New Ways of Motivating Students: Teachers Embrace High Technology to Simulate Study

By Szadkowski, Joseph | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

New Ways of Motivating Students: Teachers Embrace High Technology to Simulate Study


Szadkowski, Joseph, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Whether in the school or home, the educator is constantly competing with an ever-increasing number of TV and cable channels, loud teen-packed video arcades, home platform games, computer games and dramatic, action-packed movies in trying to motivate a student to learn.

It is no wonder that the numerous volumes of the encyclopedia just don't encourage natural curiosity anymore.

The advent of technology is as prevalent in the classroom as it is in the home, and educators are adapting. Today's lesson plans include interactive CD-ROM programs that contain the basic educational disciplines - literature, mathematics and science - as well as the content-laden reference and resource materials that are available.

"Teachers are embracing the advent of teaching technology. The computer is now in the classroom vs. being down the hall in the computer lab," said Martha Connellan, vice president of School Products, Davidson & Associates Inc. and an educator. "Teachers still need to teach, to create the lesson plan and present the information, but with CD-ROMs teachers have more options to help them to reach students, to excite them about learning."

What is available for students from 2 to 22 is nothing short of amazing.

* Share the joy of reading a good book, a basic learning foundation skill, with your computer-literate children as stories come to new life when told through the interactive CD-ROM.

A classic tale more than 50 years old, and enjoying new CD-ROM life, is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (ages 4 to 8/$19.95), which teaches not only reading skills but also spatial, pattern-matching, map-reading and logic skills.

* For many children, math is a mystery more easily understood through fun interactive programs that teach basic skills and then help children apply what they have learned through games and skill-building scenarios.

Mystery Math Island (ages 8 to 13/$59.95) by Lawrence Productions is an extremely content-rich program that will help children develop geometry, measurement, data, pattern, problem-solving, number sense and operations skills.

The user's mission is to find the pirates' buried treasure through a series of skill-building challenges.

Davidson & Associates Inc.'s Math for the Real World (ages 10 plus/$29.95) will have children learning and applying math skills with a traveling rock band as they solve a series of math problems and challenges in order to raise the money needed to make a rock video. The program contains more than 4,000 problems.

Davidson & Associates also releases the quality Math-Blaster series of programs including Geometry Blaster (ages 12 plus/$35), Algebra Blaster (ages 12 plus/$30), and Math Blaster 2 (ages 8 to 13/$40). Also available in the Math Blaster series are early math programs (ages 4 plus), Mega Math Blaster (ages 6 to 13), and Math Blaster Mystery (pre-algebra ages 10 to 13).

* Science has always been one of those subjects that children love to hate. …

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