Choosing Apps for the Classroom



 Photo Credit: Daniel Go via Flickr(CC 2.0)

Aimed at improving and enhancing the learning process, mobile devices are being deployed in classrooms nationwide. The result? An onslaught of educational apps that promise to make learning easier, differentiated, and most importantly enjoyable to the student.

Over the course of  two years, I have been immersed in a newly initiated, district wide, one to one computing program consisting of Android tablets.  While working with multiple grade level teachers, the most popular question remains to be about apps that correlate with the existing curriculum.

The app market can certainly be  daunting when searching for quality apps. Gathering apps requires certain criteria for an educator to keep in mind along with the mindset that the app, as well as with any other tech tool, loses effectiveness without proper teacher guidance. Author Jeff Dunn provides a  checklist of criteria ideal for choosing apps or reviewing the current apps that you use. In his article, 10 Criteria Teachers Should Use to Find The Best Apps, Dunn suggests a simple ranking process to ensure apps are best fit to support your curriculum and learning environment.

Choosing apps can simplified by referring to some experts in the field–your students.  Giving students a say in selecting apps for the classroom will foster ownership in the learning process while developing content specific skills.  Harry G. Tuttle’s article, Giving Students a Voice in App Selection, outlines the effectiveness of including students in the selection process.

Whether you are choosing new apps or doing some spring cleaning with old apps, consider implementing a selection criteria and allowing your students to contribute to the process.