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What Are the Different Types of Educational Software?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

Online math tutoring software is a type of educational software designed to help students struggling in the classroom improve their mathematics from the comfort of their homes. Often, this type of software connects specialized tutors directly with students. These services are affordable and logistically convenient, meaning that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds can significantly benefit from them. Online math tutoring can help students learn good study habits, improve their grades, and boost their confidence in the classroom.

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Discussion Comments
By oasis11 — On Jul 05, 2010

Sunny27- I have heard of Brainpop. My children also use it to supplement their homework assignments and sometimes the teacher uses it in the classroom as well. The lessons are really engaging. I was really impressed with the material.

I could spend the entire day looking through different sections. It has sections on biography, social studies, science, math, and art.

I wish material like this existed when I was a kid. School would have been so much more fun. I would have actually looked forward to homework and probably would have gotten better grades.

By Sunny27 — On Jul 05, 2010

Excellent article. I just want to add that my children love assignments on the computer. For example, my son uses Spelling City to practice his spelling words.

The program offers additional exercise regarding sentence building and vocabulary.

Another educational program that he loves is Brainpop. Brainpop offers a variety of topics from science based to current events.

Here the child selects a section and the main character offer a brief synopsis of the main idea and then the child views a short film while the character narrates. At the end of the short film, the child takes a brief quiz that offers points for correct answers.

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