YogiPlay’s co-founder and mother of 3 kids Michal Sellin, would like to share 6 tips that parents should think about when looking for the right mobile learning apps for their kids.
1) Look for certified educational content
- As a mom, I recommend that parents do some research and read reviews from knowledgeable sites like Moms With Apps, where they take time to offer thoughtful reviews on apps based on engagement value and learning quality. While many apps say they’re “educational” in nature, the reality is that a good number of apps offer little to no learning value at all. One of the things we’ve implemented at YogiPlay is a rigorous review process for all of our apps in order to certify them for educational quality. We believe this important, as we know parents are looking to find a trusted resource that can confidently qualify any mobile app for learning value.
2) Progress reporting is important
- One thing that parents should consider before downloading an app is if that app provides some form of a learning progress feedback. As a parent, I not only want to know that an app is fun and engaging for my child, but I also would like to know how my child is progressing with the learning component of the app. Without some form of reporting, parents really have no clue if their child is actually learning. At YogiPlay, we solve this concern for parents by providing insight related to their child’s “in-app” learning progress via the YogiPlay Parent Center. In the Parent Center, parents can see how long their child has been playing, what levels they have achieved, plus where their child might have strengths or weaknesses. Then, parents can take this information and modify their app selections in order to advance their child’s learning.
3) You get what you pay for
- I would like to remind parents that when it comes to quality learning apps, free isn’t always best. In fact, many of the best learning apps cost a little bit more because of the time and investment it takes to build in the curricula and learning value. The good news is that many “paid for” apps also offer a free version for parents to test. Regardless, as a parent you always want to make sure whatever app you put in front of your child is high quality, engaging and impactful. Sometimes the best apps to meet your child’s learning needs are the ones that might cost a little more. My advice: don’t be afraid to spend the money on a good app, as your child’s development is worth it!
4) Protect your child’s privacy
- In addition, parents need to be aware that some apps come with social media integration to either Facebook or Twitter already built in. Social media enabled apps often times will promote some aspect of your child’s “in-app” play experience including scores, levels achieved or notifications of completed of tasks which are then “shared” on social sites in order to help promote the app’s market visibility. Many apps that provide social media integration will allow parents to turn off this feature. At YogiPlay, privacy is our number one concern, and we take great steps to make sure all of our customer’s data is kept private, safe and secure.
5) Challenge is good
- One thing that I like to remind parents is that if they observe their child playing the same app over and over again, this might indicate that the child has mastered that particular app’s learning content or skill level. While repetition is important to reinforce learning, children should be challenged gradually as a way to progress or enhance their knowledge. This said, we’ve built into YogiPlay recommendations that help to keep your child challenged in order to increase their knowledge, abilities and skills. Just like school, the apps you select for your child should increase in subject matter and learning complexity over time.
6) Make sure it’s fun!
- I’m sure I don’t have to remind parents about the golden rule when it comes to buying apps for their kids: you have to make sure that the app is fun! If the app isn’t fun, you won’t have a happy kid, and at the end of the day, when kids are happy then their parents are, too. Of course, the more fun a learning app is, the more time your child will spend learning!
Finally, remember that our children learn and develop quickly! As much as a child likes any one particular app, at some point he or she will master the learning objective and then the app loses it’s educational value. This said, I want to remind parents that they need to refresh their collection of apps on a regular basis to reflect and/or meet the specific needs of their child’s learning!
I hope these tips are helpful.