Will Angry Birds really teach my kids principles of physics?

May 11, 2012 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years

In this age of digital distraction, parents who use the apps on their smartphones and iPads to occupy their children while they are running errands, on the phone or doing any number of tasks are less likely to feel guilty if the apps are educational.

This revelation comes from a small study we came across thanks to a colleague at Education Speaks, who blogged about it.

While we find the study interesting, we wondered how many educational apps are out there since we are not yet smartphone owners. Turns out there are quite a few – thousands, in fact. While we are big believers in face-to-face educational time with your child, we appreciate that sometimes you simply need to get things done. So we view these apps as a win-win – your child can have fun learning, and you can get done what needs getting done.

Whether you’re already app connected or about to purchase a smartphone or iPad, be sure to test an app before downloading/purchasing to make sure it is suitable for your child’s motor skills. Tasks should be challenging but doable. Check content to be sure it’s not over-stimulating, scary, violent or vulgar.

It’s a good idea to review the new app with your child to reduce potential frustration and help them understand how it works: the goal, the strategy and the rules.

We came across the following resources to help you decide on age-appropriate apps:

  • Commonsensemedia.org – The nonprofit site offers reviews and advice on age-appropriate apps for kids.
  • IEAR.org – This website for the nonprofit I Education Apps Review offers teacher and student reviews of educational apps.
  • BestKidsApps.com – This site provides descriptions and ratings for apps by age and category.

Many apps are free, and some cost up to $10, but most are in the $1 to $5 range.

Do you have a favorite educational app? Share it with our readers on Facebook!


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