ED 205

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Software

I think it is difficult to say what software is the best for students to learn. I guess the top five would be learning Microsoft Word, navigating the Internet, utilizing Powerpoint, educational games, and some type of Paint Shop Pro.

Because the largest thing I use my computer for these days is typing papers, I would have to place that as the most important software for students to learn about. Whether they are in elementary, high school, or even college graduates, students will always need to type papers, letters and much more. This extends to everyday life, even for people who chose not to attend a university. For example, even someone who works after high school rather than attending school might need to type up a resume or a letter of complaint.

As for navigating the internet, I feel it is crucial for students to understand the invaluable resource they have at hand. Teaching students how to perform good searches on pages like google helps them find the most relevant sites to further their knowledge in everything from school research to things which they just wanted to learn more.

Another educational technology that is important is the Powerpoint program. I never thought I would use Powerpoint much, especially because I thought presentations without it was much more effective, but I've come to see that's not necessarily true. And despite whatever personal conclusions I might come to in regard to its uses, powerpoint will always remain a very popular tool in presentations. It is a cleancut way to convey the things you need to, as well as an efficient tool used after high school in college and business, etc.

Educational games are important to include as well. Depending on the game, it can be very affective in giving a student a different perspective on something that he/she may have had a harder time grasping before. Or, like in my experiences, a student might feel more connected to something if they become part of it. For example, when I was in grade school, I played Oregon Trail. I listened when my teacher said the move west was difficult, that many people died from various maladies and other hardships, and those types of facts. However, it wasn't until I got to become one of the travellers, and head out west myself, that I really felt these were actual people who really went through those hardships. Thinking about how much food the wagon could hold and what supplies I needed for my journey, or things like how to take care of my friend who has Cholera...I'll remember things from that game forever. It made history come alive.

Lastly, I believe that Paint Shop Pro is an important tool to teach in the classroom. This is important to integrate into schools because students can use the editing features for anything from school projects to hobbies. Especially with the digital camera boom, a large portion of picture-takers need a program to make their pictures shine ;-) Not only this, but it is a good introduction for those who might eventually become interested in graphic design, or even those who want to learn to make a flyer and need a certain picture to appear a certain way. I can't even count the number of times I have used paint shop pro. I think this should be in schools because it will definitely be useful to students in many different situations.

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