(1) General Software Review
In this activity you will be reviewing software that you would find useful in your roll as a teacher. Note, this is a review of software, not websites. Websites can be used only if they have a high level of interactivity and animation such as those at ExploreLearning.com. You may find software on freeware and shareware, or on AppStore for iPad or Android devices.
- Review five or more pieces of educational software.You are free to chose any piece of software that is of value either for instructional, administrative, or professional purposes.
- You must have hands-on experience with the software... watching someone's software review is not sufficient.
- Write a paragraph describing each program and your professional opinion of its usefulness in education.
- At least one of your titles should be freeware or shareware that you have downloaded from the Internet.
- Include a screen capture from the software.
- Choose the best one from among these 5 for the formal software review/presentation.
Linguistics is a very specialized field, that is generally only taught at the college level. As such, the software for the subject is also quite specialized and not very engaging. While much of the software is very technical and designed for research (as opposed to teaching) I was able to review five programs and web-based programs. These are posted as a google doc (below).
(2) Formal Software Review
In this activity you will be reviewing software that you would find useful in your roll as a teacher. Note, this is a review of software, not websites. Websites can be used only if they have a high level of interactivity and animation such as those at ExploreLearning.com. Although we have software on our local servers, much of it is antiquated, and students are best served by downloading freeware and shareware.
- Select one software product for formal review and presentation to the class. Write reviews for each according to the format guidelines provided on the following page.
(1) Description of program (Paragraph)
(2) Basic Information (a) Title (b) Publisher (c) Cost (d) ___shareware ___freeware ___commercial
(3) Target Population
(a) Is this designed for teachers or students to use ?
(b) If students, in what subject and at what grade level ?
(c) Where would this best fit into the curriculum? Subject, Grade level, Academic Ability
(d) Would this software maintain the interest of this population. Explain.
- (4) Content Goals
- (a) What, if any, concept(s) does this program introduce ?
- (b) How effective of a job does it do at teaching these concepts?
- (c) Compare with traditional techniques for teaching this concept(s). (What, if anything, does this software accomplish that traditional forms of instruction could not do as effectively. Explain)
- (5) Process Goals
- (a) What type(s) of reasoning does this program encourage (rote memorization, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, deduction, induction, etc.)?
- (d) Compare with traditional techniques for stimulating these reasoning skills. (What, if anything, does this software accomplish that traditional forms of instruction generally do not do as effectively. Explain)
- (6) Lesson Plan.
- Write three specific tasks, questions, goals, or projects that you would have your students accomplish or answer after using this software.
- (7) Summary.
- Assuming that you had access to this software, would you use it in your classroom? Explain why or why not.
For this assignment, I chose to review a program I know quite well: Praat. This program is one of the key tools Linguists who study phonetics and phonology use to analyse language. My review can be found in the google doc below. My presentation on this program can be found in (3) below.
(3) Formal Presentation of Software: One or two sessions will be scheduled for formal software review. During these sessions you will present your software in small groups or to the class using network sharing software such as Apple Remote Desktop. Once you have decided on software to review, post your decision on the newsgroup as specified in class or on the web-page. first-come, first-served.
Make a presentation of your software using the following guidelines
- Each presentation must be limited to 15 minutes.
- Your presentations should stress how this software can be used effectively in the curriculum.
- Do not spend time discussing mechanics (menu structure, etc.) nor shortcomings
- Illustrate how the software can be used to enhance instruction.
- Provide your peers with a "hands-on experiences" lesson if at all possible.
I created a powerpoint to accompany my presentation of software. The presentation was on the use of Praat in the classroom discussion of phonemes and sound perception. The first part of the presentation provides background information. The last slides accompany the demonstration of a lesson plan. The presentation is posted below: