Evaluating software used in a balanced literacy program


Schools have changed dramatically in the last two decades with the advancements that have been made in technology. One of teachers' main concerns is the appropriate selection of software for classroom use (Hall and Martin, 1999). In our technology driven world, it is essential for future educators to learn all they can about technology. Teachers use software as a supplement or enrichment for curriculum taught in the classroom. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate software for its most effective use in the classroom. There are many different software applications on the market, and it is crucial that teachers know how to provide input when selecting these for their classrooms. T. Oppenheimer (1997) suggests, based on a 1996 poll taken by U.S. teachers, that computer skills and media technology is more essential than the study of European History, biology, chemistry, and physics. This study was designed to create a checklist for teachers to use when evaluating software specifically used in a balanced literacy program. The purpose is to answer the following questions:

1. Can an instrument be developed for the evaluation of software to be used in a balanced literacy program? 2. What are the results of applying such an instrument to selected software?

This paper reviews literature related to software evaluation and observation of software used in elementary classrooms. The checklist is comprised of scoring systems of various related checklists and rubrics that deal with evaluating software, and there are a few original questions based on relevant information about children's learning, literacy in the classroom and technology in the classroom. The software was selected due to my previous observations and seminars attended that related to software usage in the classrooms.


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Thesis Completion





Williams, Karri


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education

Degree Program

Elementary Education


Dissertations, Academic -- Education;Education -- Dissertations, Academic;Computer assisted instruction -- Computer programs -- Evaluation;Computer software -- Evaluation;Education -- Computer programs;Education -- Computer programs -- Evaluation;Software documentation







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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