Looking for software you heard about at a conference, but can’t remember the name of it, or where to find it?
A colleague in the staffroom has asked about wanting something to support students with an enquiry?
Solution: Software for Learning!
Software for Learning offers teachers real examples of how different software applications are used in the classroom. It focuses on up-to-date information to support teachers who are looking for suitable software to meet their students’ needs.
There are many different software applications available across the internet—much of it free to schools. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they are suitable for student use. Software for Learning assists you by profiling software in real-life application in classrooms—many in New Zealand.
Let’s have a look at the site and how it works.
Browsing options available to search software suitability
The site has lots going on, full of interesting and helpful information. But to access software, Software for Learning’s Browse by categories facilities are very helpful in drilling down through the huge and growing catalogue of software.
Browse by type of software – offers suggested software supporting a list of categories from aggregators and animation to widgets and wikis.
Browse by learning focus area – software supporting specific subjects and more general areas like professional development and assessment.
Browse by A-Z list of products – if you know the name try selecting from the A-Z product list.
Want to check out what others are looking at? You can use the Browse by Tag Cloud function by clicking on the interactive tag options.
Can’t find what you’re looking for in the browse options? Or, you’ve got specific software in mind?
Use the Search function.
Simply type in the name in the search box on the right and the list of results will appear.
Software for Learning’s interactive and social options
Software for Learning Wiki
The Software for Learning wiki is another exciting option provided for teacher support, for exploring effective pedagogy, and a place for discussion.
At the end of 2010 a blog post about student use of Facebook prompted a lengthy discussion. You are free to join any of the discussion or begin your own.
Software for Learning Blog
The Software for Learning blog is another opportunity to find out what is going on in the realm of software in schools.
Brett Lee’s closing keynote at Learning@School 2011 has highlighted the need for teachers and parents to take an active lead in their children’s online interactions. The Software for Learning blog post entitled Cyber-safety: A response hopes to open up discussion around cyber-safety and school provision and procedure.
Software use in the classroom—an example
Let’s have a look at an example of software use in the classroom.
The Viddex snapshot was focussed on creating authentic contexts for writing and reading using online resources. The purpose for writing was to create an imaginative narrative to entertain an audience.
The writing was part of a learning-focus for creating picture books to engage with younger students from a local primary school. The students shared their stories digitally, and read them to the primary students using the Viddex software.
The site is loaded with this sort of information about software, where to get it, and how to use it in the classroom.
Each full profile page contains ‘Teacher support’ material ranging from tutorials and user-guides, to support pages and forums.
So go and explore! Check out the products, the support, and the examples of student-use.
You’ve got something to offer?
If you would like to profile your class and how you use a practicular software application, or have a suggestion for software you are yet to profile, contact the facilitator firstname.lastname@example.org (Me!).