• 3.6  Strategies for Finding Good Apps
    DIRECTIONS: Please view the video below to learn about strategies for finding good apps in the app store.
    After viewing the video, please continue down the page to access information on other ways to find quality apps for use in education.

    Unable to see the videos below? If you are currently at a GISD campus attempting to view this page on an iPad, please follow these instructions to bypass the Lightspeed Filter:
    • Click here. A new tab will open in your web browser.
    • In the new tab, click Not you? in the top left corner of the page.
    • Login with your GISD computer username and password.
    • Close the new tab.
    • Refresh this page. You will now be able to view the videos below.



    Evaluating Apps for Quality

    As a teacher, you have good instincts about what quality educational experiences look like for your kids, but thinking about apps might be something new to you. You don't want to get bogged down in checking for every minute detail in an app, but you also want to be confident that the app is going to benefit your students.
    • Educational Apps Checklists Every Teacher Should Have is a place you might want to visit. Download one or two checklists to familiarize yourself with what you might want to look for in an app, especially if you are considering purchasing an app.
    • If you want to see how an app works without trying to figure out from scratch, you can try searching YouTube for demonstrations of or tutorials on the app. A video preview might give you an idea if the app is worth trying. This is also a useful approach if you are considering buying an app, because you can get a preview before spending any money.
    Resources for Finding Apps in Addition to the Apple App Store
    Remember, just because an app is included in one of the resources listed below does not mean you should take the recommendation at face value! Be sure to use the techniques suggested in the video above as well as in the Evaluating Apps for Quality section above. 
    • Lists of recommended apps are abundant on the web. Below are a few examples of places you can find apps that others have already reviewed and/or categorized. Keep in mind, not all of the apps listed will be free.

      You may wish to access the recommended resources below from Safari on your iPad, because if you find an app you want to investigate further, often you can tap on it and be taken directly to its information in the App Store. 

      • TCEA Recommended Apps - A comprehensive list from the Texas Computer Education Association organized by subject area.
      • Best Apps, Games, & Websites for Learning - Common Sense Media has "...sifted through the vast sea of products out there and have rated and reviewed each one based on its learning potential." You can search a database of apps by age, subject, and skill.
      • iPad Apps Listed by Objective - Suggests apps based on what you or your students need to be able to do.
      • Teachers With Apps - This website is run by two educators who field-test apps with a cross-section of students and teachers as part of their review process. The site leans heavily toward elementary apps, but there are middle and high school apps as well. The Reviews page has all of their latest reviews and the Categories page lists all previous reviews by age/grade range.
      • App-Sharing Pinterest Board - This one is from Lisa Johnson, an educational technologist in Eanes ISD. It has links to more apps lists.



     Next After viewing the videos and reviewing the information above, please proceed to section 3.7-3.10 App Organization.



Last Modified on January 8, 2019