The commercials for Apple's iPod and iPhone products boast that there are more than 100,000 applications, or apps, available to load on the mobile devices. At the touch of a finger, the apps will launch interactive maps on Google Earth, translate a foreign phrase, or link you to an audio library of thousands of classic texts.
The increasing availability of free or cheap apps for education have made the devices a popular choice among some techie teachers, and even helped some schools and districts move toward 1-to-1 computing. But with 100,000 apps out there, how's a teacher to find, review, and decide which ones will work best with students?
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop recently released a content analysis of the education section of the Apple Apps Store to help answer that question.
The "iLearn" report, by Carly Shuler, looks at the 100 top-selling education apps and codes them by the age-group they target, the subject they address, and their price. It does not assess their quality or effectiveness.
Nearly half of the education apps are geared toward young childrenthose in preschool and the elementary gradeswhile most are designed for adult learners.
The 10-page report states that it is intended to serve as a benchmark of the current apps market, with others to follow as the number and range of products grows.