If youâre like us, you see an explosion of cool iPhones and iPads and Android phones. You see a dizzying variety of apps to download. And you know that kids LOVE these new technologies.
For those of you who are parents reading this, how many times have you handed your iphone to your child while on the plane, in the car, waiting in line at the supermarket? (Thereâve been studies on this, that suggest we do it more than we think!)
Donât you wish you could keep them engaged using your iPhone with something that actually helped them LEARN?
Or better yet, think about the potential these relatively new technologies have to open up a new way of interacting with learning â whether itâs supporting basic reading or math concepts or opening up the wonders of nature or stars and the galaxy. Or, picture kids building robots in 3-D, designing buildings, mixing colors, composing music.
Of course, the real world has lots of great ways to learn about all of these things. Technology can support and ENHANCE Â that real world learning.
Our mission is to make sure that parents and educators know which apps are educational and which arenât, which keep kids engaged and which bore them to tears. And, we want to encourage developers to build great stuff that turns kids on to learning.
Weâd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts with us about the learning potential of education apps for kids.
Mind Leap is so lucky to have fabulous guest reviewers!Â We thank them for sharing their expertise with the Mind Leap community and for their excellent reviews. Interested in becoming a guest reviewer?Â Here’s what you need to do.
As Head of Libraries and Technology at The Key School in Annapolis,Â MD, Marilyn Meyerson has led a Kindergarten thru grade 12 iPad initiative for theÂ past two years, which involves a great deal of collaboration with colleagues to identify and select age-appropriate, curriculum enriching apps.Â During her twenty-eight year career, she has taught research skills, promoted reading and early literacy skills and worked as a curriculum developer. She has also developed and taught a popular Upper School electiveÂ called Media Wise in which students explore all types of media and acquire the critical skills necessary to analyze and understand its messages. She currently freelances for an online childrenâs encyclopedia.
Elizabeth has been a preschool teacher in New Jersey for the past four years, and freelances for her local newspaper.Â Â She is the mother of a lively five and an almost three year old who are both very proficient at using her iPad!
Mind Leap Helps Parents and Teachers Navigate Educational Apps
OAKLAND, CA, February 14, 2012 â Mind Leap (www.mindleaptech.com) has launched its Educational App Navigator, a site dedicated to helping parents and teachers easily find and select educational apps for kids. Mind Leap puts a spotlight for parents and teachers on the apps that are doing it right, and supports the development of deeper, richer educational experiences that keep kids engaged and learning. Mind Leap acts as a clearinghouse for educational apps, organizing them by grade level (PK-Middle School) and subject for easy navigation, and only includes reviews of apps that are truly educational. If Mind Leapâs reviewers donât find educational value in an app, they wonât review it for the site.
Mind Leap was founded by moms and educators who have already demonstrated their commitment to kidsâ education by co-founding a school in Oakland, CA — Escuela BilingĂźe Internacional (EBI) — because they didnât find the type of education they wanted for their kids. EBI is now in its sixth year of operation, boasts more than 220 students, and has received the coveted International Baccalaureate accreditation. After working so closely together to get EBI off the ground, they came together again to address another educational gap with the creation of Mind Leap.
âWe initially founded Mind Leap because we had a hard time weeding through the thousands of âeducational appsâ to find the ones that were age appropriate, focused in certain areas, and, frankly, really had any educational value,â says co-founder and former teacher, Heather Barber. âWe figured we couldnât be alone in our desire to know which apps were actually educational and to be able to find them with just a few clicks.â
Mind Leapâs Educational App Navigator assesses apps in three areas.
- Educational value â Does learning happen when the app is used?
- Engagement factor â Are kids engaged in the app, do they like it and want to use it?
- Shelf life â Do kids want to use the app again and again?
A detailed description of what it means to be rated one- through five-stars can be found on their site, which helps parents and educators interpret the ratings.
The mission of Mind Leap is to influence the field of educational apps, to drive the development of quality apps that really leverage the best of todayâs technology. By mapping the field of educational apps with their Educational App Navigator, Mind Leap helps developers identify the gaps in the current offerings, as well as the possibilities that exist to really get kidsâ minds working.
heather at mindleaptech dot com