Personal Application Software: Educational, Real Estate, Legal, Finance & Architectural

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul is a GIS professor at Vancouver Island U, has a PhD from U of British Columbia, and has taught stats and programming for 15 years.

Specialized software applications have been developed for different areas. Learn about the software being used by educators, real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and architects.

Specialized Applications

Most employees of an organization are likely to use a handful of software applications that are the same for everyone. For example, almost every computer will have an Internet browser, an office suite with word processing, presentation and spreadsheet programs and some applications to work with multimedia files, like image, audio and video.

However, there are many software applications that are very specific to certain fields or certain professions. For example, the software used on a college campus is likely to be different from the software used by an accounting firm. Let's look at some of these specialized software applications.

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  • 0:45 Education Software
  • 3:15 Real Estate Software
  • 4:20 Legal Software
  • 4:56 Financial Software
  • 6:15 Architecture Software
  • 7:06 Lesson Summary
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Education Software

Schools, colleges and universities use software to facilitate learning. Let's say you're a college professor, and you are using presentation software as part of your lectures. You want to encourage students to listen to what you have to say, take notes and ask questions. You don't want them to spend all their time copying your slides, so you want to make your presentations available to students. You could email the presentation as an attachment, but it would be much easier to have a website for the course where students could just download the presentation.

Most colleges use a learning management system, or LMS. An LMS is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking and delivery of education using electronic means. What this means is that a course website is created for each course, and professors and students all get access to this secure site. Professors can upload their materials, and students can download them. Professors can also use the website to post announcements, set up discussion boards and create assignments.

Learning management systems have become quite sophisticated and now make it possible to deliver entire courses online without any direct face-to-face interaction. Professors can post videos of their lectures and set up all the assignments to take place online. Students can access the course website from anywhere and work on the materials when it suits them. The recent growth in online education is, to a large degree, made possible by the tools available in learning management systems.

Learning management software is typically installed on a computer server of the college. Professors and students access the system using a regular Internet browser. This makes it very easy to get access to the course material without having to install special software.

Electronic textbooks have also become popular. Instead of carrying around a stack of books, many publishers make their textbooks available in electronic format. You typically need special reader software to actually view the contents. Electronic does not mean free, and you typically have to pay to download an electronic textbook just as you would for a regular paper textbook.

Real Estate Software

Most people looking to buy or rent property start their search online. Real estate companies need specialized software to maintain an inventory of properties. A client typically has a number of specific criteria, and a real estate agent should be able to quickly find some properties that meet those criteria. This means the properties need to be organized in a structured database so that they can be easily searched.

Marketing and customer relations are critical in the real estate sector, so there are specialized software applications to assist with those tasks. A real estate agent can use this software to keep track of all their contacts, their interests and preferences and when to follow up.

Real estate transactions also involve quite a bit of paperwork. If you have ever bought a house, you probably remember the stack of documents you needed to read and sign. Specialized document management software makes it easier to have the documents organized and ready when they are needed.

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