05 Feb Which Educational Apps to Choose?
As mobile technology has boomed, so have the number of apps available across platforms including Apple’s iPad and iPhone, Android devices and more. Companies are increasingly pouring time, effort and funding into the development of high-quality and innovative educational apps – and as a result, the potential for acquiring skills and knowledge via apps has become exciting and vast.
As a parent or teacher you will likely be keen to embrace mobile technology to tap into the vast range of educational tools available. We know there are a perplexing number of apps to choose from, so we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you find the best of the bunch.
Take age into account
The easiest and quickest way to filter educational apps is by age. Make sure you bear in mind your child’s age (or your year group if you are a teacher) before beginning your search. Whilst this may seem obvious, it could save you a great deal of time on your quest to find relevant and engaging apps, as well as ensuring your child does not get frustrated with learning that is either too slow-paced or too advanced.
Fill in knowledge gaps
Are you hoping to teach a specific skill or lesson? Perhaps you have recognised your child is finding spelling difficult, or getting frustrated with numeracy. No matter what your child’s needs, there will likely be an app to help out. You can identify areas for improvement by checking your child’s school report, noting what homework tasks they are struggling with, or having a relaxed chat about the subjects they are particularly enjoying, and those which they find challenging.
Apps are designed to be engaging and visual – with the help of the right app, you could transform the most unwilling of mathematicians into a numbers whizz!
Play to existing interests
Sometimes the best (and easiest) way to engage your child with a learning exercise is via existing interests. look out for educational apps featuring their favourite cartoon character, a book they love or a place they think is exciting – perhaps the jungle or the seaside. Tailoring your child’s learning experience to their personal interests will likely result in greater enthusiasm, longer periods of concentration and more notable educational leaps.
Avoid apps with advertising
As much as possible, try to avoid apps with adverts – these can be distracting for children and may divert their attention to something totally irrelevant. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade your app for a small cost to get rid of the adverts – but there are still lots of apps out there which are totally ad-free. You can usually check to see if there are any adverts by reading the app description, or otherwise by finding user reviews.
Take note of recommendations
Find out what other teachers or parents are saying – the apps are they raving about (and those they are urging you to avoid) are usually worth taking note of! There’s a great deal of value in peer reviews and recommendations, so it’s worth taking the time to do a bit of research beforehand – perhaps via online forums, through personal blogs, by chatting with other parents or checking online reviews. Periodically, you may also find that newspapers and magazines release lists of their top educational apps – again, these can be an interesting and valuable read.
Let the search begin!
Whatever your child’s needs, mobile technology and educational apps are all about making learning accessible, fun and interactive. Finding great apps will help accelerate your child’s learning, whilst they have plenty of fun in the process. It’s worth remembering there are plenty of apps for adult learning too – so there is no excuse to shy away from educating yourself in the process!