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TABLETS,PRESCRIPTION FOR LEARNING? EVALUATING APPS FOR YOUNG LEARNERS                        Gail Lovely                  ...
WHY TABLETS AND     APPS?
January 2012, > 500,000 apps on iTunesand > 300,000 on Android   WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
Last year, of the top 4 holiday trendsfor children,   2 required an iPad.   WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
In the <5 years since the iPhone was released>25% of all parents have downloadedapps for their children     WHAT ARE THE N...
But there is an “App Gap”…>33% of low-income parents  do not know what an app isWHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?                   (C...
>80% of the apps in the     Education category*  are specifically for childrenWHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?                     *(...
From 2009 to 2011apps for toddlers - elementary school  have grown from 47% to       72%   of the education collection*. W...
SO IT IS NOT A LACK OF CHOICES…
LACK OF EDUCATION CRITERIA
CRITERIA…?
REVIEWERS OF APPSChildren’s Technology Review -http://childrenstech.com/Common Sense Media -http://www.commonsensemedia.or...
“All television is educationaltelevision. The question is: what is it                            teaching?”               ...
BASELINE CRITERIA
SIMPLEST CRITERIAAppropriate content • child safe • relevant to curriculum or skills • good match between   developmental ...
READING LEVEL MISMATCHScreenshot from Casey’s Contraptions
SIMPLEST CRITERIAAppropriate format and activity • activity format is not violent or biased • access to content is not imp...
CONTENT AND FORMATScreenshot from SumStackers
SIMPLEST CRITERIANon-commercial• does not provide emphasis on  characters or brands• does not require in-app purchases
A “FREE APP”
SIMPLEST CRITERIACorrect/Accurate• contains information with is either  clearly fictional or accurate• does not have poor ...
CONFUSING…?Screenshots from Live ABC
EDUCATIONAL     SOUNDNESSDOES THE APP HELP STUDENTS APPROACH          LEARNING GOALS?
“Don’t bring in an elephant  to teach the color gray.”        - Madeleine Hunter
IMPORTANCEDOES THE APP PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES OF             IMPORTANCE?
BOOK CREATOR
HIGHER LEVELS OF       THINKING  DOES THE APP PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FORLEARNERS TO EXERCISE HIGHER LEVEL THINKING?
APPS AND APPLICATION OF APPSEducational researchers and practitioners alike assertthat the potential of new technologies f...
USABILITYIS THE APP EASY TO LEARN AND OPERATE?
TUTORIAL IN NATUREScreenshot from Toontastic
MANAGEABILITYIS IT EASY FOR THE TEACHER TO MANAGE?
INTERFACEScreenshot from Bluster
COST/BENEFIT BALANCE  IS THE APP’S PRICE APPROPRIATE FOR ITS                USEFULNESS?
Screenshot from Sock Puppets
SHARING/PUBLISHINGDOES THE APP PROVIDE EASY WAYS TO SHARE                WORK?
EXPORT CHOICESScreenshot Explain Everything
MORE EXPORT CHOICESScreenshot Explain Everything
PRODUCTIVE TOOLDOES THE APP HAVE USERS CREATING?
STORYKIT
LONGEVITYCAN THE BE USED OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITHCONTINUED POSITIVE GROWTH AND BENEFITS?
EXPLAIN EVERYTHING
ART SET
We are at a turningpoint, not unlike whenthe FCC Commissioner Newton Minow called      television a   “vast wasteland”    ...
ITS UP TO US…MAKE GOOD CHOICES WITH INTENTION AND CARE
http://apps4younglearners.yolasite.com• Gail Lovely• Gail@GailLovely.com
Evaluating Apps for Young Learners
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Evaluating Apps for Young Learners

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  • Direct drive of the computer rather than indirect... Smaller, easier to use where the user is ...For many, a familiar format...
  • As we work to develop a criteria for the selection of apps for learners 3 - 7 years of age. The intended bias is for apps which are not just tools for learning something, but for practicing or learning things we value.
  • Currently number 22 on top grossing education apps.
  • Educational Soundness- Does the app help students approach or practice learning goals?Begin with the end in mind. What is it you want students to learn, do, discuss, practice, think about, share, ponder, or explore? Keep in mind this criteria first. All others are subservient to this one. If it doesn’t do these then move on now!
  • Importance - Does the app provide opportunities of importance or is it just an elephant teaching the color gray?If you have one short mention of something in your standards or curriculum, something that usually takes you and your students just a few minutes, then you probably ought not take the time to introduce an app to do this. Choose wisely.
  • Higher Level Thinking - Does the app provide opportunities for learners to exercise their higher level thinking? Powerful tools should be used in powerful ways. Look for apps with “stretch”. Apps which provide opportunities to move beyond remembering facts and factoids. Look for apps which stretch students’ thinking even if they are non- or limited readers.
  • Usability - Is the app easy to learn? Apps need to be “effort positive”. The amount of effort put into learning to use the app should be far less than the amount of effort put into the “curriculum” learning. Additionally, the learning curve should be short, for students AND teachers.
  • Manageability - Is it easy for the teacher to manage?We are evaluating apps for use in educational settings, not just for home (or in the grocery store cashier waiting line) which means the app needs to be simple for managing in a multi-user world. Can student work be saved, shared, deleted? Does the activity reset each time?
  • Cost/Benefit Balance - Is the app’s price appropriate for it’s purposes and usefulness?Prices of apps remain mostly low (the average iPad app for education is about $2). We need to be certain we don’t fall into the “It’s free, so why not?” but are instead much more intentional in our selection. Some apps are clearly worth their higher price, but price is not an indicator of the value of an app to you or your students. An expensive app which you and your students use almost daily may be worth the higher investment.
  • Sharing - Does the app “trap” all student work or student products within the app or does it provide ways to share their work?I have a very strong bias against apps which trap student products in the app and even specifically to the particular tablet. Apps which give multiple options to share, publish, or export student work have much greater flexibility and usefulness in a school setting. The ability to blend tools and products can provide us with easier ways to build authentic audiences for students.
  • Tools - Does the app provide a tool for creating something rather than just consuming something?The use of apps as tools means that students are developing higher levels of thinking as well as products which can demonstrate their understanding of content.
  • Longevity - Does the app lend itself to being used over and over again with continued positive growth and benefits?Apps which are open-ended tools tend to have a longer life in the classroom. An app which can be easily repurposed is a good investment in time, energy and funds.
  • Transcript of "Evaluating Apps for Young Learners"

    1. 1. TABLETS,PRESCRIPTION FOR LEARNING? EVALUATING APPS FOR YOUNG LEARNERS Gail Lovely Gail@GailLovely.com
    2. 2. WHY TABLETS AND APPS?
    3. 3. January 2012, > 500,000 apps on iTunesand > 300,000 on Android WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
    4. 4. Last year, of the top 4 holiday trendsfor children, 2 required an iPad. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
    5. 5. In the <5 years since the iPhone was released>25% of all parents have downloadedapps for their children WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? (Common Sense Media, 2011)
    6. 6. But there is an “App Gap”…>33% of low-income parents do not know what an app isWHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? (Common Sense Media, 2011)
    7. 7. >80% of the apps in the Education category* are specifically for childrenWHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? *(iTunes)
    8. 8. From 2009 to 2011apps for toddlers - elementary school have grown from 47% to 72% of the education collection*. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? *(iTunes)
    9. 9. SO IT IS NOT A LACK OF CHOICES…
    10. 10. LACK OF EDUCATION CRITERIA
    11. 11. CRITERIA…?
    12. 12. REVIEWERS OF APPSChildren’s Technology Review -http://childrenstech.com/Common Sense Media -http://www.commonsensemedia.org/iEar - http://www.iear.orgUser Ratings (in the store or marketplace)
    13. 13. “All television is educationaltelevision. The question is: what is it teaching?” Nicholas Johnson
    14. 14. BASELINE CRITERIA
    15. 15. SIMPLEST CRITERIAAppropriate content • child safe • relevant to curriculum or skills • good match between developmental stages and content levels
    16. 16. READING LEVEL MISMATCHScreenshot from Casey’s Contraptions
    17. 17. SIMPLEST CRITERIAAppropriate format and activity • activity format is not violent or biased • access to content is not impeded by game or action
    18. 18. CONTENT AND FORMATScreenshot from SumStackers
    19. 19. SIMPLEST CRITERIANon-commercial• does not provide emphasis on characters or brands• does not require in-app purchases
    20. 20. A “FREE APP”
    21. 21. SIMPLEST CRITERIACorrect/Accurate• contains information with is either clearly fictional or accurate• does not have poor spelling, audio, or inaccuracies.
    22. 22. CONFUSING…?Screenshots from Live ABC
    23. 23. EDUCATIONAL SOUNDNESSDOES THE APP HELP STUDENTS APPROACH LEARNING GOALS?
    24. 24. “Don’t bring in an elephant to teach the color gray.” - Madeleine Hunter
    25. 25. IMPORTANCEDOES THE APP PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES OF IMPORTANCE?
    26. 26. BOOK CREATOR
    27. 27. HIGHER LEVELS OF THINKING DOES THE APP PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FORLEARNERS TO EXERCISE HIGHER LEVEL THINKING?
    28. 28. APPS AND APPLICATION OF APPSEducational researchers and practitioners alike assertthat the potential of new technologies for learning islikely to be found not in the technologies themselvesbut in the way in which these technologies are usedas tools for learning (Means & Olson, 1995; Owston, 1997;Valdez et al., 1999).From NCREL: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/cntareas/reading/li300.htm
    29. 29. USABILITYIS THE APP EASY TO LEARN AND OPERATE?
    30. 30. TUTORIAL IN NATUREScreenshot from Toontastic
    31. 31. MANAGEABILITYIS IT EASY FOR THE TEACHER TO MANAGE?
    32. 32. INTERFACEScreenshot from Bluster
    33. 33. COST/BENEFIT BALANCE IS THE APP’S PRICE APPROPRIATE FOR ITS USEFULNESS?
    34. 34. Screenshot from Sock Puppets
    35. 35. SHARING/PUBLISHINGDOES THE APP PROVIDE EASY WAYS TO SHARE WORK?
    36. 36. EXPORT CHOICESScreenshot Explain Everything
    37. 37. MORE EXPORT CHOICESScreenshot Explain Everything
    38. 38. PRODUCTIVE TOOLDOES THE APP HAVE USERS CREATING?
    39. 39. STORYKIT
    40. 40. LONGEVITYCAN THE BE USED OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITHCONTINUED POSITIVE GROWTH AND BENEFITS?
    41. 41. EXPLAIN EVERYTHING
    42. 42. ART SET
    43. 43. We are at a turningpoint, not unlike whenthe FCC Commissioner Newton Minow called television a “vast wasteland” in 1961.
    44. 44. ITS UP TO US…MAKE GOOD CHOICES WITH INTENTION AND CARE
    45. 45. http://apps4younglearners.yolasite.com• Gail Lovely• Gail@GailLovely.com

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