05 June 2013
Educational Software that Gets Five Stars
If educational software sounds like a fairly recent development then you might be interested to learn that technology has been used to train and educate since the 1940’s, when early flight simulators were used to train new pilots during WWII. The software needed to run those simulators was pretty basic though, unlike the sophisticated educational software being developed today. And there is a lot of software today!
We now have access to courses (and simulations) offered on tablets and other mobile devices that let us take our learning out of the classroom and into our real lives, so we can learn how to do something while we’re actually doing it. We have educational games that capture our imagination and pull us into game worlds to explore new skills and professions, and we even have virtual reality courses and virtual university campuses that let us leave reality all together. The problem now, is how do we choose? With so much educational software available, how do we know what offers good educational value and what just offers entertainment?
Edu Star - Educational Software
Edu Star may answer this question. Currently in development and expected to become available early next year, Edu Star is a cloud-based platform that will provide “empirical evidence that an application performs as advertised” using a quantitative rating scale of one to five stars, as well as information on the number of students who have used it, ratings on how much they liked it, how the software was tested, and more. The article “Educational Software Gets Graded” in Information Week goes on to describe how Edu Star will be available to both academics to help them choose the best software for their needs, and to developers to give “innovators and entrepreneurs a testing opportunity” with more rigor than is often currently available.
Interest in learning analytics is growing, and this means that if you’re struggling to choose from a vast selection of options, you may soon have a rating system backed up by solid data to use as a guide. Unlike book and movie ratings that are determined by sales and opinion, educational software ratings will be backed up by the results they produce. And educational software shouldn’t just be entertaining; it should produce results.
If you’d like to talk about educational software, or if you have an idea or project in mind, contact us.