Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Research around using and selecting apps for literacy learning

Over the past couple of years there has been important reports and research published concerning apps and websites for literacy learning.  Many of the findings focus on the need for co-use and co-engagement through the devices, mindfully selecting apps and software that help focus on content learning and needs of individual child.  Much of this research is the basis for the engagement strand of the Triple E Framework that our preservice teachers use at the University of Michigan to design lesson plans with apps and websites.

A few reports that I think are incredibly useful to better understand what to look for in apps for early literacy learning include:

Where to search for apps and websites?

The majority of apps labeled for "education" have no research, literacy experts or co-use strategies to inform the development of the tool.  Thus, it is risky to assume something is educational just by the arbitrary label in app stores.  Rather than going to the Google Play or iTunes store where it is labeled "education", there are better places to search for high quality apps and websites.  The two places to I commonly go to search for websites and apps for learning are Graphite (Common Sense Media) and The Children's Tech Review.

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