Many students will benefit from a variety of software titles that assist with mathematics. However, it's important to seek out the right software title that will lead to improved academic performance. Research indicates that the appropriate use of a carefully selected and reviewed software applications will definitely enhance student success. It's important to understand the various functions of the software applications prior to making an informed decision. After all, many programs can be quite gimmicky and fun but don't lead to academic success.
Defining Your Need & Questions to Ask Yourself
Are you looking to improve a specific area of need (geometry, pre-calculus, measurement) ? If so, make sure this software title focuses on the specific area. Determine if the curricular areas to want to focus on are being addressed in the spectific software title. Does your learning style benefit from a drill a repetition type of software program? Many software titles offer tutorials, activities and the practice tests. Are you more inclined to learn from a simulation type program that offers visual, graphic and auditory components? Younger students are often motivated by simulation type software applications in mathematics. Does your software track progress and give a progress report? You'll need to know this if it is important enough to you. Does the software come with a manual? Many CD's often contain a manual in PDF format. If not, does it contain a good help section? Otherwise, how will you train yourself on this software?
Identify the skill area you want to focus on to improve your overall learning. Many software applications address only the knowledge level skills. If you want to address the higher level thinking skills, you will need to determine if this software will meet those needs. Make sure your selection identifies problem solving areas and provides opportunities to apply applications and procedures of the concepts. Some software allows the user to be passive, does this software offer lots of opportunity to be engaged in critical thinking and inquiry based thinking? Does the software title progress in levels of difficulty as you use it? Does it provide remedial strategies if several errors are identified? Good software titles let you progress at your own pace.
Do Your Homework
Do a little online research. If the company claims that 25 hours in the program will lead to a 20% increase in grades, make sure you look to see if there's empirical data to back up the claims. If a demo version is available, download it and give in a run through.
Make sure the company provides support and warranty.
Always check to make sure you have the hardware requirements necessary for the software to run appropriately. Check to ensure that your operating system is compatible with the software too.
• Educational Software
• Mathematical Software