Here are the remaining 6 of Kathy Schrock’s 10 criteria for a worthwhile educational app, again with my comments in parentheses. Good stuff to keep in mind:
6. Student motivation: are students motivated to use the app and select to use it often? (Nic can find his SkeeBall app no matter how deeply I bury it, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. I find that for Nic it helps for me to preview and mess with the app so that I can anticipate problems before they occur and get him so frustrated that he begs off and bolts for the TV.)
7. Reporting: is assessment/summary data available electronically to the student/teacher? (The TeachMe series that Nic keeps track graphically with checks and Xs that we both can look at to see how he is doing in the language arts and math it features. He loves these apps, but their full titles, TeachMe Toddler and TeachMe Kindergarten make me wish the app developers knew how well their software worked for kids like Nic, even though they are older. They have their market with the little ones, for sure, but I have another market for them if they ever wanna talk!)
8. Sound: Does the music/sound in the app add to the educational aspects of the content? (Or do they make your teacher/parent dive into their desk drawer for headphones?)
9. Instructions: Are the instructions included in the app helpful to the student? (Do students read the instructions? Do you? Or do we just start tapping around until something happens? Oh, dear, now I’m giving myself away.)
10. Support page: Does the app’s supporting Web page provide additional useful information? (Not just sales pitches for other apps!)
Wow, Kathy Schrock has a guide to everything? Can she help me lose 10 lbs.?
Wait, there are apps for that, too. But they’re on my iPad.