Technology has impacted every sector, including the education sector. In recent times, there has been a growth in education software as well as sites that teach about different subject matters (Udemy, Coursera, etc).
Education software isn’t complex. It’s any computer software that is made with the intention of teaching or for the intention of educational software. Education software has its application on a broad range.
It can be free software for students, used to teach students or software made to assist certain target groups such as visually impaired students or software used for classroom management.
Now that we know what education software is, let’s have a look at the what is educational software.
Types of educational software
There are many different types of educational software, but for now, we shall focus on the software as a learning tool. With this in mind, here are the types of educational software:
Let’s start the list with utility software. This educational software is geared towards teachers that don’t have a good grasp of technology. The software is made easy to use and can assist a teacher with preparing quizzes, tests and can also act as a grade book if needed.
This software is used by teachers who want to create their own learning material for their students. Let’s face facts, some textbooks are not written in a manner that makes it easy for students to digest the material.
With an authoring system, a teacher can make multimedia content such as images, flash cards and more to simplify the content for the students to learn.
A good example of what a tutorial software would look like is via a site known as Udemy. Edubirdie also falls under this category. They incorporate many aspects of a tutorial software and their processes are fully automized to provide best writing solutions to students for their essays, research papers, and dissertations.
Tutorial software is the one many people interact with online. They give a teacher a platform for them to provide content to students in a flexible manner. The benefits of tutorial software are that students get to learn at their own pace. They can log in and watch video lessons combined with text as well.
Many educational software providers have started incorporating games as part of the learning process. These kinds of software are more suited to little kids as they prefer more interactive content. The more they learn, the further they progress in the game.
Special needs software
The name says it all. This software is made for students with special needs. It’s designed in a manner that assists the students with special needs to learn the material. For instance, it could be a software that reads the text out loud and more.
Traits of effective educational software
There are plenty of educational software in the market, but not all of them will suit your needs. Some are better than others. There are some few traits you can use to help guide you find an effective educational software. These traits are:
Ease of Use: Any educational software needs to be easy for the teacher and the students to use. The user interface should be intuitive and the software should be designed in a manner that makes it easy to use for its target audience. You risk alienating students if the educational software is complex.
It’s fast: Instant gratification is a common trait for today’s software users. Gone are the days where a person waits for 5 minutes for a software to load. A teacher risks losing their student’s interest by using a slow software. The educational software needs to be fast in its loading and operation time.
Ability to provide feedback: An effective educational software should have some form of feedback loops. It should make it easy for the teachers and students alike to see the progress being made. The teacher needs to be able to see how the students are performing and the students need to see their progress/results. A bonus is provided if the information is provided in a visual format such as a bar graph or a pie chart.
Personalization: Educational software should be personalized for each student. Each student should have their own login credentials. This will allow students to see their progress and areas that need improvement.
The importance of personalization can be seen in tutorial software. A personal space for a student becomes crucial if they’re to have the ability to learn at their own pace.
Another trait, although not a requirement or as important as the other ones is a free trial. A good educational software should give you the ability to try it out for free or with a small fee. An educational software can be quite the investment in terms of setup time and money, so you need to make sure that you get it right.
Benefits of educational software
The top benefit of an effective educational software is the productive learning environment that it fosters which leads to a better classroom management. Teachers and students get to interact with each other in a manner that is not possible in the traditional system.
For students, they get lessons that are interactive with multimedia content and more. For teachers, it’s the ability to personalize lessons and make the content more interesting to their students. This makes the knowledge have more of an impact on their students.
An effective educational software system can make all the difference in terms of teaching and learning. Technology has brought education to all students, even those with special needs. More schools need to adopt the educational software to improve the teaching and learning experience.