In a perfect world, all educational apps….


In a perfect world, all educational apps ...

Update of post from original post:  Dear App Developers

“Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. I can explain this best by an analogy. What happens if we place a drop of red dye into a beaker of clear water? Do we have clear water plus a spot of red dye? Obviously not. We have a new coloration to every molecule of water. That is what I mean by ecological change. A new medium does not add something; it changes everything. In the year 1500, after the printing press was invented, you did not have old Europe plus the printing press. You had a different Europe. After television, America was not America plus television. Television gave a new coloration to every political campaign, to every home, to every school, to every church, to every industry, and so on.” Neil Postman

imgres-1In a perfect world, all educational apps should have the following criteria:

  • Multifaceted– scaffolding and differentiation should be provided within the app and incorporate several levels of learning
  • Promote Critical Thinking– 21st Century skills such as collaboration, innovation, communication, and self-assessment need to be addressed
  • Promote Problem Based Learning– too much skill and drill will deter students from much-needed exposure to problem-solving skills
  • Provide Feedback/Assessment–  subtle feedback to the learner and to the teacher is necessary
  • Data Collection– student’s work and ongoing progress needs to be documented and easily retrieved
  • Engaging/Student Motivation– learning activities must be FUN, apps that motivate will continually be replayed
  • Age Appropriate– MAJOR issue, qualities that are appropriate for the age level of the students who will potentially be accessing the app are imperative
  • Reliable– apps need to be free from bugs and crashing
  • Field Tested– developers MUST test apps with students and teachers
  • Intuitive– apps should be so user-friendly that it is completely intuitive for the user
  • Instructions- should be included and be child-friendly, if an app is designed for an emerging reader, the instructions should be provided in a format that an emerging reader can access
  • Ability to Share– sharing work with other devices, desktop, email, and social networking sites
  • Tied to Learning Targets/Standards – The app must be relevant to what all students are learning and be tied to a learning target or standard
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4 Responses

  1. Allyza

    Totally agree with the list, nowadays it’s not merely enough to have an app solely for reading. It needs to be interactive, dynamic and be able to share insights and learnings throughout their peers like how does it.

  2. Tatyana

    Excellent article. We have to recognize, that now the world is different, and we have to adjust, do you like it or not.

  3. I’d add one more bullet to the criteria list.

    • Smartphone Accessible– the best tool is the one you carry with you. Always connected to learning. (Millions of students already own and carry them. They already use them for research and communication. Why not writing and so much more?)

    • Jayne Clare Jayne Clare

      I couldn’t agree with you more! Schools need to change their mindset about cell phone use in the school setting. A very small majority abuse their privileges and everyone suffers for this small percent of offenders. Thanks for your comment!