Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Instructional Software

There are many different kinds of instructional software that can be used in the classroom.

Drill and Practice: This type of instructional software can replace worksheets and can let students repeat experiments without depleting chemical supplies or other materials.

I would use the flash card creative site to make virtual flashcards for my students based on their grade and ability level. I like this because it is able to be customized depending on student's needs.

Tutorial: This type of software acts like human tutor by providing all information and instructional activities a learner needs to master a topic.

I would use the U.S. government tutorials. I like these because of the information provided about democracy. It is fun to read and easy to follow. There are a lot of great things about American history as well. These could be used on the classroom ipods or even independently on computers.

Simulation: Models real or imaginary systems to show how those systems or similar ones work or to demonstrate underlying concepts.

I would use the stock market simulation for schools in my classroom. I actually did this in high school, myself. It was not only fun, but I learned so much. It is an experience that I think students could really benefit from. This could be done individually or as a class. It could be used on the SmartBoard.

Instructional Games: This software increases motivation by adding game rules to drills and simulations.

I would use lots of these in my classroom. These can be used for instruction as well as indirect instruction for behavior rewards. It could be done on computers or ipods. I like the game collection. There is a variety of subject areas and games at this site.

Problem Solving: This teaches directly (through explanation and/or practice) the steps involved in solving problems or helps learners acquire problem-solving skills by giving them opportunities to solve problems.

I would use math by design in my classroom. This is an explanatory math activity for students. I would use this in small groups or centers on the Ipad.

Integrated Learning Systems: I would use this to track and record student progress. These are most useful and the most expensive software products. Roblyer and Doering (2013) explain that the teacher usually makes initial assignments for work on the system, monitors student progress by reviewing ILS reports, and provides additional instruction or support where needed.

I would use http://www.compasslearning.com/ for language arts to track the progress of individual students.

All of these software systems are useful in classrooms, but for useful for different reasons and purposes. I personally hate worksheets and drill and practice software allows students to have that practice without the old fashioned worksheets. Roblyer and Doering (2013) says that drill and practice allows them to master higher order skills more quickly and easily. Tutorial software is similar to a teacher's classroom instruction.  This type of instruction should be things that the students can learn without help or materials. Roblyer and Doering (2013) explain that tutorials should be geared towards learners who can read fairly well and who are older students or adults. It would not be very beneficial for me to use this type software in my early childhood classroom. Simulations are computerized models of a real or imagined system that designed to teach how the system works. I would use these for virtual field trips, so that students would be able to experience things that otherwise they may never see. Instructional games would be huge in my classroom. Roblyer and Doering (2013) point out that when students know how they will be playing a game, they expect a fun and entertaining activity because of the challenge of the competition and the potential for winning. I would use this excitement to my advantage, so that students would be exciting and want to learn. Problem solving software is essential because of the correlations with curriculum as well as real life. These skills are must haves. 


  1. Camille, the video really caught my attention because differentiating instruction can be very difficult especially with a large class. Therefore, the use of interactive games allows students to move at their own pace and allows the teacher more one-on-one time with those students who need extra intervention. Thanks for sharing the other helpful resources.

  2. Virtual field trips are one of my favorites too! Be sure to check out the Smithsonian tour...very cool! I also like the National SMS site you mentioned. I read some about it earlier but just now had a chance to really check it out. I was surprised how much the site offers. I also thought it was geared more towards older students but noticed lesson plans for K-5 as well. It is so realistic! I think every student should have this learning opportunity. Thanks for the helpful info!