10 Secrets the Educational Software Industry Does Not Want You to Know

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A new guide helps educators make informed decisions about purchasing educational software for their schools.

Merit Software recently published "10 Secrets the Educational Software Industry Does Not Want You to Know" (http://www.meritsoftware.com/educational_secrets.php), a guide designed to help teachers and administrators make informed decisions before buying educational software.

The guide contains many insightful tips that will help educators make decisions about purchasing software. It sheds light on a question that has vexed educators for decades: "Why isn't the educational software we purchased helping our students?"

Unfortunately, teachers and administrators have recently been greeted with bad news about the effectiveness of popular educational software titles.

Earlier this month the What Works Clearinghouse released a report (http://www.whatworks.ed.gov/Topic.asp?tid=01) which found that few early reading programs could show any evidence of effectiveness in raising student achievement. Many of the most popular early reading programs did not even have randomized control trials or experimental designs that met the Clearinghouse's standards.

This past April, the long-awaited federal study of reading and math software by the Institute of Education Sciences (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20074005/) found no significant differences in standardized-test scores among students who used popular reading and math software in their classrooms and those who used other methods.

Many educators who have struggled with educational software in the past probably are not surprised by these reports. However, just because the most popular and widely known resources are not working for students, this does not mean that no help exists. The truth about the effectiveness of educational software has simply been obscured for far too long.

Merit understands what frustrates educators: software that attempts to replace a school's established curriculum; complicated software that is difficult to implement and wastes class time; boring quizzes that do not offer students detailed contextual feedback; overpriced software that requires expensive support contracts and additional materials.

Merit offers an established alternative to the ineffective software that too often represents the industry. Merit's programs are designed as supplements, that fit easily into teachers' existing reading, writing, and math curricula. In each program, concepts are broken down into understandable parts and students receive detailed contextual feedback as they work step by step towards mastery.

The software is intuitive, easy to use, and requires minimal training. Merit's teacher management system allows instructors to follow students' progress and intervene when a student is having trouble.

Merit's educational software continues to be the subject of rigorous, independent, scientifically based research. Recent studies have concluded that Merit's approach to learning provides an effective supplement to everyday instruction.

These results have been published in a number of peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Research in Technology in Education and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Summaries of these research findings are available at http://research.meritsoftware.com , and the full reports can be obtained by contacting Merit directly.

About Merit Software: Merit Software (http://www.meritsoftware.com) is an experienced publisher of educational software. Since 1983, Merit has focused on the core competencies for grades 3-12 and adult education. Merit programs are currently used in thousands of educational institutions worldwide.


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