Another problem associated with integrating technology into the classrooms is providing useful and effective exploration time for teachers and iPad Apps. When exploring iPad Apps for the classroom, it can be helpful to provide guidelines for what and how to look for quality educational apps, tried and tested, that are connected with curriculum learning outcomes.
Here are some guidelines and questions that currently help frame my exploration of iPad educational Apps to be more narrow and purposeful in my App selection:
- What does the iTunes App Store say? What are the reviews?
- are the reviews from teachers- are they positive, tried and tested, what is the reception
- this will show how long the App will last in my class, and how rewarding
- to meet the levels of each student in a class, or across different grade levels, personalized learning
- this is a subjective measurement but still matters for level of student engagement and fun, and whether the students will want to use the App or not
In any case, iPads are built to be a personalized tool that can be designed to meet to needs of each individual user. The use of my class set can and will look differently than a class set of iPads at a different school. Our class set is shared across kindergarten to grade 5 classrooms and I am currently not spending any money on any Apps because of the multi-user licencing issues. (In Canada, there is currently no arrangement for multi purchasing of Apps, and I am waiting before multiplying every paid app X30)
On top of looking in the iTunes Top Education Apps catalogue bestsellers, I also look at different iPad app blogs. Here is my current shortlist of websites that I have found through Twitter to provide useful feedback and recommendations for iPad educational Apps for K-5.