As there are important things to look for in educational resource workbooks, there are also things one should be aware of when you analyse the general appearance of the workbooks. For instance one might think that full colour workbooks would be more educational appealing.colourYou will notice that some Educational books are printed in colour.Children can be classified as either predominantly right brain or left brain in the way they think and learn. A left brain learner may prefer learning from material that is well structured and logically organised. A right brain learner is the opposite as their approach to learning is more intuitive and creative. For either of these learners colour can be a positive or negative factor.As the left brain learner may prefer a clear and neatly organised workbook layout; they could find a lot of colour either irritating or distracting.

The right brain learner is very creative and will enjoy a lot of colour but this may also direct their attention away from the task at hand. Authorities on study methods agree that to use colour highlighting as a study technique is highly effective whereby full colour books defeats this study approach.






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As there are important things to look for in educational resource workbooks, there are also things one should be aware of when you analyse the workbooks. For instance, books with answers on exercise but no calculation methods.


Arthur Ashe, a professional athlete, once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” This lesson can be applied to learning as well. In order to experience success in mastering a difficult concept one needs to focus on the method rather than the outcome or answer.

As you browse the book shelves looking for an appropriate workbook for your children you will notice that some of the workbooks include a set of answers to all the questions; either at the back of the workbook or as a separate book. It is important to understand the “dangers” of an easily accessible set of answers.

The purpose of any good quality workbook, especially for Mathematics, is to help children learn more about and understand the concepts and skills being assessed according to the Curriculum (CAPS), not to get all the answers correct. So it is of the utmost importance that children learn and understand the methods or calculation processes applicable to each concept. With this approach children will learn the important skills of knowing how and why certain answers are developed.

Once a child knows how to answer questions based on various concepts he/she can apply this knowledge and skill to numerous other questions. It is this skill set that children should aspire to obtain as it promotes independence and confidence within them.

The workbooks that provide a set of answers at the back pose as a danger to children who are trying to learn the appropriate methodological knowledge and skills needed to answer conceptual questions.

As learners navigate through the feelings of doubt and frustration within the learning process they tend to focus more on the answers, which they may find at the back of the workbook, rather than the methods involved in obtaining the correct answers. One also needs to remember that most of the marks children can attain are found within the methods shown in obtaining the correct answer.

It is therefore more beneficial to look at workbooks that provide separate answer books that provide a breakdown and explanation of the methods involved in finding an accurate answer. These answer books may also be referred to as Teacher’s Memo books. Keep in mind, there are Educational Book Publishers that sell these versions on request through their websites, not in bookshops alongside their workbooks.

Technology has influenced all areas of life especially Education. It is very important for children to learn about technology and to develop appropriate computer skills.The new trend in schools is the introduction of tablet PCs from as early as the Intermediate Phase (Gr 4-6). As exciting as this development may be, at what age is it appropriate to introduce tablet PCs or iPads as an educational tool? One should be mindful of the impact it may have on the advanced skills that are developed in reaching progressive milestones. One also needs to evaluate whether or not it adds any educational value to the learning context.Tablet PCs were intended to be entertainment and social devises. There are pros and cons to introducing tablet PCs to the educational scene. It is important to explore both sides before you develop your own stance on the matter.During the Foundation Phase as well as the Intermediate Phase children are acquiring developmental as well as social foundational skills that will prepare them for their future endeavours. Research shows that excessive use of technological devises, such as the tablet PCs, can impede on children’s physical and social development which ultimately affects learning.

As once with TV, the tablet PC is a new trend and as we do not know what lays in the future, not a secure trend.

How does this impact learning, you may ask?

In order for children to adequately reach each developmental milestone they need to develop foundational skills such as gross and fine motor development, eye-hand co-ordination, spatial awareness, sensory development as well as cognitive thinking techniques. For children to develop these skills they need to be physically active, explore their senses through touch and make human contact. These skills prepare children to learn how to write and read which are essential for learning and future career and social involvement. On the other hand research does reveal useful technology contributions to learning experiences.

The one purpose they serve in a school environment is as eBook Readers. Textbook content can be downloaded and stored onto the devise which is used as a book to read from. Children can also communicate after school directly with their teachers about work and assignments using the Internet access.

There are also various educational applications, mainly in the form of games, which can be downloaded as supplementary assistance. Parents should however critically evaluate these applications in order to determine their true educational value according to Educational Curriculum requirements.

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