Computer Software as an Interactive Learning ToolBy Rose, Heather; Volta Voices, Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 22
Publication Date: January/February 2001
Article discussing the use of computer software as a tool to enhance listening, language, and reading skills for students who use hearing aids and cochlear implants. Listening, language, and reading can be enhanced by supplementing classroom activities with software that follows a particular theme, story, or character, such as Reader Rabbit Reading Development Library, Level 1 from the Learning Company. Reader Rabbit includes stories such as the Three Little Pigs or the Three Bears. The program tells the stories from different characters perspectives, and the text is highlighted as it is read. The student can also click on pictures of characters that speak without text, providing for a unique listening experience. The Living Book series from Broderbund is another example of software for preschool and elementary-aged children that can be an excellent learning tool. All of the books are based on a story that was already published. The story can be read and then watched on the computer, giving verbal directions to click on various pictures, listening for voices of characters, and reading along with the highlighted text. Some programs are also based on television programs and movies. Blue’s Clues software from Humongous Entertainment is based on the television show of the same name. The software includes Blue’s ABC Time Activities, which is a pre-reading program, and Blue’s Birthday Adventure. Disney and Pixar have developed Disney’s animated story, “Toy Story” into a software program. “Toy Story” tells the story of a movie by a written text with animated characters, but also includes games, pictures, and background character voices without text to provide listening opportunities. Software can also be used as a tool for reading development, as the Reader Rabbit Interactive Reading Journey comes with small reading books to supplement the software program. Reader Rabbit also has two new series; one focuses on phonics, and the other is grade-based, focusing on the preschool level. Jump Start software by Knowledge Adventure starts at the toddler level, and focuses on many different academic skills. The author stresses that the software should be looked at as a tool to supplement the learning process, and could never take the place of real life interactions and experiences.
Assistive Products Discussed: READER RABBIT'S READING DEVELOPMENT LIBRARY
Published by: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Website:http://www.agbell.org)