CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced its inaugural list of Best Apps for Teaching & Learning at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago. The list of 25 apps builds on AASL’s established Best Websites for Teaching & Learning recognition and provides a new technology resource for school librarians and their teacher collaborators.
The selection committee developed an evaluation criterion for vetting apps in five distinct categories – books; science technology engineering and math (STEM); organization and management; social sciences and content creation - connected to pedagogy. Chosen for their embodiment of AASL’s learning standards and support of the school librarian’s role in implementing career and college readiness standards, the apps honored in 2013 include:
Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night, Al Gore - Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, Cinderella, Shakespeare in Bits - Hamlet, Fam Bam: Got to Have Music
Science 360, NASA, Operation Math, Simple Physics, Tinkerbox
- Organization and Management:
EasyBib, Dropbox, Evernote, Schoology, Socrative
- Social Sciences:
Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa, Barefoot World Atlas, Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt, MyCongress, News-O-Matic: Daily for Kids
- Content Creation:
Educreations, Toontastic, Kidblog, Garageband, Videolicious
Descriptions and tips for the 2013 Best Apps can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/bestapps.
“The AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning Committee reviewed hundreds of apps and is delighted to share the first list of 25 honorees,” said Melissa Jacobs-Israel, committee chair. “The selected apps offer an innovative and engaging learning experience for students; provide opportunities for deep inquiry, critical thinking, and content creation. We hope educators will use this and future lists to inspire, engage and integrate mobile technology in the library and classroom.”
“Teachers can be assured that the apps selected by the committee have stood up to a rigorous evaluation process and have been 'road-tested' by highly qualified school librarians,” said AASL President Susan Ballard. “In their inaugural year, the committee has done an exceptional job of identifying outstanding resources that can be used to inform instruction, develop enthusiastic, engaged students and produce learning dividends.”
The apps recognized as Best Apps for Teaching & Learning are of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL's “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.” Recognized apps foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration and are user friendly to encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.
The Best Apps for Teaching & Learning list is based on feedback and nominations from AASL members. School librarians can nominate their favorite apps at www.ala.org/aasl/bestapps. Nominations to be considered for recognition at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference must be submitted by March 31, 2014.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.