The Best Software For A Learning Institution Is Not Faddish Software
Advancements in technology and software have made teaching and learning a lot more productive. The "dinosaur days" of rolling in a 16mm projector into the classroom may seem utterly ancient, but the concept of using helpful devices to support the classroom experience is eternal. Continually evolving technological achievements add new dynamics to the classroom, but serious concerns about education fads hang live a cloud in learning institutions. Fads do become popular and their popularity sometimes hides limitations or outright flaws. Learning centers established to tutor students do need to determine when new software is truly beneficial and not "faddish" in concept and design.
The Trouble with Fads
Among the main troubles with educational fads is they deliver something new and trendy, but unproven in terms of actually being able to work. A new software program designed to teach math may borrow from the current pop culture landscape of popular sci-fi and fantastic films to reach younger students. While may seem fine, questions may arise about the software presenting "bells and whistles" at the expense of getting the material across effectively, Trendy-but-unproven educational devices really aren't all that helpful. Any teacher or administrator should take the following into consideration before introducing learning software into the classroom:
- Determine the Validity of the Material
Repackaging a "tried and true" learning methodology in order to make things easier to understand is fine providing the underlying concept is valid. Is there any peer reviewed data to support the validity of the material being presented on the software? Search for information on the credibility of the software prior to committing to any acquisitions.
- Keep Tabs on the Students' Progress
The greatest gauge of the effectiveness of any learning device or module is going to be the students' improvements. Complaints about a software program being too faddish should not be ignored, but neither should obvious signs of learning improvement.
- Avoid Making a Switch Unnecessarily
Sometimes, people get caught up in the marketing of a new product and may choose to make a switch from an old software program to the hot new one. Changing up to something new can keep things fresh, but do not abandon old programs that are still working. And resist buying a new product solely because it is new since this is the easiest way to get caught up in a fad.
The Right Software
The right software can deliver valuable assistance to a learning center. They key is making sure the software is valuable and not just something rushed into the educational market to cash in.
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