10 Selecting mobile applications
In the last section of this course, you will find out about how to choose interactive forms of media such as mobile applications for children. Again this set of recommendations emerged from a synthesis of studies that tested mobile apps with children and identified what hinders or facilitates learning (Falloon, 2013; Herodotou, 2017).
- Select apps that narrate or explain concepts and processes.
- Select apps that have highlight functions, as this can support in particular reading skills.
- Select apps that are not very restrictive and allow children to perform a variety of tasks.
- Select apps that are becoming increasingly more difficult (various levels of difficulty).
- Select apps that present concepts in multiple ways (such as real life examples, symbols, Arabic numbers).
- Select apps that give feedback to what the child is doing on the screen such as they model the correct answer or help the child reflect and find the correct answer.
- Select apps that combine text or images with speech (especially if your child does not know how to read yet).
- Select apps that your child can understand and use. If your child does not understand or cannot use the app, then select another app that is more appropriate to the age and skills of your child.
- Think and do activities that relate to the app when your children is not interacting with it such as repeat a task orally or ask similar questions using new concepts (numbers, colours, etc.).
- Avoid apps that have advertisements and buying content.
- Use the apps alongside your child. You should make sure you comment on the content of the app and not features such as advertisements and pop-up windows.