Choosing an app for your child can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to an educational app. You want something that your kid will find both educative and entertaining. Well, most apps out there are programmed to fulfill only one particular need.
App developers are always working overtime to supply their clients with the most resourceful applications. But the fact that an app is professionally-designed with the user in mind does not make it immune from abuse. There are cases abound of hackers trying to access sensitive information from app users. Some online merchants may also infiltrate apps with unsolicited ads.
So, how can you choose an educational app for your child and manage to stay safe from these concerns?
1. Who Is the Developer?
An educational app is quite different from entertainment or sports apps. Therefore, it pays to establish the integrity and reputation of the developer before choosing the app.
Most parents would settle for familiar developers out there. That is perfectly alright if they are well-reputed, and their works are peer-reviewed. But as you may already know, there is one common drawback to purchasing an educational app from familiar developers – the lack of specialization.
The big brands out there are mostly focused on creating apps for post-GCSE students and do not often give much attention to younger children. If looking for an app that is inclined towards young children, you might consider developers like PBS Kids.
2. What Educational Needs Does the App Fulfill?
Educational applications for young ones must be designed to fulfill specific needs. They should not come in a one-size-fits-all kind of package.
As a parent, you must establish how you would like your kid to benefit from the app. That means liaising with teachers to help uncover the child’s areas of weakness.
You will come across numerous apps for playful learning on Android that are programmed for children with reading difficulties. You will also bump into applications that seek to help your child with numbers and arithmetic. Besides, there are those that offer help across the full spectrum. Just ensure you choose what will address your kid’s specific weak areas.
3. Are There Distractions?
Distractions are not expressly bad. Your child needs to be distracted from time to time, as it helps them freshen up. But when it comes to educational apps, certain distractions could reverse all the gains your child may have already made.
Child-inclining ads frequently popping up might throw your kid off balance. Examples of ads to avoid are the sexually-suggestive ones, as well as those that promote violence. Besides, shun apps which come with advertisements that try to push children stuff.
If the app should feature any ad at all, it should be the kind that challenges your child to work harder. Maybe an ad in a school setting depicting how teachers reward academic excellence and good behavior. Should there be any underlying commercial motive behind the ad, it should not be too apparent to the kid.
4. Does It Protect Your Child’s Privacy?
Privacy is an important consideration when buying an educational app for children. It is okay if the app only asks for your child’s name and age, as these cannot benefit hackers in any way. However, be wary if it goes deeper than that.
The law requires that apps designed for children below 13 years be compliant with COPPA. So, when buying an educational app, always look for a Coppa-compliance guarantee in the product’s description.
Besides being Coppa-compliant, the app should also come with features that enable the child to report any suspicious activities. Be it bullying, sexual harassment, or other kinds of unbecoming conduct. That way, the app managers can take appropriate actions on the offenders.
5. Is It Entertaining?
Now, it may sound paradoxical that you want an educational app for your kid also to be entertaining. But at the very minimum, your kid must enjoy using the app. For young kids, educational stuff can be quite boring. Therefore, it pays to spice things a bit by ensuring the experience is also fun.
And when it comes to choosing apps based on how entertaining they are, you should begin right from the hardware. What sort of device does the kid use, and does he like it? There are many apps for playful learning on iPhone, but if your kid finds the handset boring or hard to use, he will not enjoy using the app either. Secondly, what interface does the app come with? Is it easy to grasp and does the kid find it interactive? Lastly, is the app itself fun to use?
Most importantly, you should distinguish between entertainment and distractions. Instead of going for apps with many ad inclusions, examine whether the lessons offered are interactive and thought-provoking
Getting an educational app for children is not a walk in the park. But if you desire the best for your kid, you will be prepared to go the full length in getting them an appropriate app. Emily’s Pics & Sounds is an excellent place to start if planning to get a functional educational app for your kid.