Instructional Software

Instructional software refers to the programs that can be used to deliver instruction or to assist with the delivery of instruction (Roblyer 2016).  Teachers often search for relevant instructional software to integrate within the classroom.  Below you will find an explanation of the five different types of instructional software and examples of each type that can be incorporated in the high school English classroom.

Drill and Practice

Drill and practice software allows students to work independently on example items and receive feedback on their correctness.  The software gives appropriate feedback for correct and incorrect answers while increasing fluency.  Additionally, drill and practice allows for students to participate in effective practice in order to commit information to long-term memory.  While there are many benefits to drill and practice instructional software, there is one major concern, too.  Many educators fear the overuse of drill and practice.  The overuse of drill and practice can lead to learner fatigue and student burnout with respect to the software.  The advantage to drill and practice in the ninth grade English classroom would be that students could practice and master key vocabulary words for each unit of study.

Examples:

Quizlet Vocabulary Flashcards

https://quizlet.com/99137448/search-for-self-vocabulary-periods-1-and-3-flash-cards/

Tutorials

Tutorials provide an entire sequence on a topic as it is considered self-contained as opposed to supplemental.  Tutorials are geared to students who are solid readers.  The students should be able to exhibit thorough control while utilizing a tutorial that is pedagogically appropriate.  The tutorial will have the capabilities of both judging responses and giving accurate feedback.  This is a great option when teachers are unavailable.  This can be used for the enrichment that so many students do not receive during the day.  The drawback to such a program is that the student is isolated while participating in such a tutorial.  The relative advantage of using tutorial software in my ninth grade English classroom would be to offer additional enrichment for advanced students.  This enrichment would be beneficial to students interested in specific areas of study (Roblyer 2016).

Examples:

Essay Punch– an online writing tutorial

http://www.essaypunch.com/

Simulations

Simulation software allows learners to choose the tasks they would like to complete.  Both physical and iterative simulations are possible (Roblyer 2016).  At times, simulation software can be cheaper than the real experience.  Additionally, simulation software allows for a user to learn from mistakes and try again.  For example, when dissecting a frog in science class, students can correct mistakes made during dissection without spending additional money for a new frog.  Simulation software is a nice way to increase student engagement.  Also, using the simulation software can give students opportunities that they would not always have.

Examples:

Google Cultural Institute

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/home

Google Lit Trips

http://www.googlelittrips.org/litTripLibrary/grades9-12.php

Instructional Games

Instructional game software is very popular right now.  Students find it appealing and engaging.  Instructional game software can teach important non-cognitive skills like attention, perseverance, and many other life skills (Roblyer 2016).  There are a few disadvantages to this type of software.  The question that many educators have is if the true instructional value of the software can be measured.  Is it possible to determine the difference between learning and having fun?  While there can be some instructional value, it is important to use this strategy sparingly.  I use a few instructional games in my classroom in order to serve as review.  This can make reviewing for a test more engaging as all students compete against one another instead of one or two students answering a question at a time.

Examples:

Kahoot

https://getkahoot.com/

Problem-Solving Software

Problem-solving software focuses on the problem solving skills in a specific content area or a non content area (Roblyer 2016).  This particular software gives tools to assist students in solving problems.  These problems can be content or non content related.  The goal of the software is to improve interest and increase motivation. The problem with integrating with this type of software is the amount of time in can take to create and integrate.  In the ninth grade English class, NTeQ can help facilitate incorporating problem-solving software in the curriculum.

Examples:

NTeQ

https://harding.instructure.com/courses/252480/assignments/556125

 

Resource:

Roblyer, M.D.  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching.  7th Edition.  Pearson, 2016. VitalSource Bookshelf Online.

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Mission and Vision Statement

The face of educational technology is rapidly changing. Technology used to be looked at as a reward. Well-behaved students could earn time playing the infamous Oregon Trail game that was ever so popular in the early 1990s. Looking at today’s classroom, each student has a device (whether it is school issued or BYOD), the teacher has a laptop docked in order to connect to the SmartBoard. This technology has been integrated in order to prepare students for the job market of the future. Many people cannot even imagine what these future jobs will look like, but it is imperative that the students be technologically prepared for the jobs.

While the classroom has undergone a digital shift, so has the educational philosophy guiding the classroom. The high school classroom is no longer a place where students sit in a desk and listen to a teacher lecture for the class period. The shift has been to a more Constructivist approach to learning. While the Objectivist approach is no longer as prevalent, it is not completely extinct (Roblyer 2016). As any educator knows, many classes thrive on utilizing a blend of theories and approaches. This blend creates well-rounded learners prepared to contribute to society.

Roblyer (2016) discusses that technology in the classroom, while it is of the utmost importance, must be integrated correctly and responsibly in order to be effective. The teacher must be given adequate professional development and planning time in order to properly integrate technology in the classroom. The goal should be to make technology meaningful in the classroom as opposed to forcing it where it does not fit. Roblyer (2016) argues that technology integration is not a panacea, and it has never been meant to replace teachers. Technology is a tool that, when used properly, can engage students in the curriculum and prepare them for future jobs. It is crucial for the educator to integrate the technology in a meaningful way. Additionally, Roblyer (2016) argues that technology should not just be used for remediation. At many schools, technology is used in remediation. While this is an important use for technology, it should also be used for enrichment and creativity. Allowing technology to be used for more than just remediation and assessment will create a more enthusiastic response to it in the classroom.

Technology in the classroom can be one of the greatest assets a teacher possesses; however, it is up to the teacher to create a creative learning environment where technology is used in a meaningful way. In the end, the success of the learning theories and tools begins and ends with the educator. The teacher must be given the proper professional development and time in order to properly integrate technology into the curriculum.


 

Roblyer, M. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson.

I Am Poem

For EdTech 541, I was asked to write a poem about me.  This is something that I think most people find quite difficult.  I began by writing a silly poem about my kids watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; however, I quickly realized that I wanted to take a more serious approach.  I used Google Slides in order to create the poem and inserted a cute picture of my daughters to support the poem.  Click here to access my I Am poem as it appears on my Weebly site.

A New Year

It has been quite some time since I have updated the old EdTech blog.  I am hoping to be better about it again this semester.  It was such a great place to keep track of assignments, and I stopped posting once it was no longer required for a course.  I am hoping to start back up and post more for the new courses that I am taking this semester.  Here’s hoping!