Key questions you can ask when deciding whether an app is or isn’t appropriate for a child’s educational purposes

** Before I start, I’d like to make sure that it is understood that I'm being neither a digital optimist nor pessimist. I believe that decisions you make about digital technology for your child (e.g., when and how you introduce technology to your child) should be made based on your family’s unique situation, your beliefs, educational expectations, comfort levels, etc.


          I am currently taking a course about "Childhood in the Digital Age" (I know I am a nerd and my hobby is taking courses 😊). I thought it might be really useful for some parents since many of us can admit that sometimes we let our children use our smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. You may have a love/hate relationship with technology since it can entertain your child and has some educational outcomes, but at the same time, you are worried about all the negative consequences you have heard or read about. In fact, parents have often told me that they are not sure if they should feel proud of it or ashamed of it when I am amazed by how good their child is at using a smartphone. Beyond these mixed feelings, you may feel that it is almost impossible to segregate your child in a contemporary society to use digital technology completely. You may also want to find the best ways to use it. So, this is a list of questions you can ask yourself when choosing some apps to download for your child.

  • What skills and experiences does the app facilitate? Open-ended apps are likely to offer creative opportunities, especially those which enable children to develop their skills incrementally through images, video, text and sounds.
  • Does the app strike a judicious balance between entertainment and learning? The potential of apps is the greatest when flexibility and creativity are maximized for children, so they can, for instance, create their own personalized stories.
  • Does the app help to build and sustain relationships and encourage children to engage with each other? For example, good story-making apps are those which engage the child in story sharing and learning about others through their discussions and interactions.

Resource: The Open University



If you'd like to know about video games and the brain, watch this video! I found it very interesting and it literally changed my views on video games. Just another piece of information (but research based) to help make decisions for your child.