Quality Software for Your Curricula
How do you find education software that fits your curricula? What
issues should be considered and once identified how do you locate
products to evaluate? Even if a software package looks good, if
it doesn't match your curricula and enhance student learning,
it may not be worth your purchase price nor your efforts to use
Educational technology should enhance the teaching/learning experience.
Look at the curricula to determine the topics taught at various
grade levels. Can educational software enhance the topics and
teach a new skill to the students by its use? Does the software
provide a learning opportunity that enhances the other experiences
in the unit for that grade level? Does the software provide for
a variety of grade levels and a variety of experience levels as
well? These questions, in addition to some basic evaluation issues,
will guide you toward making cost effective choices of educational
Basic issues of the curricula match, quality of content as to
accuracy and objective presentation should be accompanied by good
technical aspects of both the software itself and any support
materials whether in print or nonprint format. An additional issue
is the overall instructional design.
With the definition of teaching and the experience of teaching/learning
being redefined, as well as the influence of the growing use of
the Internet and WWW, this should affect how software will be
designed in the near and coming future.
A good resource for educators looking for quality software to
preview is the Educational Software Preview Guide. The guide for
1996 lists over 800 titles in all subject areas for K-12 and only
lists software that has received favorable reviews by members
of the ESPG Consortia. Copies are available for purchase through
the Lederman Science Center. Cost: $7.00. Copies of educators
review comments about software previewed in the TRC are available
to be read as well. The TRC collection of educational software
is approaching 200 products.