App Ratings: Do Your Parental Due Diligence!

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A trend in game apps is to launch new relevant content when big events occur such as Christmas or Halloween.

The folks at Beeline, who make the Smurfs game, recently released a new update for the Euro 2012 football tournament. The update is horribly buggy. After playing the game for a couple of days, I got an in-game app pop-up asking me to rate the game 5 out of 5 on the App store or else I could potentially have to start paying for game updates.

I burst out laughing! Are you kidding me? There is no way I’m going to rate the game until they fix it.

While I appreciate that there are probably a lot of honest comments on the App store, when it comes to educational apps, the ratings on the App store aren’t enough. As a parent, you have to do your homework and get a second or even third opinion on the quality and the educational value of the app. Here are my go-to review/rating sites for educational apps.

1. Common Sense Media – This is non-profit organization that rates apps for all types of devices. They provide a good idea of what the learning on the app will be like.

2. Children’s Technology Review – They provide a monthly review of apps. You have to pay a minimal fee for the app reviews.

3. KinderTown – They review and categorize children’s apps. It’s a good tool to understand what your child will learn prior to engaging in an app.

A final thought – if in doubt try the educational app out to see if you like it and here’s why – Kindertown recommends/categorizes a math app that I will never use because the activities are too fast for my child and quite frankly, I can’t even process the activity so while there are resources out there, ultimately as a parent, you have to decide what apps are right for your child and why.

Do you post reviews on the App store and are you truthful or do you bend things a bit? Tweet me @ weebootMom or email me at weeboot@gmail.com

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