Thursday, 2 July 2015

Which apps should my child be using?

Have you considered the apps on your child's device? How effective are they in helping your child's learning, thinking, and digital awareness. There are so many apps available now, but how do we choose the right one?
The focus of ICT in education has been evolving over a relatively short amount of time but more recently attention is now being given to the learner rather than the technology. 
When children are engaged they are learning. Great educational apps balance engagement with learning. As a parent it is important to take an active role in selecting apps with your child to make careful consideration of the activities your children engage in online. 
A psychologist research report revealed that the most valuable apps were ones that had active involvement, engagement, meaningfulness and social interaction.
Five things to consider when purchasing apps for your devices.
1. Look for apps that require real mental effort and depend on your child's active participation
2. Many apps have lots of bells and whistles which can distract the learning. Be aware of apps that are labelled lite or free as they often include advertising to upgrade as your child plays the game.
3. Look for apps that encourage social interaction via discussion, competition or conversation. This site has apps that have received the Parents Choice Award.
4. Look for apps that use guided exploration to help your child discover new information on their own terms.
When using the app;
- check for ability level to meet the needs of your child
- is it easy and intuitive to use
- are the characters in the game / activity a suitable role model for your child 
Some things to consider;
Keep life balanced - too much time on a device isn't a healthy thing.
A few highly recommended apps for the holidays
Alien Assignment - innovative app that has won awards. Your children will be encouraged to embark on a scavenger hunt to find items to fix their alien ship. 
iBook author app - allows anyone to create their own online book for free. 
Digi Parenting - this website is easy to use and full of information for parents about everything you need to know when using technology in your family. 

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