Educational and Reference Software

Overview Thousands of educational and reference software titles are released every year, covering a seemingly unending variety of topics. There are also plenty of commercial, shareware, and freeware software packages available for download on the Internet. Education software can be categorized by grade, age level, or by specific subject (math, science, history, and aptitude testing, for example). Reference software is very similar to educational software but is typically grouped only by subject.

General Information A high quality educational or reference software package typically includes indexing functions, high quality and accurate information, and an appropriate user interface. A great way to learn about educational and reference software is by reading product reviews at a site such as the following link. Here you will find reviews from the most respected software review sites on the Internet, such as ZDNet, FamilyPC, Kid’s Learning Network, and Consumer Guide. A comprehensive review of educational and reference software can be found by visiting the University of Virginia library Web site. At this site, research software is categorized into topics such as “Dictionaries and Thesauri” and “Encyclopedias”, just to name a few. There are also links provided to the appropriate software title, as well as brief descriptions of each product. Here you can read about and download many different educational and reference software packages. 

Educational Software Educational software provides specific information for a particular age group. For example, the educational software “MindTwister Math” found at is specifically designed to teach math skills to students in grades 3 and 4. Software reviews found at  are for high school students studying for SAT, GMAT and LSAT exams. Educational software typically teaches a particular subject and also functions as a computerized reference guide for that subject. Visit any of the following four sites to read about some of the many educational software packages available on the market today: 

Reference Software Reference software is commonly less instructional than educational software. This type of software typically consists of a large database of information and a user interface that provides indexing and search functions for easy access to the information. You can read reviews of many new reference software titles at These software titles range in topic from home improvement guides to encyclopedias. Many familiar reference sources like the World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica are now available in software versions. Below is a list of popular reference software and their accompanying sites: