Which is the best educational app
Recognize pedagogically valuable apps and integrate them sensibly into everyday kindergarten life - information, tips and criteria for good children's apps
An app is application software or a program. We'd like to focus on apps for Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets focus. Apps can be downloaded very easily and often free of charge or for a few euros from special app stores on the Internet. Installation and operation of these programs are usually simple and self-explanatory, which explains their widespread use and popularity and makes them interesting even for the youngest.
The range of apps for children starts at two-year-olds and ranges from games with pure entertainment value to games of skill, animated "picture books" and "coloring books" to special learning apps and creative apps.
How do I recognize good kids apps?
The Gigantic selection apps make it difficult to find your way around and to discover really good programs that are fun and / or educational. In addition varies the offer depending on the operating system (e.g. Android, iOS). Therefore, it is best to contact Portals to turn who present and rate different apps or present particularly valuable children's apps. In addition to brief descriptions of the content, age recommendations and helpful information on usability, device compatibility and the cost of selected apps are usually provided there. Appropriate Left do you think ...? Find at the end of the article!
Some points to consider when choosing:
- The content of the apps should be meaningfully integrated into the children's everyday lives.
- The topic should - in terms of content, amount of information, playing time and navigation - correspond to the level of development of the children. Different levels of difficulty make it possible to meet individual needs.
- Animations should be designed in an appealing way, set sensibly and not distract too much from the actual content.
- Especially with children who cannot read and write yet, voice-supported instructions or narrative voices are essential for independent use of the app.
- It should be easy to navigate using clear symbols.
- Always make sure that advertising is being displayed, that in-app purchases are enabled and which personal data is being requested!
In order to be able to make a final decision, it is always advisable to test apps yourself beforehand. The most important question that you as a teacher should ask yourself and according to which you should choose apps, however, is: What learning effect should be achieved?
For the selection of apps for educational work, this is Learning objective Decisive: Should the children learn certain techniques, deal in depth with a topic that is currently being dealt with or be made familiar with the use of the medium?
In addition, it must be considered which function the app should take over in the learning process: should it illustrate content and convey information, be a tool for designing your own products or primarily serve for entertainment?
Using apps alone has nothing to do with media education. A sensible use of apps can only happen where apps are in a didactic concept are integrated, which should always be determined before the selection of a suitable app - and not the other way around!
If you want to work with apps, you have to be familiar with the Topics of data protection and cost traps deal with.
Many apps are free, but collect your personal data in return. Before you can install an app, you will be asked to accept various Data access - such as your location, your phone book, your saved photos, etc. - asked. Think about whether the required authorizations are really necessary for the app to function! Weigh up between the use of the app and the disclosure of your privacy and, if in doubt, do without the installation!
Cost traps result from so-called In-app purchasesthat can often be done within free apps - e.g. to get the full version with all features.
Various security settingsthat can be made via the device settings can provide a remedy:
- In order to prevent apps from accessing personal data such as the address book or the location, which are used for personalized advertising, for example, it can be set directly on the device which data access should and should not be allowed.
- Many apps work without a connection to the internet. In this case, interrupt the Internet connection or use the device in "airplane mode" so that in-app purchases, displaying advertisements or downloading additional apps are not possible in the first place.
- In the Google Play Store you can set up filters for apps that can be downloaded and a password for purchases in the menu under "Settings - User control".
Last but not least, it is important to be with the children about the dangers to speak and rules together for dealing with mobile devices, apps and the internet to set up.
To the MeKi article:
The tablet in kindergarten
Tablet, buttons and symbols
To the app tips on MeKi:The app tips on MeKi are aimed specifically at educators, as the learning opportunities offered as well as ideas for meaningful use in kindergarten are always presented.
TheCriteria catalogfor good children's apps of the MEDIA LITERACY LAB lists questions that are important and useful for the evaluation of apps for children from an educational point of view.
Saferinternet.at offers FAQs, tips, videos and materials and brochures for download on the subject of mobile phones and tablets.
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