SCHOOLS INTEGRATED PROJECT 026  

The Role of ICT as a Support To Learning  

Background

SIP Groups

Childrens Work

WordShark Evaluation

I have been using Wordshark over the past months with (a) a number of small groups on an intermittent basis and (b) with a number of individuals on a more intensive basis.

Wordshark is a good, well structured phonic programme which can also be used as a basis for a spelling programme.  It also contains the high frequency wordlists/key words necessary for children to master before they can effectively benefit from a remediation programme.  This software is linked closely with Beve Hornsby “Alpha to Omega” literacy programme.  As I use this programme with groups I find Wordshark provides useful supplementary activities to reinforce learning.

The phonic sequence in the programme is good and the games/activities used to reinforce the wordlists are effective.  There are a wide variety of games, which employ a number of different techniques to aid learning difficulties.  Some games like PAIRS, SNAP and FIT/SHAPE are good for developing visual memory while others like FIND THE WORD are good for auditory memory/discrimination and others combine a combination of both.  There are also a number of good spelling activities on the programme.

Conclusion

I will continue to use Wordshark in conjunction with my own phonic programme, mainly for its motivational value – children like the activities and they are well structured.  I wouldn’t use it on its own exclusively as a phonic/spelling programme as I found that those using it intensively are tired of it after a while.  There is not a great emphasis on reading for meaning/comprehension and the use of wordlists in context.   However, as an aid and resource in teaching phonics/spelling, it has a value.

Michael Daly

Portroe N.S.