Choosing apps for children of different ages and with different interests can be challenging. Dr. Katie Paciga, Fred Rogers Fellow and Assistant Professor of Education, shares some of the trusted sources she uses when looking for reviews on the best apps for children as well as other information related to using technology with children.
Common Sense Media reviews apps and allows you to sort by age group.
The School Library Journal reviews apps and other technology for children.
Carissa Christner reviews apps for kids regularly for the Madison Public Library.
Dr. Katie Paciga, Fred Rogers Fellow and Assistant Professor of Education, shares some things to consider when choosing e-books or storytelling apps.
When looking for e-books consider if there are different types of menu options such as “read to me”, “read and play”, “read by myself” which will offer flexibility for different ages and reading levels. Print tracking is another option that is excellent for emergent or beginning readers to draw attention to the words as they are being read. Check to see that any interactive elements relate to the story line and aren’t arbitrary, such that they draw attention away from the story or cause confusion. An option to record narration of the story can also be great for supporting children’s creativity.
Features of storytelling apps that are important to look for include the option to import images from the camera roll and the ability to use the keyboard or a finger for adding writing/text. The option to audio record so that the story can be told by the child’s voice rather than only by printed or written text makes a storytelling app more appropriate for a broad range of ages.