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Instructional Software Presentation

By Kim Jackson EdTech 541

The Relative Advantage

Roblyer and Doering (2013) share the advantages to using instructional software.

It gives the teacher the opportunity to analyze teaching needs and determine the interests of the students. The teacher needs to be the expert. It is important for the teacher to know the ins and outs of the topic that is being presented; especially when presenting a new topic. In anticipating problems and student questions the teacher is better prepared. It gives the teacher the opportunity to define lesson objectives and clearly establish goals for the learner. When a teacher knows what needs to be accomplished and how value is going to be assessed, it contributes to the effectiveness of the material.

The Relative Advantage

It gives the teacher the opportunity to model how to use the software, allowing students to have hands on experience, and the chance to apply what they learn by completing exercises that the software provides. It allows the teacher to create an instructional environment by setting clear expectations (rubrics, handouts, checklists), checking in with students to see how they are doing and answer questions, setting scheduled times to use technology and offering additional time if students need extra assistance or time. It offers time at the end of the project to study the results and determine what worked well and what areas may need to be revised.

The Relative Advantage

Thorsen (2009) compares the computer and software to a teacher. Educational software must match the curricular goal and be used appropriately. In addition instructional software is a way for the learner to collect, examine and share information with others (p.16).

Drill and Practice

The learners practice skills by working on problems they are required to answer. In return they get an immediate response if the answer is correct or incorrect. "It is a way for learner to interact with content" (Thorsen, 2009, p.15) Apply drill and practice skills using flash cards and charts where learners can be timed. Use branching drills so that problems can start off easy and progressively get harder. Implement feedback drills to allow the learner to receive instant feedback or information that can identify mistakes. Drill and practice software can be used to enhance classroom curriculum because it helps the learner prepare for tests, homework, and practice sheets (Robyler and Doering, 2013, p. 86). APlusMath SuperKids

Tutorials are a way for learners to study a topic sequentially. The exercises throughout the tutorial allow the students to apply their knowledge. The linear tutorial gives an explanation, practice exercises and feedback to the learner. The branching tutorial takes the learner down multiple paths that give them the opportunity to master the material. The complexity of the learning material can be determined by the teacher or the need of the student (Robyler and Doering, 2013, p.87). Tutorial software can enhance classroom strategies because it allows students to go at their own pace, gives learners another way to learn materials and apply skills, and work independently on their own learning. Free Training Tutorials U.S. Government for Kids

A simulation is created to walk a learner through tasks that they have to complete before they move on to the next exercise of their choosing. Each simulation meets the needs of students in different ways. The goal is for students to navigate their way through the process and learn about the topic. Many simulations allow the learners the chance to work at their own pace and process through a variety of exercises which offers hands-on learning (Robyler and Doering, 2013, p.90). Simulations are a way for the learner to ask, "what if" questions and require them to think about the big picture and how a choice could change the path or their final destination as they journey through the simulation (Thorsen, 2009).

Robyler and Doering (2013) share that the following simulations teach learners about something:

Physical simulations allow learners to manipulate things throughout the program Iterative simulations allow learners to experience the exercise over and over again or adjust the speed at which they view each strategy (p.90).

The following simulations show the learners how to do something:

Procedural simulations teach a sequence on how to do something or show how a task is performed. Situational simulations offer questions that could happen in a certain scenario to which learners can respond (p.90).

Simulations can be used to supplement learning. It can also give a real life perspective without the learner having a direct hands on experience. For example, in science class, learners will often be required to dissect a frog. This may not be their favorite task, but it is one that needs to be done to understand the workings of a frog. Simulations allow the learner to experience the dissection and understand how the process works, without the messiness or smell. In addition, simulations can go as slow or as fast as the learner needs to go. The student is actively involved in observing the simulation. Learners look at many variations on how to do things or how things work and can repeat steps which enhance information they are retaining. Simulation software can enhance classroom strategies because it allows learners to use their imagination, supplement learning, give additional information about a topic, and allow the opportunity to explore and practice what is learned (Robyler and Doering, 2013, p.94). Houghton Mifflin Science

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Instructional Games
Instructional games shine a new light on the world of education. Interactive instructional games give the learner a media that is educational, entertaining and engaging. Instructional games are a way for students to learn skills such as following directions. As the learner completes each level/exercise as they move up it becomes increasingly challenging throughout the game. Games have a way of stimulating student's learning and making learning new topics fun. Instructional games can enhance classroom strategies by encouraging group interactions. It is a supplement to practice sheets, and can be used as an incentive. Fun English Games Super Teacher Tools

Problem Solving Software

Problem solving software is used to help learners develop specific skills. It is a way for students to look at and solve problems in multiple ways. This is gives learners an opportunity to develop skills such as recalling facts, determining the sequence of problems, and predicting outcomes. Another approach that helps develop problem solving skills is direct guidance which allows them to come up with solutions on their own through one-one instruction. Problem solving software gives learners the opportunity to visualize and develop their critical thinking skills. Often problems can engage and motivate the learner and make what the student is learning more meaningful.

Problem solving software can enhance classroom strategies by giving learners hands-on experience, support, and opportunities to work in groups. Aussie Kids Software

Thorsen (2009) says, " Curricular objectives are always the goal. Computer support

those objectives" (p. 26) Instructional software is a valuable tool in training and
education. There are many options available to assist learners and their educational needs. It is important for teachers to give students the opportunity to try new methods of learning and instructional software will keep the educational experience engaging, challenging and at the same time informative.

Robyler, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Pearson.

Thorsen, C., (2009). Tech Tactics: Technology for Teachers (3rd ed.). Pearson.