Educational and creative age related children’s apps for 6-8 years old are abundant on all platforms for this age group. As a former teacher and educator, I realize the strong foundation to learning that is important for their future success as they progress through their learning year by year. When I taught first grade in 2001, in our public school classrooms we were provided with 1-3 desk top computers per classroom. Usually it was very difficult to have 3 in a first grade classroom because the supply of computers was limited and priority was given to the upper grades because the opinion was that these students would benefit more. A technology lab was available to all the students in the school but each classroom visited only once every week and the lessons were planned with little time for exploration of the students. I began to notice how all of my students asked about when we would get to visit the computer lab again and why we could only go once a week. As a motivational program for my students to encourage them to do the right thing with their behavior and school assignments, I had little tickets they could earn for free time. Although there were many choices for how they could spend this ticket for their free time, the most requested activity was for the computer. I did not have a problem with this since the computers were only loaded with educational software including games, but the problem was so many of them requesting this activity and the fact that when I started this program, I only had my teacher computer and one for students. I begged for other computers and was put on a list. After several months went by I finally was given two more bringing my total of computers for my students to 4 if I let them use mine. There were no apps at this time nor tablets or iPad available. The only choice was desk top computers and it was explained to me that the software was very expensive for the school system to purchase. Even with all of these problems I noticed my students attraction to their time on the computer. They considered it play time not realizing that they were actually being educated in the process. Suddenly other areas of interest tied to technology for the students were emerging also. My ethnically diverse class struggled with comprehension in reading because of language barriers. If they could not speak English, how could they possibly do well in reading comprehension? One little girl in my class spoke very little English and asked if she could please be in the accelerated reading program, a technology based reading program that gives rewards and points for answering questions on comprehension tests given over the internet. My students loved this program but I only had one computer that they could use which was my teacher computer and a requirement fo the program was that the student could be able to read and maneuver through the test on their own without any help. I told the little girl with some translation that I was sorry but did not think she could do it because of language comprehension. She begged me and I finally consented. To my amazement, she worked at it consistently and would not give up. At the end of the school year she won one of the top awards for the school for her progress she had made in the program and the additional reward was that her comprehension of English had greatly improved.
Observations such as this made it apparent that technology was a big attraction to my students but also a great tool to teaching but how about the students that were very difficult to teach and had learning disabilities? One little boy in my class spoke very little English and had been retained once in kindergarten and twice in first grade. He was making no progress academically. Nothing seemed to reach him yet one day after school I noticed that he had taken a strong interest to putting puzzles together on the computer. This was a drag and drop technique and he loved it. I realized that there was a huge opportunity for the children with learning disabilities also to learn through technology.
This was 13 years ago. Technology has made huge advancements and is more affordable. Educational programs that used to be $25.00 to several hundreds of dollars are now available as apps for free or several dollars. The availability for this is in your phone that you carry around with you every day even if you do not own a tablet. You do not need a desk top computer to access these. There are apps for creating, reading, math, science and for those with special disabilities. Special recognition of how special this is and what the implication could be for education is needed. There is the argument that children should not be so exposed to technology and spend endless time with it as a companion. The excess of anything is not a good idea but used with reason and planning it can open new doors for children’s education. The idea is always to reach children through the best way that holds their interest and can provide for their educational needs.
Age Related Children’s Apps – 6-8 Years Old
Links are provided to my reviews for more information. I will add to the list as I review more.
The Tortoise & The Hare Storybook App Interactive storybook app
Color Band – Music and sound discovery and composing
Reading Raven – reading by levels
Imagination Box: Creative
Marlee Signs App Review – Teaches sign language