Everyone’s a Critic! The App Evaluation According to Kathy

According to ed tech guru Kathy Schrock, there are several things to look for in an education app that’s worth your while. Here are the first 5 of her 10 criteria. My comments are in parentheses:

1. Curriculum connection: Are the skills reinforced connected to the targeted skill or concept? (Sounds like a given, right? Not always.)

2. Authenticity: Are the skills practiced in an authentic format/problem-based environment? (I want these skills to have life beyond the app. Kids like my Nic often have trouble generalizing.)

3. Feedback: Is the feedback  specific and result in improved student performance? (Have you ever noticed that sometimes the feedback for getting something incorrect on an app is more exciting than what happens when you are correct?)

4. Differentiation: does the app offer flexibility to alter settings to meet student needs? (I love it when an app can grow with its user, and offers increasing levels of challenge as targeted skills are mastered)

5. User friendliness: can students launch and navigate within the app independently? (I am old and often a little clueless when an app isn’t immediately accessible because of the assumptions the designers make about what the user understands about its navigation. Do not make me feel older and more clueless or have to call one of my kids to explain it to me. And do NOT frustrate a child so that they refuse to try after too many unsuccessful attempts to get the app going.)

More to follow! Comments welcome. And special thanks to Kathy Schrock for all her work in ed tech through the years. She continues to be a teacher’s pal, and a parent’s too.

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About geralynarango

Hello! My name is Geralyn Arango. I write two blogs about two very different topics: Down Gluten, Down Lactose, Down syndrome is about my family's search for a normal life in the face of my son's dietary restrictions, his disability and his wonderfulness. Dr. Mom and the iPads is a blog about my journey to the use of the iPad as an educational tool for my son who has Down syndrome and for the special education majors I teach at a university in Philadelphia. I love to write and hope through these blogs to engage in conversation with people who share an interest in either or both of my blog topics. I am also in the process of revising a soon-to-be published memoir on caregiving...I hope you will stick around until it's ready to go! G

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