As many kids get to use mobile gadgets for games and other activities, it is imperative to offer them apps that are educative and at the same time entertaining. Unfortunately, many apps in the market that are considered educative are quite boring; some are fun to use but they don’t teach anything.
For you to be sure that your kids are getting the best apps you need to observe the following:
Do your own research
Do not just believe what the app builders claim; they may not be educationists. Do your own research; there is no substitute for this. Fortunately, there are sites that can help you by recommending apps that are already recommended by experts.
These sites include Balefire Labs, Common Sense Media, etc. You can also check Children’s Technology Review Exchange.
Consult a teacher
If you are not sure whether a given app is right, you better consult a teacher, especially if the teacher is up to speed with technology. Some teachers will help you by reviewing the apps or recommending some for you.
If your school has a technology coordinator, they can also be the best resource persons.
Try the app yourself
By trying the app yourself you can see whether it is suitable for your kid. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for the app, but the benefit of trying it out far outweighs the expense. You do not want to give your kid an app that may end up interfering with his/her academic work.
Another problem with this is that what may be appealing to you might be quite boring to your kid. The best thing to do might be to let them try in out then have a conversation with them later.
And while testing the app, try to find out what it does when you get your answer wrong. An app that only gives a feedback that the answer is wrong may not be very effective. A good app will give tips and guide the user on how to get the correct answer.
Finally, you need to find out what exactly the app is teaching your kid. It is not just a matter of playing and getting correct answers. The ultimate goal should be to help your kid learn something new.