Do software programs improve learning for today’s youth? Uh, Yeah! Of course the software usage depends on the teachers instructional goals. A teacher should ask: “What am I trying to teach my learners? How will I measure my success?” Using the ADDIE model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADDIE is a great tool to see if a learning outcome has been achieved.
Computers can be very beneficial in the classroom. I have been using reading programs such as TimeForLearning for many years. Student’s who normally don’t like to read (and often have reading problems), enjoy reading “eBook” stories. Computers do not replace a teacher’s direct instruction; rather, they offer an alternative resource. Simply put, they give teachers more tools to get students interested in learning.
For example, a review of research literature published in 2004 by the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (BECTA), found the use of simulations and modeling (Computer illustrations), in the natural sciences resulted in increased learning.
Of course technology can enhance learning. A better question to ask: “How are teachers using computers in class, and are they properly trained?” Unfortunately, many teachers in the K-12 field do not know how to use essential learning software programs. Therefore, they are limited in what they can teach. I think there should be more workshops offered to teachers so that they can improve their skills in using technology in the classroom. Sadly, if you have a computer, but don’t know how to use it, you will find it’s worthless as an instructional tool.
Tech Tips ↓
Visit the link below “Works4Me,” for some tips on using technology in class. http://www.nea.org/tips/tech/techclas.html