Thursday, August 26, 2010

✿ The Computer as a Tutor ✿

Lesson 10

The Teacher must be:

     ●    ensure that students have the knowledge and skills for any computer activity.
     ●    decide the appropriate learning objectives
     ●    plan the sequential and structured activities to achieve objectives.
     ●    evaluate the students’ achievement by ways of tests the specific expected outcomes.

The students in CAI play their own roles as learners as they:
      ●    receive information.
      ●    Understand instructions for the computer activity.
      ●    Retain/keep in mind the information and rules for the computer activity.
      ●    Apply the knowledge and rules during the process of computer learning.

During the computer activity proper in CAI the computer, too plays its roles as it:

      ●    Acts as a sort of tutor (the role traditional played by the teacher)
      ●    Provides a learning environment.
      ●    Delivers learning instruction.
      ●    Reinforces learning through drill and practice.
      ●    Provides feedback.

CAI Integrated with Lesson

CAI computer learning should not stop with the drill and practices activities of student. In effect, CAI works best in reinforcing learning through repetitive exercises such that students can practice basic skills or knowledge in various subject areas. Common type of drill and practice programs includes vocabulary building, math facts, and basic science, and history or geography facts. In these programs, the computer presents a question or problem. Immediate feedback is given to0 the end of the exercise, the student get a summary of his overall performance.
The question arises: when and how can teachers integrate drill and practice programs with their lesson? The following suggestions can be made:

●   Use drill and practice programs for basic skills and knowledge that require rapid
      or automatic response by the students.
●   Ensure that drill and practice activities conform to the lesson plan/curriculum.
●   Limit drill and practice to 20 30 minutes to avoid boredom
●   Use drill and practice to assist students with particular weakness in basic skills

In integrating computer programs in instruction, use tutorial software associated with cognitive learning. While practice exercise or learning-by doing is still the heart of each tutorial, the tutorial software should be able to:

●    Teach new content/new information to student (in as much as CAI provides practices on old or already learned content).
●    Provide comprehensive information on concepts in addition to practice exercises.
●    Can be effectively used for remediation, reviewing or enrichment
●    Allow the teacher to introduce follow-up questions to stimulate students learning.
●    Permit group activity for cooperative learning

Simulation Program

Simulation software materials are another kind of software that is constructivist in nature. This simulation software:

●    Teaches strategies and rules applied to real life problems/situations.
●    Asks students to make decision on model or scenarios.
●   Allows students to manipulate elements of a model and get the experience of the effects of their decisions.
An examples of such software is SimCity in which student are allowed to artificially manage a city given an imaginary city environment. Decision-making involves such factor as budget, crime, education, transportation, energy resources, waste disposal business/industries available. (Note: software may not be available in local computer shops. Still concept-learning is helpful)

Instructional Games

While relating to low-level learning objectives (e.g basic spelling or math skills), instructional computer games add the elements of competition and challenge.
An example is GeoSafari which introduce adventure activities for geography history and science. The can be played by up to four players to form teams. Learning outcomes can be achieved along simple memorization of information, keyboarding skills, cooperation and social interaction, etc.

Problem Solving Software

These are more sophisticated than the drill and practices exercises and allow students to learn and improve on their problem solving ability. Since problem cannot be solve simply by memorizing facts, recognition, reflection, and strategy –making.
The thinking things 1 is an example of a problem solving software in which the team learners must help each other by observing, comparing.

Multimedia Encyclopedia and Electronic Books

Multimedia Encyclopedia can be store a huge database with text, images, animation, audio, and video.  Student can access any desire information, search each vast contents, and even download/ print relevant portions of the data for their composition or presentation. An example is eyewitness children’s Encyclopedia.
Electronic books provide textual information for reading supplemented by other types of multimedia information (sounds, spoken words, pictures, animation). These are useful for learning reading, spelling and word skills. Example is are just grandma and me animated story book which offer surprises for the young learner’s curiosity.

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