An iPad is only as GOOD as the Content On it. Content, content, content! Any app that stands the test of time does so because it has relevant and lasting content. Case in point, we (TWA) download many, many apps.... what stays on our iPad’s? Only the best of the bunch. Your iPad is only as good as the content on it. That said, how does one go about finding great apps? This is not an easy task for anyone these days. What's good for one child/student, may not be at all relevant for another. We suggest looking for apps that have a wide range of levels and more importantly are engaging and fun right from the start. How can you know this? Some apps have a lite version, one that gives you a taste of what the app is all about. Lite versions are often free or offered for a small price, this is a painless way to find out if the app is worth your time and money. It also a good idea to start by reading what the developer has provided in the description on the iTunes store. Another way to help decide if the app is right for your child is to watch the video trailers, this should give you a pretty good idea of what lies within. If the developer has put the effort into a clear concize “tour” of their app, then you may be able to find out straight away whether this app is worth your time. Many developers in the U.S. are now taking steps to include Common Core Standards and this shows that thought is being given to the content. Keep in mind that many great apps are developed outside of the States. The CCS is not an acronym that they're familiar with, so don’t bypass an app just because it does not reference is aligned with the Common Core Standards.
It all boils down to this - when quality content is delivered in a way that motivates your child to stay with the app, it's a keeper. One app may delight and engage one child, while another child will give it a minute and is off to find something else. The general rule of thumb would be if an app doesn’t grab a child in some way right away, it may not be a “just right” app for your child. Spend some time reading the reviews in iTunes and rate an app if you feel it is outstanding to help others with Educational App Discovery in the future. Read Kids Content Rules the Educational App Category, Study by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center Finds Majority of Top-Selling Education Apps in iTunes Are Aimed at Preschoolers; Few Intended for School Use. And of course, you can always come here to Teachers With Apps and see what we have reviewed. If it's on our site, it definitely has valuable content and may be worth investigating to see if it is appropriate for your needs. Happy hunting!