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This parents should know about homework apps
Digital learning aids are in the trend: apps convey knowledge interactively and with fun factor – but not all are really suitable for children and young people. The initiative “SCHAU HIN! What your child does with media. “Recommends parents to start the new school year, to choose the offers according to age and situation. When parents get a first impression of the learning programs, this protects you from bad surprises, such as hidden costs.
Around 30 minutes a day, twelve and thirteen-year-olds use the Internet for their homework, according to the “JIM Study 2016“. This corresponds to more than a third of their average learning time of 80 minutes per day. This development is also followed by the ever-expanding range of digital learning apps: from vocabulary trainers to form collections, to interactive games that convey music or history. It is important for parents to keep an overview and to choose and examine the various offers together with their child.
Be aware of age-appropriate content
When selecting the helpers, parents must ensure that the content corresponds to age and knowledge of the child. “Learning apps are meant to demand and encourage children, but not overwhelm them,” emphasizes Kristin Langer, Mediencoach at SCHAU HIN! Younger children are particularly fond of learning with stories and adventures, where fun is paramount.
Here they can gather first experiences in reading or arithmetic. Older children benefit from apps that explain and explain complex issues more clearly. Also Vocabulary Trainer, Form Collection or Timetable Apps can be helpful additions to classic learning with the schoolbook. It is important to check whether digital learning aids are free from distracting and inappropriate advertising or hidden costs such as in-app purchases.
Set apps together
After the download you have to check the settings of the app, even to disable annoying notifications. Parents can point out to their children that they carefully handle private data and external links, and do not make any purchases or downloads themselves.
If parents take the time to test the application together with their child, they get a good insight into how their child cope with the app. The exchange about the tasks and contents of the apps generally benefits the success of the learner.
The initiative SCHAU HIN! Provides app recommendations and a special “learning with media” on their website in the field of “mobile devices”. An overview of age-appropriate learning apps for children can also be obtained from families at www.apptipps.net/lernen, the Children’s App Database of the German Youth Institute and the Stiftung Lesen.