Professional tool

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  • (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).

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
  • .....