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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).
- Office tools (word processors, speadsheets, presentation tools)
- Some writing tools
- Some cognitive tools like concept maps and note-taking tools like the Scribe note-taking application
- Internet publication tools like web-pages, CMSs and associated search technology
- Reference managers, links managers, etc., in particular those who allow to share informations with others.
- Computer-assisted design tools
- Simulation and modeling tools
- Visualization tools
- Data processing tools, like statistics programs