Technology has moved into the classroom in various capacities over the years. And as it has, pros and cons have been evaluated. Here are some of the pros and cons of educational software for math and literacy (reading).
There are all sorts of educational software options for math, from games to interactive programs. Here are some of the pros and cons.
* Educational software for math can help children drill concepts without it becoming boring.
* Math games make math learning fun, which helps keep children interested.
* Virtual manipulatives can help children understand math concepts.
* The intrigue of the technology may encourage children to engage in more math activities.
* For many children today, technological approaches to things are familiar. Using computers and software is often second nature, which may make math less “scary” to them.
* Some children do better with hands-on manipulatives.
* Hearing a teacher explain a concept and demonstrate it works better for some kids.
* Software glitches or hardware problems can shut down everything.
* There is a significant expense involved in purchasing computers and software for students. Even for learning at home there is still the cost of the software and/or computer to run it.
* There have been concerns raised about the possible harmful effects of “screen time” for kids, and adding in a math software program would mean even more time in front of a screen.
Literacy – or a lack of it – is a concern among many teachers and education officials. Some schools employ or are looking into literacy software programs to help deal with this problem.
* Software programs are available that will evaluate a child’s reading level very accurately, and it can also detect disabilities.
* Consistency of teaching style and curriculum can help students learn.
* Literacy software is developed according to the latest research and follows all guidelines.
* Sources agree over and over that there is just no substitute for personal interaction. It’s still considered best for an adult to read to children.
* Teachers have less flexibility in how they teach reading to their students.
* If the software program isn’t working very well, teachers may still have to follow it because they are required to by administrators.
Generally speaking, educational software makes a good supplement to, but not substitute for, personal teaching. Technology can be a terrific teaching aid, and may help concepts click with kids who were struggling before. But the opposite could also occur. This is why a combination of approaches is usually considered best.