December 19, 2014
Teachers With Apps Makes the List at the Cooney Center - If you’re a parent or educator thinking of purchasing some apps this holiday season, you may decide to consult one of a growing number of lists and websites highlighting educational apps for young children. It makes sense to consult the reviews: With thousands of educational apps filtering into the market, it’s increasingly difficult to wade through and find high-quality resources. But do you know who is behind those lists? Are you confident the reviewers have selected the best apps for children, let alone for a child’s learning?
We came up on the list last, but it is in alphabetical order! It was fun doing the interview and we wanted to share all of these wonderful review resources with you!
Educators Jayne Clare and Anne Rachel founded Teachers With Apps in 2010 after creating their own reading app, ABC Shakedown Plus, only to see it drowned out by apps they didn’t consider high quality. Today the blog is updated constantly, sometimes several times a day.
“One of the things that makes us unique is we field test all the apps with real students,” Clare, who now runs the site, said in a recent video interview with an app developer. She retired last June after teaching special education for the last 30 years across preschool to eighth grade. “We don’t just cut and paste from the iTunes store. We don’t just play a game ourselves and write a review. We feel that you don’t know the magic of an app until you put it in the hands of a child.”
Teachers With Apps’ reviews cover the general experience of using the app. The site also publishes reviews from a team that includes a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, primary and secondary teachers, and a few college level professors who field-test apps and write the reviews.
The site is funded by ads that, Clare says, are only sold if they “respect the developer’s product.” And, if you buy an app using the link on the site, Teachers With Apps receives a small percentage of the sale.
“You’re only going to be on our site if you’re high quality and educational,” Clare said in the video interview. In other words, there are no poor ratings on the site—it only features products the team would recommend.
Common Sense Media’s Best Apps and Games
Kathleen Costanza is a writer and editor in Berkeley, CA. She covers education and digital media and learning for HiredPen Inc.