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How do you choose apps for your learners?

Started by Chrissie Butler 16 Aug 2012 4:43pm () Replies (3)


Roxy Hickman, Assistant Principal ICT. Fairhaven School has a few iPads in her school.

Today we chatted together about how teachers make decisions about which iPad apps to use to support students learning.

We thought about the progression from "giving apps a go, based on either teacher recommendations or because "I found it the night before on the App store, had a play and thought it might work"" to the deliberate trialling of a collection of apps to support achieving specific learning outcomes for a student.

We took a look back at the eLearning Planning Framework (eLPF) and also at how US researcher Laura Campaña and her team had evaluated which apps were the most effective for a specific group of learners in their research project. 

The eLPF identifies a progression from "Emerging" where teachers make choices based on their own preferences, to 'Engaging" where teachers "deliberately trial technologies to help diverse learners.

Campaña out lines the process of the project really clearly and Roxy is going to use a similar process to  "deliberately trial" a group of iPad apps for a student in her own school.

And like Campaña, Roxy is going to ask the parents and whānau of the student to collaborate in the data gathering, so together they can work out which apps, in a specific context have the most impact on learning.


How do you make decisions about which apps to use in your school, classroom or early childhood centre?

Extra resources

Close up on Teaching and Learning dimension of eLPF

Image credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by Chrissie Butler


  • Roxy Hickman (View all users posts) 28 Nov 2012 11:47am ()



    As part of my National Aspiring Principals Programme, my inquiry ventured into how we can effectively implement iPads within special education. I used the Teaching as Inquiry Cycle with a trial group of students that you see on this Prezi (along with several videos of the students) and presented the process of my inquiry... as it continues to the whole school as every teacher will have use of an iPad in their class in 2013.

  • Chrissie Butler (View all users posts) 28 Nov 2012 4:50pm ()

    Kia ora Roxy for posting the next part of this story. It is such a useful example of moving from teacher recommendations to actually trialling a selection of the recommended apps against some agreed criteria to find the best fit to support learning in a specific context.

    I chatted today about your response to Campana's work with a group of teachers working in learning support roles in the Wellington Loop. Great that they can now see your reflections on the project.Cool

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.