Educational Software
These are computer programs that are used by schools for teaching or self-learning and to improve ways in which information is being given to students.

Examples of Educational Software:


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. The courseware itself can be in different formats, some are only available online such as html pages, while others can be downloaded in pdf files or other types of document files. Many forms of e-learning are now being blended with term courseware. Most leading educational companies solicit or include courseware with their training packages.

Classroom aids

For Example: Interactive whiteboard
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. Branding has been less strong in this category than in those oriented towards home users. Software titles are often very specialised and produced by various manufacturers, including many established educational book publishers.

Assessment software

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. Assessment software is available in various delivery methods, the most popular being self-hosted software, online software and hand-held voting systems. Proprietary software and open-source software systems are available. While technically falling into the Courseware category (see above), Skill evaluation lab is an example for Computer-based assessment software with PPA-2 (Plan, Prove, Assess) methodology to create and conduct computer based online examination. Moodle is an example of open-source software with an assessment component that is gaining popularity. Other popular international assessment systems include QuestionMarkand EvaluNet XT.

Reference software

external image 300px-Encyclopaedia_Britannica_Ultimate_Reference_Suite.png

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 startup 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.
Wikipedia and its offspins (such as Wiktionary) marked a new departure in educational reference software. Previously, encyclopedias and dictionaries had compiled their contents on the basis of invited and closed teams of specialists. The Wiki concept has allowed for the development of collaborative reference works through open cooperation incorporating experts and non-experts.

Examples of educational software include Microsoft encarta, Mcmillan dictionary, mavis beacon etc.

Software for specific educational purposes

There are highly specific niche markets for educational software, including:

  • Driving test software
  • Interactive geometry software
  • Language learning software (KVerbos or English in a Flash, for example)
  • Mind Mapping Software such as MindGenius which provides a focal point for discussion, helps make classes more interactive, and assists students with studying, essays and projects.
  • Notetaking
  • Software for enabling simulated dissection of human and animal bodies (used in medical and veterinary college courses)[5]
  • Spelling tutor software
  • Typing tutors (KTouch, Mario Teaches Typing or Mavis Beacon, for example)
  • Medical and healthcare educational software
  • OOo4Kids (pronounced " for Kids")

Online website that provides users the opportunity to buy its products:
Horizon Report 2011
Horizon Report 2010

Online Research and Forums

Online research methods (ORMs) are ways in which researchers can collect data via the internet. They are also referred to as Internet research, Internet science or iScience. Many of these online research methods are related to existing research methodologies but re-invent and re-imagine them in the light of new technologies and conditions associated with the internet. The field is relatively new and evolving. With the growth of social medias a new level of complexity and opportunity has been created. Inclusion of social media research can provide unique insights into consumer and societal segments and gaining an "emotional" measure of a population on issues of interest.

Some of the most popular available software includes Surfulater and WebResearch Professional for Windows, Evernote (multiple platforms), DEVONthink (MacOSX),Springpad and Diigo (web based) and Scrapbook, a Firefox extension.

Examples of Search Tools:


Alta Vista
Duck Duck Go


An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes visible.
Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; e.g. a single conversation is called a "thread".
A discussion forum is hierarchical or tree-like in structure: a forum can contain a number of subforums, each of which may have several topics. Within a forum's topic, each new discussion started is called a thread, and can be replied to by as many people as so wish.
Depending on the forum's settings, users can be anonymous or have to register with the forum and then subsequently log in in order to post messages. On most forums, users do not have to log in to read existing messages.

Virtual Learning Environments

A virtual learning environment (VLE) is an education system based on the Web that models conventional real-world education by integrating a set of equivalent virtual concepts for tests, homework, classes, classrooms, and the like, and perhaps even museums and other external academic resources. It normally uses Web 2.0 tools for 2-way interaction, and includes a content management system.


VLE Learning platforms commonly allow:

  • Content management – creation, storage, access to and use of learning resources
  • Curriculum mapping and planning – lesson planning, assessment and personalisation of the learning experience
  • Learner engagement and administration – managed access to learner information and resources and tracking of progress and achievement
  • Communication and collaboration - emails, notices, chat, wikis, blog

In principle a learning platform is a safe and secure environment that is reliable, available online and accessible to a wide user base. A user should be able to move between learning platforms throughout their life with no loss of access to their personal data. The concept of a learning platform accommodates a continuously evolving description of functionality changing to meet the needs of the user.



An electronic book (variously, e-book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as "an electronic version of a printed book," but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. E-books are usually read on dedicated e-book readers or general purpose computer tablets. Personal computers and many mobile phones (most smart phones) can also be used to read e-books.

In plane sight: tablets and e-books take flight

Web 2.0 Educational Networks

A part of the World Wide Web which focuses mainly on the ability of people collaborating and sharing ideas and information online. Web 2.0 basically refers to the transition from static HTML Web pages to a more dynamic Web that is more organized and is based on serving web applications to users.
Blogs: A blog is a webpage that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual and are usually updated on a daily bases.

  • Easy and quick to update a blog
  • Vent your feelings
  • Positive way of getting feedback
  • Blogs can be used through RSS feed
  • Increase student motivation
  • Students can develop writing skills
  • Hard to maintain
  • Students may encounter bullying

Wikis: Similar to a blog in structure and logic, a wiki allows anyone to edit, delete or modify content that has been placed on the Web site including the work of previous authors.

  • Open communication allowing anyone to post ideas, comment with text or attach a file (image or sound) and add links
  • Targets a wide audience
  • Privacy controls
  • Easy to use
  • Fun
  • Add people to certain groups
  • Internet connection
  • Hacking and spamming
  • Students may misuse or violate the social network
  • Students may not follow it as an education builder

WatchGuard delivers A+ EducationDigital Learning Experience in Phoenix, Arizona (2012)

Mobile Phone

A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile phone operator, allowing access to the public telephone network. By contrast, a cordless telephone is used only within the short range of a single, private base station.

The future of cell phones in schools?
In June, the national non-partisan group Common Sense Media issued a report calling for schools to redesign education to include digital literacy and citizenship. In essence, the group not only wants children to learn access and how to assess digital information, but also to understand their responsibility for their content and actions when using any form of digital media.
"All of us need to develop and practice safe, legal and ethical behaviors in the digital media age," the report states.

Are smartphones app-ropriate for kids?

Game-based learning in Education and Training

Fully Immersive Environments

According to net pedagogy portal an immersive environment:is an artificial, interactive, computer-created scene or "world" within which a user can immerse themselves.It is almost like virtual reality although only difference is that the environment does not need to be real it can be a fantasy interface.

The use of Fully immersive environments for educational purposes is increasing
Has capabilities beyond the everyday teaching environment second life :(taking trips into virtual organs).
You need internet; high speed internet so that everything loads qucikly and you do not have to wait or a lot of time will be wasted.
Language learning practice (reading,writing)
second life: go to an island which talks a certain language as their native language.
There are many distractions so even if students may be on they might be doing something else other than learning.
More interesting than a normal environment (e.g. history,science)
second life: actually explore the pyramids or blast off into space with NASA
It may be time consuming to learn- not only for teachers but also for students.
Cut costs in the long run as you only need to pay for the hardware and program once unlike needing to constantly buy books,copybooks,papers,etc..
Reliability- if your computers or microphones and speakers are not working then the immersive environment may not be effective.
Second life; you can see if the student is not participating if they leave their mouse or keyboard for a few minutes their avatar slumps forward and sleeps.
Addiction- students can get addicted to these games and they can stay all day playing them and eventually become anti-social.
Enviromentaly friendly as no paper is used.
Security- as it is on the internet pranks and spamming can occur which can disturb the learning environment.
Interactive as not only do the students participate but features such as java and videos can be used.
Privacy- hacking can also occur; hackers can intercept a lesson being taught although it may not be very serious as information taught is not private sometimes important things may be discussed as Internal assessments,exams,etc..

Other examples:
Second life
Gamestar mechanic

Filtering and monitoring of students' internet use

Web restrictions concern student