One certainty about a child’s schooling is that it does not end after school. The need to forge home-school connections is critical to support a student’s social and academic success. At Magic Years, we have come to learn that one way to build partnerships between home and school is through digital learning. Educational apps on tablets, iPads, and smartphones are a great way to extend learning to home, especially when students can make their learning visible with families.
Students have come to appreciate that smartphones and tablets do not have to be used exclusively for gaming, but rather have significant educational value. Below is a listing of apps for your iPhone, iPad, and Android device that through experience we have found to be beneficial in enhancing student learning. Many of these apps your child may already be comfortable with, and others are great to explore and discover together as a family.
Below is a list of educational apps we use at Magic Years. Click on the app title to read the description of the app and find links to both Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores. There are other apps that we use, but these were the best apps that would also be great for extended learning at home.
Do you know better apps? Our Digital Learning and Innovation Team would love to hear about it!
At Magic Years we support Mother Tongue. This is accomplished in part with books, online apps, and through our parent networks. Here are some Thai apps that help support Thai language learning for Thais and foreigners.
Do you know other apps that support Thai Language or other languages? Our Digital Learning and Innovation Team would love to hear about it!
Choosing Educational Apps
If you are searching for ideal Educational Apps, we recommend you first search online for reviews. You can compare and contrast features and pricing. Many apps may appear free, but come with ads or in-app purchases.
After choosing an app, install it, and begin to use it right away. Although you may be tempted to download apps in bulk, it is important that children take the time to explore and investigate the app before moving on to another app. This teaches patience, focus and perseverance. If the app does not provide educational value, then choose to uninstall it so that memory space becomes available again. Often, many apps serve the same purpose, so find the one that is right for your child.
Not all apps are created equal. Some will entertain your child for only a short while, others will heavily promote in-app purchases. Of course, age-appropriate apps are another important consideration.
It should also be noted that at this age, socialization and creativity are key. Apps are a great tool and resource, but it will not replace real-life interaction, and if used improperly or overused, can be detrimental to a child’s development (Prof Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Dr. Richard House, 2015).
Monitoring Technology Usage
Monitoring your child’s use of apps is important. You may want to set a time limit for their usage. OurPact, a screen time management app, is helpful to manage usage and to monitor device habits. Together with your child, decide how much time they are allowed to have. Children will then demonstrate ownership in managing their time effectively, and also learn that using a mobile device is a privilege and there are consequences for making inappropriate choices.
If you have any question about the use of technology at home, please feel free to contact our school’s Digital Learning and Innovation team. Also, if you have any recommended apps to add to our list, please do share it with us as we are always eager to learn.
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- Mobile and Interactive Media Use by Young Children: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown
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- The Role of ICT in the PYP
- Karmiloff-Smith, P., & House, D. (2015). ICT – for & Against: Toddlers, TV and Touchscreens. Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news-analysis/1153820/ict-for-against-toddlers-tv-and-touchscreens
- International Baccalaureate Organization. (2009). The role of ICT, Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education.