Is Educational Software a Good Thing?
Education is rapidly catching up with the technological revolution, and educational software now forms a key element of regular lesson plans. Homework and revision even takes place over the internet using interactive software packages, rather than traditional books and written test papers.
But is this really a good thing? Can you really gain the knowledge you need from educational software, and can this self-schooling really work?
Typical class sizes in public schools and colleges are between 25 and 30. The emphasis is increasingly on teaching content, and teachers only have time to teach a concept once before moving on. Individual attention is very limited due to time constraints and many teachers have voiced concerns that faster learners are being held back by students who are struggling.
Regardless of ability, all students need practice to really become confident and at ease with a subject or skill. This is where good-quality educational software comes in. A quality product can be a real boon to teachers, expanding and reinforcing what students are learning during their lessons. For slower students who are in danger of falling behind their classmates, educational software offers the chance to go over problem lessons, as many times as they need to. Those who grasp concepts quickly have the opportunity to move forward at their own pace, without anyone telling them to slow down and wait for the others to catch them up.
Most educational software is fully interactive. This makes it engaging for the user, and provides valuable, immediate feedback on how they are progressing; something that old-style text books obviously don’t do.
Clearly, student motivation is the key to success where any form of remote study is involved. If a student is lazy and not sufficiently motivated, it doesn’t matter how good the software is, they will still fall behind and ultimately fail. Human interaction from both the teacher and the parents is essential to provide the necessary guidance and discipline which will facilitate learning.
Can educational software completely replace traditional teaching methods? No, probably not. It can, however, fulfill a very valuable supporting role.
About Alison Page
Alison is a freelance writer and author. She is a member of the UK national panel of dressage judges, holds a degree in Equine Science and a Diploma in Business Studies.