A Very Good Visual on How to Evaluate Educational Apps to Use in Your Class

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February 4, 2017
Apps are the backbone of mobile learning. They provide students with limitless learning opportunities and empower them with a variety of educational tools to help them learn anywhere and anytime they want. There are tons of apps out there. In its 2016 report on mobile Internet usage, Statista shared reported that Google Play App Store has over 2.2 million apps and iTunes App Store has over 2 million apps. While it is comforting to know there are a lot of options to choose from but it can really be intimidating given the fact that not all apps do what they claim to do and some of them are not suitable for classroom inclusion. That’s why a vetting process is needed through which apps can be evaluated to determine their educational suitability.

There are different guidelines to help you with the evaluation process  and today’s post is sharing with you one important example. Apple’s Apps in The Classroom guide features a number of interesting criteria to help teachers evaluate apps to use with their students. The following visual capture some of the main evaluation criteria teachers should consider when assessing apps. There are four generic evaluative criteria (engagement, developmental appropriateness, instructional design,  motivation, and accessibility) and for each of these criteria, a number of questions are posed to help teachers determine whether the app is aligned with that criteria or not. Check them out below and share with us you feedback in our Facebook page.

A Very Good Visual on How to Evaluate Educational Apps to Use in Your Class

1- Engagement
Does the app have an intuitive interface?
Is it user friendly?
‘Does the app opens new ways to learn?

2- Developmental appropriateness
Is the app’s content appropriate for the intended age group?
Does it have  an age-appropriate interface?
‘Does the design appeal to the intended level’

3- Instructional design
Does the app support your teaching goals?
Does it meet students learning expectations?
Does it include interactive features that allow for feedback, assessment and reflection?

4- Motivation
Is the app’s content inviting and relevant for the intended grade level ?
Does it include gaming principles and motivating methods?
Does it help students connect learning with their lifeworld experiences (e.g via GPS, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi).

5- Accessibility
Does the app multiple learning stiles?
Does the app include personalization features?
‘Does the app include a range of levels for a variety of users with differing skill levels?’