As a part of my consultation post, I touched on the fact that as school psychologists we don’t have to know all of the best apps, nor do we have the time to be experts on the best apps but we should know where to find reliable information about apps. This is the same skill set as knowing where to find resources to share with parents about depression or anxiety, information about research-based interventions, etc., is applicable to assistive technology resources (low tech to high tech).
I promise I don’t spend hours combing through iTunes finding the latest and greatest apps but I stay tuned in to resources that have proven to me to be reliable sources. Here are some of the places I find great App information.
I Educational App Reviews (iEAR )- www.iear.org
iEAR provides app reviews written by teachers. Imagine that, educational apps reviewed by teachers. They also have a group of app reviews done by students. I find the reviews to be honest and thus helpful. I also find that the do a great job of “tagging” their posts so they have lists of topics, app content areas, grade levels, etc. to help you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily
iTeach Special Education – iDevices in Special Education (Facebook group) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/iTeachSpecialEducation/
iTeach Special Education is a Facebook group so you need to have a Facebook account if you want to subscribe to their group. This is a group of educators and parents working to integrate iDevices in to their work with special education students. Great resources and information is shared within this group. I’ve posted questions about apps in this group and on Twitter and received responses back which helped me decide whether I wanted to purchase an app or not.
AppyMall – www.appymall.com
Now a word of caution about AppyMall, they promote any and all education apps and sometimes the app they promote are junk. What I do like about AppyMall is that they’ve started putting collections of apps together by professionals such as Speech and Language Pathologists. So while I take each app they discuss with a grain of salt I tend to think the apps they review and promote in their app collections are good sources of information. Another thing AppyMall does well is the share when apps go on sale. AppyMall also has a facebook group which is a great way to keep up on sales and giveaways that are sometimes only available for hours.
So I found an app I like, now I buy it right?
When I’m considering purchasing an app I usually go a step further an read AppStore reviews but a word of caution about AppStore reviews. For better or worse some app developers pay for reviews. I’m typically skeptical when an app has 6 or 11 reviews that say about the same thing and are all 4 or 5 stars. I find value in apps that have a range of reviews because it tells me real people reviewed the app and I also know and value that everyone has different opinions and this would apply to apps as well.
Look for a Part 2 post in the coming days for additional places I find information about Apps and resources.