10 Criteria Teachers Should Use To Find The Best Apps

When you start bringing iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches into your classroom, you’re opening up a Pandora’s Box of potential problems. For starters, you might not be totally sure which apps are the best ones to install at the start. You may not be sure which games are useful or which productivity apps are worth their salt.

I’ve recently stumbled across an effective chart that actually ranks education apps according to a few critical criteria. The visual from Grasping For Objectivity details 29 different ‘edutainment’ apps that are both free and paid. I like how each one is laid out and ranked accordingly. The apps are each given an overall score and it’s based on a plethora of criteria:

  • Price
  • Free Lite App Available
  • Creativity
  • Depth of Play
  • Increasing Difficulty
  • Independent Use
  • Entertaining / Boredom Proof
  • Rewards
  • Parent Reports
  • Graphics
  • Overall Rating

From this limited list, we can see that the app Teach Me Kindergarten / 1st Grade is the best app. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective app for everyone. Well, let’s be honest. Most of us don’t need an app designed for kindergarten. However, you can use that as a jumping off point to try and find similar apps. Better still, use the criteria above to rank your own apps. Do a cleanup of the apps on your iPad or iPhone (or Android for that matter). Are all your apps boredom proof? Do they foster creativity?

Perhaps it’s time to audit your own apps using the above criteria. Use this visual as a jumping off point!

apps worth using


  1. Keith Schroeder

    November 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I like this approach, but have been utilizing the evaluation sheet of Kathy Schrock found here http://kathyschrock.net/pdf/evalipad.pdf and find it very user friendly.

  2. James O'Hagan

    November 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    The olpc people had a pretty good system of designing their apps and focused heavily on apps that promoted creativity and communication. Well worth examining their model. Not a fan of the Blooms way of doing things because apps can be too easily pigeon holed inappropriately by short sighted educators.