AASL announced its 2016 list of Best Apps for Teaching & Learning at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Orlando. The list of 25 apps provides technology resources for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. Now in its fourth year, the list is considered the “best of the best” by AASL.
The selection committee developed evaluation criteria for vetting apps in five distinct categories connected to pedagogy – books; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); organization and management; humanities and arts; and content creation. 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 2016 include:
Epic! Unlimited Books for Kids, Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be, The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad, Metamorphabet, Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System
The Foos, The Everything Machine, Attributes by Math Doodles, Earth Primer, Map of Life
- Organization and Management:
OneNote, Three Ring, Post-It Plus, Google Classroom
- Humanities & Arts:
Newsela, StoryCorps, Homes, Spies of Mississippi: The Appumentary, MoMA Art Lab, MusiQuest
- Content Creation:
Canva, Plotagon, Adobe Spark, Office Sway, Comic Life 3
Descriptions and tips for the 2016 Best Apps can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/bestapps.
“The Best Apps for Teaching & Learning committee spent the past year evaluating, testing and discussing hundreds of apps. The committee selected 25 innovative and engaging apps that can be used with students in a range of content areas and grade levels,” said Cathy Potter, chair. “Our goal is to inspire educators to bring apps into their classrooms and libraries that can be used to create content, share knowledge, connect with others, and inspire 21st-century learners.”
“We are proud of the work of the AASL 2016 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning committee,” said AASL President Leslie Preddy. “School librarians are experts at resource curation and through their hard work we have an indispensable collection of practical apps for the busy teacher and librarian.”
The apps recognized as Best Apps for Teaching & Learning are of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in 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 and Learning list is based on feedback and nominations from school librarians, content teachers, students and developers. Nominations can be submitted at www.ala.org/aasl/bestapps. Nominations to be considered for recognition at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference must be submitted by March 1, 2017.
Author: Jen Habley
Jen Habley is the AASL Manager of Web Communications. She manages the AASL websites, writes press releases, coordinates AASL’s online learning opportunities, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working, Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.