Have you ever heard about an app or program and decided to use it with your students only to find out there are limitations which prevent you from using it? Or you began using the app with students only to find out it would not work for your class or purpose? Do you have to have your app or programs approved by the IT department before you can have them unblocked?
What can you do in the future to make limit these issues? One of the best ways to avoid these issues is to utiilize an app evaluate tool to determine whether the app fits your purpose. By completing an evaluation of the app, you can go to your IT director or principal with an argument for unblocking your app or to explain how you are going to use the app or program.
Many different app evaluation tools are available. I chose to use Tony Vincent’s Educational App Rubric. Here is an screenshot of my evaluation of Book Creator, an app which I used to create my book, Snow Day.
App selection and evaluation by each grade level team could be the best option for evaluating and determining whether apps are valuable learning tools for working with their students. Grade level teams could then share their evaluations with other grade level teams, so those teams can determine whether the app would work for their team. Ideally, for the benefit of time and expediency, I would love to see a teacher be able to evaluate a tool, try it with students, and share with others if they find it valuable. However, some districts require going through the IT coordinator or department.
I am not saying the IT coordinator or department should be left out of the loop, but I don’t think they need to be the only party making the decisions about which apps to allow and which to exclude.
What are your experiences with app selection? Who evaluates and determines which apps are a valuable resource and which apps are not valuable? Please share your experiences, feedback, and ideas about app evaluation and selection in the comments or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org