Proprietary software tools, though not designed for educational use, have considerable educational potential. This paper describes, as case studies, the use of proprietary graphics- and audio-editing tools in two distance-taught courses produced by the Department of Information and Communication Technologies at the UK Open University – Europe's largest distance teaching institution. The paper examines the potential advantages and disadvantages of this type of software relative to conventional educational software in terms of constructivist learning theory, and describes how students use the software in the courses concerned. The paper concludes by suggesting further developments of this approach
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