Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cognition and Instruction

Chapter 7 focuses on cognition and instruction. I found myself most vested in the section concerning technological applications. I am a technology applications instructor for middle school. Two examples of computer based instruction that I implement in my class's curriculum is Mavis Beacon (A typing program) and Learning.com (An online program). The typing program has proved to be an important tool in students reaching their typing goals. Along with lessons, the program tracks student's progress and rewards them with occasional games. After having observed students working with this program over the past year and a half, I have noticed that if a student is having trouble with certain keys on the keyboard, the program will redirect their lessons. Learning.com is an online program in which students log on and complete online lessons that have been assigned by myself. These lessons are standard and have been created by Easytech(If I am correct), all I do is scroll through the list and select the lessons that I feel relate to the current unit. One problem that I have with this program, is that there is no way to differentiate the lessons on the program. I use this program more as a supplement to other modes of instruction, so I am able to differentiate in other areas. However, my concern would be with those who solely use the online lessons. There are also other lessons that have been uploaded by educators around the country, which are extended activities for these lessons. I think it is a valuable tool, but I guess my concern with computer base instruction without instructor added supplementary activities, is the lack of potential for differentiation. My feelings are that this might prove to be a disservice for some students.

My questions for you all out there concerning Computer based instruction are:
Do any form of computer based instruction in your classrooms? If so, what type?

Do you any supplementary material to accompany the lessons?

Do any of you share the same concern that I do concerning differentiation and computer based programs?

2 comments:

Marni said...

I have always used computer programs as a supplement with my regular instruction. The main reason for this being that technology that is out there only covers some of the content that is needed, or it used higher order thinking that the students need background knowledge for first. I do believe that technology is very enriching for students and should be used in every classroom.

Shannon said...

I am always looking for supplementary material especially technology based applications. I just recently go a interactivative whiteboard in my classroom and OMG I love it. My kids ask as soon as they walk in the room if we're gonna use the board today? I don't ever feel like I can't find something to do using technology that would enhance my lesson.