Apps are a great way to engage with students. They provide fun ways to revisit many of the concepts that are being taught in the classroom. It is vital that when selecting apps, parents demonstrate to their children how to select and download apps that are appropriate. There are so many great applications out there and I urge all parents to spend a small amount of time to find apps that they believe would be beneficial for their children.
In Kindergarten apps are a great way to support the development of literacy and numeracy skills. Any app that requires students to recognise sight words and/or read basic sentences is fantastic. For numeracy, apps that promote counting, grouping and problem solving are great. It is also recommended to get some apps that help the development of fine motor skills.
Examples: Reading Eggs, Eggy100 ABC Magic, Count with Me, Number Fun, Mathletics, Fruit Ninja
In Years 1 and 2, apps start to become more niche and begin to focus on particular skills. If parents/teachers notice any areas that require support, apps are an excellent way of reaching students. As with Kindergarten, anything that requires the practise of literacy and numeracy skills in a fun way is recommended. In Year 1 and 2, students want to be able to communicate to the world so presentation apps are also useful.
Examples: Popplet, Lino, Methletics, REad with Me, Fractions, Bible Trivia
Year 3 and 4 students are beginning to develop skills of independence when using devices in that they desire to take more ownership. It is critical at this point that students become involved in the app selecting process so that parents can model how to evaluate what is appropriate. For academic support, many word games and math games will support what is happening in the classroom.
Examples: Memory, Word Families, Words Search, Toontastic, Auditory Memory
Year 5 and 6 students must begin to take responsibility for the apps on their devices. It is important that parents build a structure of support around the use of IT that works for their family situation. It is at this stage that many students begin to develop skills that focus on the creative rather than the responsive.
Examples: iMovie, Lightbot, Docs, Google Drive