This paper focuses on three distinctive ways in which educational software can support learning dialogues in primary classrooms. After a re-capitulation of published research on Initiation Discussion Response Feedback (IDRF) exchanges, where the computer is used to stimulate discussion and then direct it through using feedback, we ask if there are other ways in which educational software and pedagogy can combine to support learning dialogues. We describe the effect of combining preparation for exploratory talk at the computer with group strategy games played against the computer and then we discuss, with examples, the role of software (in this case Bubble Dialogue) that allows groups to externalise their thoughts in order to reflect upon them. We argue that these three types of educational activity exemplify distinctive ways in which the computer enters into and supports educational dialogues
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