Tuesday 29 December 2015

Instructional Tools for Teaching

Post to the forum an example of each of the five different instructional software functions using examples from your teaching discipline area. The five areas are outlined in this chapter, and on pg 82 there are some links provided where you might find examples. Include a sentence or two about why the example you have listed is a good example of each type of software.
For the purpose of this blog post, I will choose teaching software for a Primary Junior Years classroom. 

Drill and Practice 
A drill and practice software allows students to have rapid fire of questions with instant feedback if they are correct or not (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 81). This could include things like flashcards and multiplication practice. One website that is good for this is IXL. For example IXL for Primary 5 mathematics focuses on developing math facts and skills. Immediately after students submit their answer, they get the feedback of whether the answer is correct or incorrect. If it is correct, they are able to move on to the next question immediately. If it is incorrect, the students has the opportunity to review the question and their answer as well as view the explanation of how to solve the problem before moving on. Students can complete a great deal of questions in a short amount of time to build their basic math facts and skills.

IXL is available at: https://ixl.com/

A tutorial provides students with instructions on how to do a specific task or skill. The students learns independently form the teacher(Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 81).. Khan Academy is a good example of tutorials. There are so many online courses and resources for students to work through at their own pace to develop their understanding of a concept or explore a new topic of interest. Students progress individually based on their understanding of the lessons.

Khan Academy is available at: https://www.khanacademy.org/ 

A simulation teaches students the process of how something is done in a way that mimics how the experience would be life in reality (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 90). In Year 5, students learn about ancient civilisations, specifically Egypt. The Mummy Maker simulation walks students through how the mummification process works. As students go through it, students are required to do the different steps, experiencing what it would be like to mummify a body in the times of ancient civilisations.

Mummy Maker Simulation is available at: http://discoverykids.com/games/mummy-maker/

Instructional Game 
An instructional game is a game that uses game features and rules for educational purposes (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 93). There is the challenge of game elements such as points, leaderboards and badges that are highly engaging for students. An example of instructional games is typing.com. Students learn to type through a game situation where they are awarded badges for completing levels and their is a scoreboard. Students learn the proper finger placement for typing while engaging in fun, levelled game that continues to challenge students by building on skills from previous levels.

Typing.com is available at: www.typing.com

Problem Solving 
Problem solving technology resources are challenging and help to develop specific skills. These skills do not always have to be content based but could also be thinking skills (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 100). An example of problem solving is Portal. Portal is a game where a character has two portals to make it through to the end of the level. The player needs to strategise how to use the two portals and where to place them in order to complete the level. The game is based on logic and reasoning to be successful in completing each level. While not made specifically for a content area, it can be linked to mathematics and physics with angles and is highly engaging for students.

Portal is available at: http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/portal.php 

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching [Sixth Edition].


  1. Hi Ms. MacLean,
    'The students learns independently form the teacher(Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 81)'.
    I agree that using Khan Academy allows students to learn independently. I use Khan Academy as an introductory/plenary activity (where they can learn independently) to engage students and then provide Directed Instruction as we explore more detailed concepts. Students can always refer back to reinforce their learning. Do you think there is a place for Khan Academy to be used as a 'self-contained unit' where students learn independently for a whole unit? Can a test then be created to assess that independent learning?

  2. I think there are times when distance education is appropriate as a self contained unit but it is also important to have the collaborative component. Education is not just about consuming knowledge but rather thinking critically and creatively. While online learning does have it's benefits, I think at the Primary setting my recommendation would still be that children need the face-to-face interaction and social experience in conjunction with digital tools.