There is measurable relative advantage to using instructional software for teaching in the classroom because of all the many resources available. In the area of Release-Time Seminary in which I teach, having so many tools available has been very helpful. Looking over the main areas of instructional software and finding examples from each of them to create my Instructional Software Presentation that charted out the relative advantages, I found that each area of emphasis had tools already for instructional software.
There are many advantages to using instructional software. Roblyer and Doering describe 5 types of instructional software namely: Drill and Practice, Tutorials, Simulations, Instructional games, and Problem Solving. Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 77) While each of these types of instructional software are extremely useful and have many advantages in learning, one tool that is really helpful in my teaching is the Drills and Practice instructional software.
My classes are on a block A/B schedule. At first it seemed like I had a lot of time to teach (85 minute periods) but I quickly discovered that the material I was to cover was shortened by 35 minutes per class (based off 60 minute classes each day). The majority of class time needed to be dedicated to identifying, understanding, analyzing, discussing, and presenting material. When can my students get time to work on the skills they needed to development in Scripture Mastery? The solution I have found is by highlighting Scripture Mastery in class period and then encouraging the students to use instructional software apps that have been developed so they can gain the knowledge they need to master the scriptures.
In helping students master the scriptures I have found that the guideline to set time limits has been very useful in applying drills and practice in the classroom. “Teacher should limit the time devoted to drill assignments to 10 to 15 minutes per day” (Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 86). Following this practice has been very helpful in integrating instructional software in the class.
As educators it is important to evaluate types of instructional software and equally important to follow proper procedure in implementing it. One resource I have found that gives step-by-step instruction in instructional software evaluation is found here (Teaching today, meheon.com). This website gives very good guidance on ways to integrate instructional software and also how to evaluate the tools. Looking at all the advantages of using instructional software with the tools available, it is easy to see how the educational world is integrating technology more and more with effective results.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating education technology into teaching. (6th ed.). Pearson.