I spent time researching app discovery tools over winter break. Here are a few sites that caught my attention:
AppoLearning website and mobile app
I like the large breakdown of categories on the AppoLearning website, to the point where you can find apps for specific areas like “current events” or “nutrition”. My only question is how often this resource is updated, because on the Human Body section they are missing TinyBop’s latest app. AppoLearning has crowd-sourced app lists in the Community Picks section: https://applists.appolearning.com/app_lists. Their mobile app is free, and available here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id677855414?mt=8.
“Graphite” from Common Sense Media Education
Graphite enables app searches by curated “top lists”, age, subject and platform. While doing a few searches on the site, I really liked the user interface, but several times I found writing apps in the math area. Otherwise, what stands out is their effort to map apps to the Common Core standards. More information about the app mapping is available here: http://www.graphite.org/blog/5-ways-graphite-helps-teachers-implement-common-core-state-standards.
Edshelf Discovery Engine
Edshelf is a search and discovery platform for education tools. This includes apps, websites, and other electronic products. In addition to the ability to browse by subject and keyword, you can also search collections, or join the community to start your own collection. I initially heard of Edshelf through the Imagine K12 startup accelerator, and am glad to see their product offering coming along. Looks like all they need is a mobile app.
Kids’ App Sites, Blogs, Memberships, Newsletters & Promotions
Despite the research, I still find value in bloggers who turned their sites into helpful databases of apps and app reviews. This includes (but is not limited to) Appymall, Digital Storytime (along with their new Web App for searching apps), TeachersWithApps, The iMums, PappasAppar (Swedish), Best Apps for Kids, Best Kids Apps, and of course our very own Moms With Apps members, and weekly App Friday promotion (which now hosts the Jellybean Tunes App Report). In fact, both the App Friday Mobile App, and the App Report, categorize apps by subject to assist with app discovery.
For a quick sample of the “app conversation”, don’t forget Twitter
Scanning twitter hashtags such as #edchat, #ipaded, #edapp, #edapps, and #appfriday can highlight the latest app news and views on any given day.