE: WHAT & WHY? Tutorials provide instruction similar to what a teacher delivers. Students should be able to learn the concept(s) without any other help or materials. It does include drill and practice functions within the program. Provides immediate feedback and is self-paced. Intelligent tutoring systems can provide scaffolding for student learning. Potential uses: Instruction for students who were absent, sub lesson plans, can also provide advance instruction for gifted students
TUTORIAL EXAMPLES Khan Academy Video tutorials with accompanying practice problems for almost any math concept McDougal Littell @HomeTutor This is the online component of my Algebra 1 textbook. It also contains a video tutor option for struggling readers. It has a lesson for each section in the textbook.
SIMULATION SOFTWARE: WHAT & WHY? Computerized models help teach how a real or imaginary system works. These models can teach about or how to do something. Simulations allow students to see how different actions impact the whole system. They allow students to interact with things that are either too costly, too dangerous, or otherwise impossible to interact with otherwise. Potential uses: Manipulate parts of a function and see how it changes the graph, different experiments involving probability
SIMULATION EXAMPLES Explore Learning Gizmos This site contains mainly procedural simulations for all kinds of different math concepts.
EDUCATIONAL GAME SOFTWARE:WHAT & WHY? Learning activities are complemented with game- like rules and/or competition. Educational games appeal to students’ competitive nature. They also combine learning with playing. Students are willing to spend more time focused on the content. Potential uses: Similar uses as those for drill and practice and simulations
EDUCATIONAL GAME EXAMPLES Lure of the Labyrinth A pre-algebra game in which students use their math skills to find a missing pet within the labyrinth. Manga High Students compete against each other and also as school versus school to earn points and badges.
PROBLEM-SOLVING SOFTWARE: WHAT & WHY? Software focused on developing general problem solving skills or content-specific skills. Problem-solving software helps students visualize abstract concepts, increases interest and motivation, and helps students see how information learned in class applies to actual problems. Potential uses: Group problem solving, teaching problem-solving skills
PROBLEM-SOLVING SOFTWARE EXAMPLES The Futures Channel The site provides videos that introduce problems that require general problem solving and math and science skills to solve.
RESOURCES TO EVALUATE INSTRUCTIONALSOFTWARE Good instructional software can be hard to find and time consuming to evaluate. Here are a few places that are well-established educational technology resource sites that provide ideas and reviews. iLearn Technology Free Technology for Teachers Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day