This week in EdTech 541, we were to research appropriate uses of instructional software in the classroom and discuss the relative advantages of doing so. I enjoyed making my presentation of this information. I found software applications for AP Statistics. This will really assist me as I progress through the school year being only my second year teaching the course. Here is a link to the presentation located on my Weebly website which contains all things EdTech 541.
There are many relative advantages when a teacher uses appropriate instructional software in any classroom.
The software can provide an alternative learning experience. This can keep students more interested in the coursework. It can also ease the workload of the teacher and save them time when the software is ready to use. Likewise, using instructional software in the classroom can increase student motivation by providing variety in the classroom routine.
An excellent software purchase can save schools and districts money over the long-run. A software package purchase that is well thought out, teachers are trained to use it and it increases productivity over using pencil and paper, is a well made investment. The idea is more student learning will occur with such a purchase.
Branching tutorial software can help close gaps that students may have in mathematics, statistics and other topics as well. These provide an individualized learning plans, like Aleks.com, where students can learn and relearn topics they struggle with from their past (or present as well). If a student knows a topic, they can quickly answer the questions on that topic and move on. Students do not have to wait for others to move on to a topic they need more assistance with.
Within my Instructional Software Presentation, there are four resources that are my personal favorites to use in the math and/or statistics classroom; Aleks.com, Statistical Applets, Spreadsheets (Microsoft and Google) and Geometer’s Sketchpad. These are all resources that do more than simple drill and practice, as they provide lessons for students or the opportunity to explore math and data in open-ended scenarios.
Well designed instructional software provides differentiated instruction opportunities, creates higher student engagement rates, can improve student problem solving skills and incorporates the use of many 21st Century Skill Standards. Each teacher needs to explore which software will work best for them and their students.
Roblyer, M. D. & Doerling, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.) (p.10-51). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.