From a very young age children have access to the use of digital devices. With thousands of apps added each week, it is difficult to keep track of what applications are developed. Growing attention is being paid to the role of digital devices as having a potential for learning and development. Developers have created thousands of educational apps, in fact there are over 650,000 apps available targeted at children. In 2012, findings revealed that 80% of the top selling paid applications in the education category targeted pre-school children. This reveals an abundance of apps for this age range and the equivalence of parents ready to purchase these apps for their children. Selecting appropriate applications can be overwhelming, so I’ve put together some strategies that can help to select appropriate applications for your child.
Read reputable reviews: It is important to refer to websites, such ashttp://www.bestkidsapps.com/ that provide a review of applications for children. Such sites also divide applications according to age-range, operating device and category. Installing these recommended apps will put your mind at rest that experts have approved them.
Look at the details of the application before installing it: Each app provides information about the developer, the category that the application falls under and the age rating. Using applications that are age-appropriate will be more enjoyable for your child. The following is a list of the most popular categories that are searched for.
See other applications from the same company: If you find an application that you and your child enjoy look up the name of the company to find out if there are any other applications developed by the same company. The chances are that they will have a whole range of other applications that are useful.
Vodafone has made Digital Parenting easier by putting together all their resources in an easily accessible website and Facebook page. Visit www.ibrowsesafely.com.mt for practical information and advice about how to take informed decisions and protect the delicate balance of online safety and mobile freedom.
Veronica Montanaro is a Speech and Language Pathologist who practices as a Clinical Specialist in Alternative and Augmentative Communication. Ms Montanaro specialised in Language and Communication Impairment in Children at the University of Sheffield. She also addresses seminars for parents and children who benefit from Alternative and Augmentative Communication, carries out training for professionals interested in the area and offers consultancy in language development in young children. She is also a visiting assisting lecturer at the University of Malta.