Evaluating Apps and New Media for Young Children: A Rubric

Over the past year and a half, I have been working on a rubric for evaluating apps and new media for young children. I wanted something for my own purposes, to use when reviewing apps for program use or to recommend to families, as well as something to share with other librarians and educators. I’ve have finally come up with something that works for me. Take a look and try it out on the next app you evaluate.

Let me know how it works for you!

The rubric, and other helpful information for evaluating new media, is included in a chapter of Little eLit’s bookYoung Children, New Media, and Libraries: A Guide for Incorporating New Media into Library Collections, Services, and Programs for Families and Children Ages 0-5. I am humbly writing the chapter with the talented Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime. The book chapters are being published individually each month at Little eLit, so stop over and read what my smart librarian friends have to say.

Thanks to many for their conversations about what makes new media high quality, but in particular, the belated Eliza Dresang, as well as Cen Campbell and Carisa Kluver. Thanks also to those who review apps and new media. We are reading those insights with great interest. Keep reviewing and keep sharing!

Evaluating Apps and New Media for Young Children: A Rubric (link now goes to Media Mentorship page and updated rubric, 2016)

Looking for other review sources? Try these:

Children’s Technology Review
Horn Book
Madison Public Library’s App Finder
School Library Journal
Smart Apps for Kids

3 thoughts on “Evaluating Apps and New Media for Young Children: A Rubric

  1. This is a wonderful rubric and one that I think parents and educators will benefit greatly from. These were all big questions we took into consideration when developing our first book app and it would have been great to have this rubric which articulates the checklist so thoughtfully and clearly. I look forward to the book. Have you shared this rubric with Moms with Apps, by the way?

  2. Wonderful! The checklist is very friendly towards evaluators–including myself! I appreciate that you have considered new advances in technology while evaluating apps (especially the feature that allows in-app purchases to be disabled). That being said, the evaluation feels like it will stand the test of time as tablets change.

    Although it may be time consuming to use, it is comprehensive and I hope it will provide a benchmark for all app reviews. Great job, ladies!

  3. Thank you both for your feedback! The rubric is being shared as widely as possible, including with Moms with Apps, so librarians and educators (media mentors) have more tools to help families.

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