Week Three Post
I classify myself as a low-tech computer user, and the software that I am most comfortable with is the presentation software in the form of a PowerPoint. Even with the PowerPoint, I consider myself (not wanting to give in to below average), average. Recently, after taking classes that always required a PowerPoint assessment, I became comfortable with setting up the PowerPoint presentations and found this venue helpful.
The PowerPoint often aids in organizing the thoughts and direction of the presenter. Consequently, the audience can follow along with clarity. According to Roblyer and Doering (2012), using a PowerPoint to instruct students is a sound idea if the instructor uses it to add to and enlighten lesson objectives.
When I add the PowerPoint as a visual to accompany my lessons, students often perk up and attend to the presentation. Sometimes the students are instructed to abbreviate notes prepared by me. Often, I provide short passages for them before they answer constructed response questions. The constructed responses are done as independent or small group activities, and on a few occasions, the activity turns in to a game of fun. Finally, there is nothing like a simple and short PowerPoint presentation to explain the complexity of the literary element, irony. Although, students appreciate the PowerPoint tool to help them with mastering other literary techniques and figurative language, they often want to know how to create a hi-tech PowerPoint. Due to my limited skills, I refer them to free video tutorial instructional software on how to create images, color, and other designs for a captivating presentation. I am always amazed as to how much they learn just by receiving and retaining instruction from a tutorial session via the conventional PowerPoint. There are other instructional software (computer softer constructed to aid instruction) presented by Roblyer and Doering (2012). The ultimate aim is for the software to be utilized as an integrative technological resource and ignite fun into learning for students. Several examples of the instructional software are as follows.
(1) Drill and practice software – Globally, students prep for both the SAT and ACT numerous times throughout any given year. Princeton Review hard copies are in my room, but college bound student preference is the online drill and practice version. Students especially enjoy the immediate feedback from this instructional software.
(2) Tutorial and Simulation – Compared to a human tutor/instructor, both of these software address the learning objectives, provide instruction and explanations, guided and independent practice, culminating with assessment and feedback from the tutee. A popular practice with the use of the software for students occurs during a biology class when it’s time to dissect the infamous frog. Instead of dealing with the traditional offensive smell of a frog diluted in formaldehyde, students carry out a simulated/tutorial and/or virtual dissection. You Tube presentations can assist the students in proper dissection of the frog.
(3) Instructional games – full of competition, game rules, and challenges, students learn skills such as problem solving while having fun. Educators may go to the Lure of the Labyrinth and set up games that try the minds of students!
(4) Problem solving software – instructional software that challenges the mind and memory. Educational Super Kids Software is an awesome problem solving software for students interested in the medical field and those students who have the stomach for medical graphics.