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Friday, March 27, 2015

Reviewing Apps

Photo credit:  Quite Adept
At the New Media Training I attended last week, I was excited to explore some apps that really invite joint attention between a parent and child, are engaging and interactive, and allow kids to explore early literacy and math concepts in a fun way.  There are so many apps in the App Store--just sifting through the thousands of "educational" apps proves to be a pretty time-consuming process, and sometimes dishearteningly fruitless.

Carissa Christner and Anne Hicks, our trainers from Little eLit, had a few suggestions for places to look for reviews.  Here are some of my favorites:

Common Sense Media ranks apps on a variety of criteria, including ease of play, consumerism (including in-app purchases), privacy and safety, violence and scary stuff, etc.  The reviews discuss educational value, give details on the rankings, and give suggestions for parents for further discussion with their kids based on the app's content.  You can limit the results to make searching easier.

Carissa reviews apps for the Madison Public Library, so watch that website for updates.  Carissa has a lot of experience looking for good apps, and her reviews are relevant and come from a smart librarian's perspective.  You can also limit results to make searching easier.

Little eLit is a stand-by, reviews are mixed in with articles, written by librarians who can tell you how they have used the apps and what works (and what doesn't work).

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