In the March 2014 issue of NAEYC’s Young Children, Eugene Geist shared his thoughts on using tablet computers with toddlers and young preschoolers. In the article, he shared four questions to ask one’s self when selecting apps for young students. They are:
How open-ended is the activity? How creative does it allow the child to be? An app should allow children to explore in many different ways—to create, build, animate, and construct. Choose apps that enable children to be creative, such as free-form drawing and painting programs, over those that are simply digital coloring books.
How interactive is the activity? Look for apps that invite children to be engaged by making decisions or choices. Avoid apps that are little more than small video display screens.
How informative is the app? Some apps help children learn about specific topics of interest in ways that empower their investigative process. For example, if a child is interested in construction machines, trucks, and tractors, apps with information and videos about these vehicles can encourage a child to find out more through other methods of investigation.
Does the app promote peer or teacher–child interaction? Apps that promote peers playing and working together or that allow for teacher–child interactions can benefit children’s social skills as the children gain from others’ ideas and assistance.
Read the full article here: Using Tablet Computers with Toddlers and Young Preschoolers
What things do you consider when choosing new apps for your students to interact with? Share your ideas in the comments.