Education at the Fourth R involves all areas of learning—cognitive, psychomotor and affective. Cognitive learning involves thinking, problem solving and mental development. Psychomotor learning equates to physical development while affective learning deals with emotional growth and the development of interpersonal skills. To a certain extent these three areas overlap and to varying degrees the computer can be an effective tool in enhancing a child’s growth in each area.

Research and past educational uses of the computer have shown that to be most effective, computers must be used as thought provokers. Children who spend a great deal of computer time with drill and practice activities may even do worse in many subject areas than children not using computers at all. Quality time that gets children to think—to use higher order thinking skills, analyse, and apply critical thinking—provides the most educational value.

Assessment Phase
The initial assessment reveals a student's strengths and weaknesses. Interviews, survey questionnaires and "live" projects are used to assess a child's skill level. Initial assessment determines the proper training path for a child.

Presentation Phase
The Presentation Phase covers lesson objectives, introduces concepts, previews software features or demonstrates a skill. Students learn why they would want to learn a feature or gain a skill. A quick reference guide acquaints students with the steps needed to perform a task.

Practice Phase
Students, using hands-on guided exercises, begin to master previously introduced skills. Step-by-step examples show how to utilize software features and perform a task. Small steps make the exercises easy to follow. Illustrations of outcomes and screen shots of the expected computer response give students confidence as they progress through a lesson. An instructor guides students, supplying shortcuts, tips, and tricks to performing an operation. At the end of the Practice Phase, a check for understanding and a quick review occur. At this point, students should be able to answer questions about how a feature works and be ready to use the skill with little assistance.

Application Phase
Students gradually become more independent. Challenge exercises in which students answer short questions or perform a simple task reinforce knowledge. Relevant examples provide insight into how to use skills in other contexts. Students learn how to use a feature in a way much like they will outside the classroom.

Watching students work on a task allows the instructor to check for understanding, add helpful hints and reinforce lesson concepts. Comprehensive exercises in the Application Phase ensure that new skills have been mastered. At the end of this stage, students feel confident of their mastery and can readily demonstrate their proficiency.

Assessment Phase
Assessment is a critical component of each Mission Control course. Instructors can use a variety of tools to assess student learning. For younger children these tools include anecdotal records, student portfolios, student self-evaluations and Skill Assessment forms. Assessment tools for older children include Challenges, Progress Checks, Final Projects, self-evaluations, and student portfolios. Instructors use Final Projects as a comprehensive check for understanding.

Review Phase
The Review Phase follows each of the four stages. Instructors check for student understanding and reiterate key points. Students demonstrate skills and knowledge. This phase is key to learning and guarantees that students master the concepts and skills presented in a course.

Younger Children
The younger children’s courseware emphasizes relevant, hands-on learning. The courseware involves all areas of learning—cognitive, psychomotor and affective.

  • Cognitive and Motor Development - Children exposed to developmental software show significant gains in general intelligence and cognitive and motor development.
  • Logic and Problem Solving Skills - Children learn procedure, the principle that one step can lead to another and that the choice they make determines the outcome.
  • Achievement and Motivation - Computer technology positively effects student achievement, motivation and attitudes, as well as encourages social interaction in the learning environment. Children become confident and creative users who appreciate the capabilities of the computer.
  • Sociability - Through cooperative and collaborative projects students practice social interactions with their peers.
  • Creativity - Many software programs provide stimulating, unrestricted environments in which children can explore their creativity within diverse areas such as music, art and design, writing, programming and robotics.
  • Reading Readiness - Preschoolers who use computers achieve better test results in reading readiness abilities and skills.

Older Children’s Program
The older children’s courseware emphasizes hands-on, real-world activities. Courseware includes step-by-step exercises, Challenges, Progress Checks and Final Projects. Each element is designed to reinforce specific computer concepts and skills.

Guided Exercise Review/ Clarify Check for Understanding Comprehensive
Review/ Check
Step-by-Step Exercises




Progress Checks


Final Project


Students practice new concepts and commands through guided, step-by-step exercises. Students then apply new concepts by completing projects in Challenges and Progress Checks. These Challenges and Progress Checks allow students to independently apply new concepts to relevant, real-world situations. Comprehensive final projects help students integrate concepts/ skills acquired throughout the entire course. Quick Reference guides allow easy access to reference materials.

For more information, simply click on a link or contact your nearest Fourth R Learning Centre.



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