Evaluating Instructional Apps Using the App Checklist for Educators (ACE)

Main Article Content

Kathryn L. Lubniewski Carol L. Arthur Wendy Harriott


The use of iPads and apps has become common in K-12 inclusive classrooms. Special education teachers frequently use this tool to support instruction. Data from electronic surveys were used to determine criteria that teachers identified as important for choosing apps for classroom use. Using this information, the authors developed an App Checklist for Evaluators (ACE) to assist teachers in reviewing apps. Areas included on the ACE are: Student Interest, Design Features, Connection to the Curriculum, and Instructional Features. Suggestions for choosing an effective app include determining user needs, assessing student interest, evaluating design features of the app, documenting the connection to the curriculum, and identifying instructional features.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
LUBNIEWSKI, Kathryn L.; ARTHUR, Carol L.; HARRIOTT, Wendy. Evaluating Instructional Apps Using the App Checklist for Educators (ACE). International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 3, p. 323-329, jan. 2018. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <https://www.iejee.com/index.php/IEJEE/article/view/412>. Date accessed: 21 may 2019.


Baig, I. F. (2013). Examining the impact information communication technology (ICT) has on adolescents with disabilities. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 3(6), 597. doi: 10.7763/IJIET.2013.V3.343
BrainPOP (1999-2017). BrainPop apps. Retrieved on March 9, 2017, from https://www.brainpop.com/about/apps/
Cumming, T., & Rodriguez, C.D. (2013). Integrating the iPad into language arts instruction for students with disabilities: Engagement and perspectives. Journal of Special Education Technology, 28(4).
Douglas, K. H., Wojcik, B. W., & Thompson, J. R. (2012). Is there an app for that? Journal of Special Education Technology, 27(2), 59-70. doi: 10.1177/016264341202700206
Flewitt, R., Kucirkova, N., & Messer, D. (2014). Touching the virtual, touching the real: iPads and enabling literacy for students experiencing disability. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 37(2), 107-116.
Flower, A. (2014). The effect of iPad use during independent practice for students with challenging behavior. Journal of Behavioral Education, 23(4), 435-448. doi: 10.1007/s10864-014-9206-8
Free Cloud Design (2010-2013). Mathmateer. Retrieved on March 9, 2017, from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mathmateer/id393989284?mt=8
Johnson, D. (2013). The tablet takeover. Educational Leadership, 70(5), 78-79.
Johnson, G. M. (2013). Using tablet computers with elementary school students with special needs: The practices and perceptions of special education teachers and teacher assistants. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 39(4), 1-12.
Johnson, G., Davies, S. & Thomas, S. (2013). iPads and children with special learning needs: A survey of teachers. In J. Herrington, A. Couros & V. Irvine (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2013. Paper presented at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Victoria, Canada, 24-28 June (pp. 1022-1026).
Maich, K., & Hall, C. (2016). Implementing iPads in the inclusive classroom setting. Intervention in School & Clinic, 51(3), 145. doi: 10.1177/1053451215585793
Mautone, M. (2013). Integrating the iPad into the ASD classroom. The Education Digest, 79(4), 25-27.
Miller, B. T., Krockover, G. H., & Doughty, T. (2013). Using iPads to teach inquiry science to students with a moderate to severe intellectual disability: A pilot study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(8), 887-911. doi: 10.1002/tea.21091
Newton, D. A., & Dell, A. G. (2011). Assistive technology: Mobile devices and students with disabilities: What do best practices tell us? Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 47-49.
Perry, A. D., Thrasher, E. P., & Lee, H. S. (2016). High-leverage iPad apps for the mathematics classroom. The Mathematics Teacher, 107(9), 706-711. doi: 10.5951/mathteacher.107.9.0706
Powell, S. (2014). Choosing iPad apps with a purpose: Aligning skills and standards. Teaching Exceptional Children, 47(1), 20-26.
Rodríguez, C. D., Strnadová, I., & Cumming, T. (2014). Using iPads with students with disabilities: Lessons learned from students, teachers, and parents. Intervention in School & Clinic, 49(4), 244. doi: 10.1177/1053451213509488
Starfall Education (2002-2017). Starfall FREE app. Retrieved on March 9, 2017, from http://more.starfall.com/info/apps/starfall-education.php
State of New Jersey Department of Education. (2010). Common Core State Standards. Washington, DC: Authors.