There are several different types of educational software designed for teaching users the fundamentals of many core subjects, from reading and math to geography. Most of this kind of software is designed for teaching kids and is user friendly for ages as young as three years. Depending on the intent, it may be designed as a classroom aid or for home use. The most popular form of educational software is often referred to as edutainment, meaning it is a game in which users play and learn simultaneously.
Educational software in the classroom typically teaches subject matter according to a curriculum and tracks students' progress as they complete sections or levels. As a teaching aid, it allows children who might not otherwise have access to a computer to learn while developing basic computer skills, such as mouse and keyboard use, at an early age.
There is also a vast array of titles and types of educational software designed for use at home as a supplement to classroom learning, and even for the purpose of at-home education. Software encompassing nearly every subject taught in school is widely available for home use. Similar to classroom programs, many educational software titles designed for home use track a child's progress and adjust the material accordingly. There are titles that strictly teach by showing examples and then quiz children on material, and then there are the more popular edutainment titles that incorporate the subject matter into a game.
Educational software began gaining popularity and recognition as an alternative learning method in the mid-nineties, and developers have come up with new concepts to meet consumer demands for quality, interactive programs. Once designed for use with a home or classroom computer, it is now available for portable learning systems as well. While there are significantly fewer titles available for portable learning systems such as the Leapster, there are still numerous titles ranging in age appropriateness and subject matter that making learning on the go possible.
Whether educational software and games are chosen for home, classroom, or on-the-go learning, experts agree that they offer an excellent way for children to learn. Try combining titles that are strictly learning based with learning games to create a well-rounded software library. To get the most out of educational software, invest in titles that have adjustable learning levels to grow with your child and check user reviews for titles that are both entertaining and have replay value.