Educational software

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Under educational software is any kind of software that has been specifically designed for educational purposes and programs. Typical forms are tutorials (training software, e.g. chess learning software ), exercise programs (e.g. vocabulary trainer ) and programs for general information transfer (e.g. digital reference works).

Learning software has a clearly defined learning content, follows a certain didactic concept and is aimed at a more or less clearly defined target group. In contrast to the much broader terms teaching software and educational software, the term learning software describes a family of software products that is based not only on their intended use, but also on common features.

The use of educational software is known as e-learning . The transition from educational software to digital educational games is fluid.


The use of educational software can first be demonstrated in the early 1940s, when scientists doing research for the American armed forces used analog computers to develop flight simulation programs . The most successful of these was the type 19 radar trainer developed under G. W. A. ​​Dummer and completed in 1943 , on which military pilots could be trained for war missions. The American aircraft manufacturer Curtiss-Wright presented the first fully functional flight simulator in 1948 .

The first general computer-aided learning system is the computer system PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) , developed and built around 1960 at the University of Illinois , which provided students of the university, but also users at local schools and other universities with courses. In 1963, IBM and Stanford University's Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Science (IMSSS), under the direction of Patrick Suppes, first developed a computer-based learning program that included a full elementary school curriculum that taught students in California and Mississippi . The Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC, today: Pearson Education Technologies ) was founded in 1967 in order to market the products resulting from this partnership to American schools . Another pioneer in the development of educational software was the think tank Miter Corporation , which in 1969 launched its interactive cable television system TICCIT (Time-shared, Interactive, Computer-Controlled Information Television) , which a number of American universities and a. provided with foreign language courses .

Until the mid-1970s, educational software was always firmly connected to the hardware on which it ran, so that it was not available to users who did not have access to mainframes . This changed fundamentally with the spread of personal computers , which came onto the market in the USA from 1975 onwards. In a short time software companies emerged, some of which specialized in educational software, such as Brøderbund and The Learning Company (both founded in 1980), but also the non-commercial software developer MECC ( Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium ) , which was founded in 1973 .

The conditions for the spread of educational software improved further when, in the 1990s, computers with sound and sophisticated graphics came onto the market and data transmission via CD-ROM and the Internet became possible. Advances in speech recognition technology came u. a. benefit the foreign language learning software.

Learning software in German-speaking countries

Manufacturers and awards

German manufacturers of educational software are u. a. Digital publishing , founded in Munich in 1994 , but also traditional book publishers such as Ernst Klett Verlag , Langenscheidt , Cornelsen Verlag , Friedrich Verlag , Mildenberger Verlag and Europa-Lehrmittel . Numerous electrical engineering topics can also be dealt with in a simple and varied manner with the help of learning programs. Since 1995, the BFE-Oldenburg's multimedia department has been developing educational software on electrical engineering topics. In Austria , educational software u. a. marketed by Veritas-Verlag and David Wohlhart .

The Klaus Tschira Foundation , established in 1995 , annually awards a youth software prize to schoolchildren who have developed excellent learning software or scientific presentations in digital form. At the Frankfurt Book Fair , the TOMMI children's software prize has been awarded every year since 2002 , and can be used to honor both games and learning programs.

Types of educational software (selection)

Language learning software

Digital language courses are one of the oldest types of educational software. Just like audio-based language courses, they offer the advantage over conventional foreign language lessons in the classroom that the learner determines the pace of work himself. The didactic tools of this learning medium range from vocabulary training and grammar quizzes to listening comprehension and pronunciation training. The manufacturers - for the German-speaking market in particular Digital Publishing, Auralog / Hueber, Koch Media , Lesson Nine (Babbel), PONS (Klett Group), Sprachenlernen24, Strokes and Unisono Media / Euro Talk - represent a whole range of different ones didactic concepts. The US manufacturer Rosetta Stone has also been pushing into the German-speaking market since 2010 .

Web-based educational software

Learning software is increasingly being offered as a web application , such as B. Scoyo . The installation medium is not required and a web browser is required for use. The link via the central web server enables comparison with other users and, if necessary, interaction with them. This trend towards networking users can also be seen in computer games .

Learning programs for German lessons

A small number of digital literacy programs are already aimed at preschool children, for example the LolliPop software, which won a prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2006, and Cornelsen's smart mice, as well as products from Terzio Verlag,, Magnussoft and Tivola Publishing .

For lessons in primary school (grades 1–4) there is German software from Terzio, Magnussoft and Duden- Verlag, staggered according to grade , as well as individual products from Spielend Lern ​​Verlag, Franzis Buch & Software Verlag, and Tivola Publishing ( learning success Elementary school ) and from Avanquest Software. The most extensive software packages for German lessons are currently offered by Cornelsen and a. have staggered products for all grades from 1 to 7 in the program, with the learning software from Cornelsen - as well as that from Duden - being integrated into a series of textbooks. The Alfons Lernwelt von Schroedel program extends up to grade 6.

Learning software that can be used to practice reading and writing can also be found for online use on the Internet, mostly on paid gaming and learning portals, but occasionally also freely accessible. Also for mobile devices such as tablet computers and iPhone are apps offered for German learning to write.

Tivola and Franzis also market some of their products as versions for Nintendo game consoles. Literacy learning software is also available for small children's computers such as the Leapster or - permanently installed - on similar products e.g. B. available from VTech .

Tutorials for math class

Individual products for mathematical propaedeutics are aimed at children of preschool age. The largest target group for mathematical learning software, however, are children and young people of school age, whereby these programs - unlike learning software for German lessons - are used not only by primary school students but also up to the 10th grade, and sometimes even by upper secondary school students.

Many of these products are intended for use in mathematics lessons in schools and are graded according to grade levels, such as the Lollipop series by Cornelsen, Welt der Zahl by Schroedel and the Klett math trainer ; all three are components in larger, multimedia textbooks. The only math learning software designed for school lessons that is not included in a textbook series is Alfons Lernwelt von Schroedel. This series is also graded according to grade levels, as is a third group of mathematics learning software that is marketed for use in schools.

In addition, there is a large number of cross-class individual products, some of which are also aimed at adult users. Cornelsen and Schroedel also offer special software for test and Abitur preparation.

Online programs for practicing arithmetic can be found in gaming and learning portals on the Internet; in some cases they are also made available for free use.

Mathematics learning software for children is not only available for computers and on the Internet, but also for the Nintendo DS, for the Leapster and - permanently installed - on other commercially available small computers.

Educational software for electrical engineering

Numerous electrical engineering topics can also be dealt with in a simple and varied manner with the help of learning programs. Among other things, the BFE-Oldenburg offers an extensive series of learning programs that cover both basic topics (basics of electrical engineering 1–4, three-phase current technology, alternating current technology, measurement and control technology, electronics, etc.) as well as specific topics such as B. EIB / KNX installation bus or lighting technology.

All learning content is conveyed via audio texts in order to avoid reading long texts on the screen. Memories, important formulas, summaries and tasks are also displayed as screen texts. Many animations , videos and interactions in the learning programs should help to increase the learning effect. Knowledge inquiries take place during the teaching of the material and the programs react to each answer of the learner with a corresponding feedback during a task.

With the introduction of IT professions and the requirement to train these new professions in a primarily action-oriented manner, the use of interactive learning programs in this area became more and more important. As early as the end of the 90s, RH learning software began to develop programs for computer technology and telecommunications, which were constantly expanded and adapted to the respective technical status. In the meantime, the bandwidth ranges from network technology and interfaces to relational databases. All programs have been developed by lecturers with many years of training experience.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: tutorial  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Peter Baumgartner: Didactic requirements for (multimedia) learning software . In: Ludwig J. Issing, Paul Klimsa (Hrsg.): Information and learning with multimedia . 2nd Edition. Psychologie Verlags Union, Weinheim 1997, ISBN 3-621-27374-3
  2. A Brief History of Aircraft Flight Simulation: World War II ( Memento of the original from April 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. The History and Facts: Flight Simulators  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  4. ^ Plato History
  5. ^ IBM Partnerships A Hypertext History of Instructional Design. The 1960s: Instructional Systems Development
  6. ^ Computer Curriculum Corporation A Hypertext History of Instructional Design. The 1960s: Instructional Systems Development
  7. M. David Merrill, Edward W. Schneider, Kathie A. Fletcher: TICCIT , Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1980
  8. ^ The Learning Company ; MECC ( Memento of the original from August 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Learn English on the PC
  10. Rosetta Stone - language learning software with a difference