For example, I recently read a review that raved about a series of apps called iTooch Junior High. You can sample them for free and buy complete versions in app. I spent some time checking it out, and it seems to me that it is just a bunch of online worksheets with a quirky character that gets excited if you get the answers correct. This is the type of app that simply replaces paper and pencil or computer practice activities. Perhaps a bit better than paper and pencil because of the graphics and sounds, but really not taking advantage of all the iPad has to offer.
Just because an app is free, doesn’t make it worthwhile. I believe educators need to use a quality rubric to evaluate apps before using them with students. There are dozens of criteria to consider, including:
- Is it culturally responsive?
- Is it intuitive? Easy to figure out?
- Does it allow for differing abilities?
- Does it have accessibility features?
- Does it have ads?
- Does it support the Common Core Standards?
I have a new workshop called “Current, Best iPad Apps for Effective Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms” in which we examine a variety of quality indicators and the apps that meet them. Join me if you are in the following cities in March – Indianapolis, Atlanta, Chicago North, Chicago South and Denver.