Artifact Introduction: During our second week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to explore chapter 3 & 5 of Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the types of instructional software. Furthermore, we were to describe examples of these and their relative advantage to teach our content. I analyzed all five types of instructional software and you can find that information below.
Blog Post: Instructional Software for 4th grade ELA
Integrating instructional software into educational settings is important and is now recognized as such. There are vast amounts of resources that are easily accessible. This software has been sorted into five categories:
- Drill & Practice: is a type of educational software that allows students to practice a previously learned skill by providing problems/questions and then providing students & teacher instantaneous feedback.
- Some examples of drill & practice software for ELA in fourth grade are Quizlet, IXL for Language Arts & Henry Anker. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it replaces the need for a “worksheet” with a more engaging tool, saves teacher time and frees them to help other students, and immediately gives feedback to help students self-correct.
- Tutorial: is a type of educational software that serves as a teacher by providing an “instructional sequence” that is self-paced on a topic. When complete, it provides information, explanations, an opportunity for practice, feedback & assessment.
- Some examples of tutorial software for ELA in fourth grade are Essay Punch, Developing Reading Fluency, Time For Kids A+ Papers. The relative advantage of this type of software is that students can access and learn (or relearn) when a teacher is not available, as in the case of a substitute, student absence, flipped classrooms or at home for homework. It is often more engaging by providing various media types (photographs, videos, etc.) and students are able to work at their own pace and repeat concepts (or skip) if necessary.
- Simulations: is a type of educational software that provides models of systems where learners choose, interact, manipulate, and ultimately learn how the system works. There are for types of simulations: physical, iterative, procedural, & situational.
- Some examples of simulation software for ELA in fourth grade are ICivics and Read Write Think. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it gives students opportunities to practice higher order thinking skills and apply their reading/writing knowledge. It also allows students to do the “impossible” by experiencing things like drafting laws, and participating in elections, and it provides a safe environment where students are more willing to make mistakes than in a “real” situation (interacting with others in writing).
- Instructional Games: is a type of educational software in the format of a game that has a reward or competition to motivate learners. Provides drill or practice with the added component of reward or competition with adds in the expectation of entertainment.
- Some examples of instructional game software for ELA in fourth grade are Fun Brain and Language Art Skill Builders. The relative advantage of this type of software is that is that it is very engaging and increases motivation to do well in identifying parts of speech and it frequently increases the time students spend practicing reading and grammar skills.
- Problem Solving: is a type of educational software that directly or indirectly teaches students how to solve problems and then provides opportunities to apply problem-solving strategies.
- Some examples of problem-solving software for ELA in fourth grade are Brain Pop-Quandary and Discovery Education. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it provides “real world scenarios” and opportunities to apply critical thinking and problem solving. It also helps to integrate various skills and apply them to solve engaging “problems’ which results in increased motivation and confidence in research, writing, editing, and revising.
As described above instructional software provides many benefits in the classroom. It is up to teachers to use their professional judgment backed by research to effectively integrate these various types of instructional software in their classrooms.
Additional Artifact: Instructional Software for 4th grade ELA Graph:
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment was of a lot of value for me because I had the opportunity to immediately apply what I learned about instructional software. I needed to make professionally sound decisions to assess and evaluate software to ensure that I was labeling them as the correct software type and applying them appropriately to my content area of ELA. In this way, I developed a deeper understanding of the various instructional software and their applications in my classroom. I had to delve into many different online resources and analyze the information presented to come to a solid conclusion (label) and determine if each offered something my students would benefit from.
- AECT Standard 4.3 Assessing/Evaluating : For this blog post, I came to a research-based conclusion on the best software to choose for ELA for each software type. It required me to interpret the data from research on why and how each software should be integrated into the educational setting.
- AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to create this instructional software chart, I needed to make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate software to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices of various the instructional software types.