You see the Pinterest image and the title is the 10 best apps for .....(fill in the blank). You hit the image to head to the site to see what they have listed.
You know what I'm talking about because you've done it. I've done it.
I've looked at various app lists made specifically for certain age groups or learning or self care needs. Now there are times, I love the list and can't wait to dive in more to what the apps offer but then there are times I’m disappointed.
I’m disappointed because I’m looking for an app to help with one very specific skill (and the list doesn’t offer this). Or the apps on the list do not provide the feedback that will help a child get their work done in the best possible way (so, it may be a 'good app' but it's not the BEST app).
That's why an app list is a great place to start but it’s not the end of your search!
So here's some steps to take when looking at an app list to help you decide when and how the apps that are helpful.
WHEN: You find an app that is better than the one you are using right now -- great -- get using it! You may like an app for a period of time, because it’s working on the skill your child needs, but when a new app comes out that offers what you’ve been really looking for -- you can't help but use this app from now on.
Here's a quick example to show you what I mean.
When I first started working with word prediction apps, the Typ-O app was the first one on the market (as far as I could see) which was great. It offered a few options that were helpful but the software for the laptops was still better for a number of reasons.
As new apps came onto the market, I was very pleased with the new word prediction apps, they were getting better and better. In fact, they were making the iPad the choice device for using word prediction --over the laptop-- due to the ease in using the apps. My app list changed, some apps were added to my list and some were removed.
WHEN: You may come across an app that you like in the list ...but it just doesn't help your child right now. That's fine. Keep track of this app and write down why you will return to the app later.
HOW: I want you to take a look at an app list and decide:
- what the apps offer and what they don't offer your child -- you'll need to look at reviews, etc.
- what app or apps will be helpful for a very specific skills that your child needs to work on
- how can an app help your child later as they develop skills
If you would like to learn more about this process of searching for apps and how to use apps as a parent you are gonna love the Learn Their Way Program. And if you are an OT and you want to design your own app list for your caseload, along with how to set up apps to make them GREAT using custom settings -- then consider joining my iPads at School Course