The advancement of technology has paved extraordinary and interesting teaching practices inside the classroom. Since there is a huge availability of educational apps, school is investing a lot in mobile apps (can be used in Android tablets, iPads and RM Slates) to utilize it creatively under their interest of subjects.
On the other hand, the dilemma that many of the parents and teachers face is in finding out what comprises in developmentally suitable apps to encourage as well as support learning with young children.
As per the academic research, the guidelines are discussed below, that are found to be a good initial point when choosing apps to incorporate into classroom settings:
- Look for the apps that are transparent, interactive and intuitive – Predominantly, in cases where the application chosen should provide for both ‘transparency and interactivity’ in which their functions ought to be undoubtedly intuitive and defined. This considers the design of the application transparency as well as the child’s intuitiveness, where if the kid touches the screen or pad, with the purpose to zoom in and out of focus, the application completes the evidently defined task by just a single operation.
Efficient interactivity in usage of apps should cheer children to be more hands-on and brains-on, empowering and engaging, and be able to offer the child absolute control in order to support the kid’s learning potential.
- Choose apps that are educational and purposeful – While they can be enjoyable or fun, the applications utilized within a classroom (or even at home) must be developed with clarity and contain apparent learning aims.
- Encourage the students to stay in control – The young students must be in control when utilizing the application and not vice versa where the app is controlling the student via some kind of programmed education. Where there is confirmation to recommend that programmed software would be ‘effective’ in developing various literacy and mathematical skills, this technique is different from popular notions of good practices.
More effectual apps which provide multiple solutions to a particular problem are more suitable and where there is a real challenge for the kid to simplify a problem. In the case of a mathematical app and young children, watch out for apps that contain timers attached within them.
- Choose apps that can reinforce the school and home connections – Bridge the school and home environment in a way that the chosen app can be transferred from home to school devoid of any additional expenses for the guardian or parents.
Schools also account that children put a more optimistic attitude towards learning and are finely behaved. Through bridging the school and home environment, and modelling the effectual utilization of learning with the chosen app, parents or guardians can better inform the ‘teachers’ who can further expand the classroom learning within chosen activities at home.
- Look for apps that can encourage collaboration between the parents/facilitator/teacher and child – While this is particularly essential in the early years between that of child and teacher; this is less helpful in the initial years, where the teacher perform more role of a facilitator. While many applications can offer for independent exploration, studies reveals that more collaborative working as well as ‘engaged joint attention’ can take superior cognitive challenges.
- Avoid applications that enclose any indication of stereotyping or violence – As with any latest forms of technology, the selected apps ought to be ‘tasteful as well as appropriate in content’ to substantiate for its use inside the educational program. Avoid applications with images that resemble aggressive activities which enclose images of weaponry. Be excessively cautious and much clear of stereotypical actions and images related to ethnicity, social class and gender distinctions.
The plethora of applications accessible can cause much mystification in understanding what will benefit kids the most when utilized within a learning setting. In the present era of variety, it is both important and necessary to monitor the apps. The six points mentioned above will assist to initiate the selection procedure.
The ORATARO is known for having a huge variety of such kinds of quality educational apps. Hopefully, the highlighted information is useful to you.