The educational features of the systems built in the ARI-Lab project are about the developing of competences in the arithmetical field, in the arithmetical problem solving, and in the approach to algebra through educational practices following a constructive context. The latest two systems carried out in the sphere of this project, ARI-LAB 2 and ARI@ITALES, share the same problem solution environment and the same microworlds for developing solving strategies. This makes ARI-LAB 2 and ARI@ITALES be used to pursue the same educational aims with the students. In fact, the microworlds common to ARI-LAB 2 and ARI@ITALES have been planned to promote the development of a great mathematical experience in the sphere of the arithmetic and algebra; such experience is considered a key factor for the construction of concepts and mathematical meanings in these fields of knowledge.
Nevertheless, ARI-LAB 2 and ARI@ITALES involve two different points of view of managing the educational practice and, as a result, two different ways of pursuing the common educational purposes. ARI-LAB 2 reaches these purposes through lab activities and with local network-connected computers, planned and managed by the teacher. Specific communication features incorporated in ARI-LAB 2 allow the development of co-operative educational practices. The use of ARI-LAB 2 is for teachers able to project and to manage these educational practices exploiting the functions of the system.
The educational aims are pursued through courses accessible on the Internet or via CD with ARI@ITALES. Teachers can plan and realize the courses for their own students through the tools of ARI@ITALES or they can use the courses built by others. Teachers less expert in technologies can avail themselves of a whole module-built educational path carried out by others. The availability of a module-built course allows a great flexibility in managing the educational activity in class.