Professional tool

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1 Definition

  • (In this context) we define a professional tool as a software tool that is used in a work context to produce some kind of contents and that has been mainly developped for this purpose.
  • In education, and in particular in the school system, professional tools seem to be the most popular category of educational technologies.
  • Given the huge almost 50-year effort spent for various educational technologies this may come as a surprise. There may be several interrelated explanations:
    • Such tools are used in the real world and therefore did demonstrate their usefulness for given tasks that exist in both worlds.
    • Such tools are used in the "real world", therefore augment authenticity and learner motivation.
    • Such tools are well suited to support project-oriented learning scenarios, i.e. they support activity-based teaching
    • Teachers know how to use them (e.g. they use them to prepare courses or demonstrations (e.g. presentation tools) or they did learn them during their studies (e.g. statistics programs).

2 Different types

  • Office tools (word processors, speadsheets, presentation tools)
  • Internet publication tools like web-pages, CMSs and associated search technology
  • Computer-assisted design tools
  • Data processing tools, like statistics programs
  • .....