Back in late summer, my library offered an introductory program on Mobile Apps for our patrons. Because it was successful, and we received lots of positive feedback on it, a colleague and I decided to offer another mobile apps program for our patrons, this time with an emphasis on apps for children and families. There has been a marked interest from our patrons on finding fun and educational apps for children, and this program directly addressed this growing interest.
As with the first class we offered, we opened with a basic introduction in what a mobile app was, and where to find most mobile apps. More so than a list of recommended apps, our patrons were extremely interested in places to find accurate and relevant new app reviews. We provided an extensive list of resources and “best of” lists for researching new apps. A few of our favorite sites and lists for recommended titles were:
- Common Sense Media: Detailed reviews of apps, complete with content appropriateness ratings
- Community Consolidated School District 181: an extensive guide to using iPads in a classroom environment, with recommend app lists and review sites, compiled by School District 181 in Illinois.
- Kirkus Best Book Apps of 2012 : Kirkus’s top rated Book Apps of 2012, complete with grade appropriate ratings
- School Library Journal’s App Reviews: SLJ’s blog offers in-depth reviews of a variety of mobile apps
- Teachers with Apps: Created by teachers, featuring in-depth reviews of educational apps
For apps that we recommended, we divided the content up into five basic categories: Books and Online Reading: eBook Apps/ Interactive books and Literacy Apps; Educational Apps; Entertainment Apps; Game Apps; and Just for Parents Apps. For each section, we discussed the various options available and highlighted several stellar applications.
Curious? Here’s a sampling:
Books and Online Reading: eBook Apps/ Interactive books and Literacy Apps
Just for Parents
- Choiceworks – Visual Support System with Schedule, Feelings and Waiting Picture Boards for Special Education and Autism
Do you have a favorite app for children? Let us know in the comments below!