Educational Software – What Is It?
OK, we agree, “Educational Software” seems self explanatory, but here are some definitions garnered from around the web.
Educational software is computer software, the primary purpose of which is teaching or self-learning.
Courseware is a term that combines the words “course” with “software”. Its meaning originally was used to describe additional educational material intended as kits for teachers or trainers or as tutorials for students, usually packaged for use with a computer. The term’s meaning and usage has expanded and can refer to the entire course and any additional material when used in reference an online or ‘computer formatted’ classroom. Many companies are using the term to describe the entire “package” consisting of one “class” or “course” bundled together with the various lessons, tests, and other material needed.
Some educational software is designed for use in school classrooms. Typically such software may be projected onto a large whiteboard at the front of the class and/or run simultaneously on a network of desktop computers in a classroom. This type of software is often called classroom management software. While teachers often choose to use educational software from other categories in their IT suites (e.g. reference works, children’s software), a whole category of educational software has grown up specifically intended to assist classroom teaching.
With the impact of environmental damage and the need for institutions to become “paperless”, more educational institutions are seeking alternative ways of assessment and testing, which has always traditionally been known to use up vasts amount of paper. Assessment software refers to software with a primary purpose of assessing and testing students in a virtual environment. Assessment software allows students to complete tests and examinations using a computer, usually networked. The software then scores each test transcript and outputs results for each student.
Many publishers of print dictionaries and encyclopedias have been involved in the production of educational reference software since the mid-1990s. They were joined in the reference software market by both start-up companies and established software publishers, most notably Microsoft. The first commercial reference software products were reformulations of existing content into CD-ROM editions, often supplemented with new multimedia content, including compressed video and sound. More recent products made use of internet technologies, to supplement CD-ROM products, then, more recently, to replace them entirely.
A brief selection of educational software programs.