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One way that we could possibly use [technology] is computer-assisted instruction, known as CAI. CAI programs are specifically written for teaching individual students in school settings. They present students a question and compare the student's response with the correct answer. The program praises the student for right answers. If it is a wrong answer, the program explains the problem and gives another, similar problem. Most CAI programs cover limited material; however, some large-scale, multiyear reading and mathematics curricula have been and are currently being developed. Studies of the CAI effects on how well children learn basic skills have mostly been positive. It is easy to program, it is compatible with traditional methods of instruction, and it requires little work to organize computer use. This would be best suited for grades one through six. Another way is a program for computers used in Wisconsin, Arizona, and New York, as well as the correctional facilities in fourteen other states. Since more than half of all prisoners were functionally illiterate and about eighty-five percent of all juveniles imprisoned had reading problems, IBM created a program, in 1991, to educate them. Wisconsin was the first state to expand this computer-based literacy program to its correctional facilities. This program has a user-friendly [interface], has a combination of television-style entertainment, and has speech synthesizers. It gives instruction in reading and writing. When used, it had produced an average increase of 2.8 grade levels over six months. This would be used for students whose skills in reading and writing are deficient. It could also be used for adults whose education must be advanced or completed.


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