“Game, game, game.” Even my toddler loves to play games on the iPad, but finding “games” that are educational as well as fun is a bit of a challenge. Plenty of apps look educational until you plop down the money to buy them only to find out they are just fluff. Sound familiar?
If my kiddos are going to spend time on the iPad, a Sunday morning treat in our house, then I want them to learn something. Well, at least a healthy dose of learning along side some fun.
Wouldn’t it be swell if you could read a real, unbiased review of apps before your purchase them to find out not only if the app works as it should but also if it provides a real educational value?
The people who created Balefire Labs agree — it would be swell. So they developed a site to do just that.
Balefire Labs makes it easy to browse by subject and age or even search by keyword for appropriate apps. My Kindergartner loves math apps and I am working with her on reading so for me I can search for reading/writing apps for a 5 year old and then I can search for some math apps too.
When browsing apps, Balefire provides responses in a grid-like format where each app is given either a green check or a red x under the following 12 categories:
- Feedback for Correct Responses
- Error Feedback
- Adapting Difficulty
- Error Remediation
- Mystery-Based Instruction
- Frequent, Meaningful Interaction
- Clearly-Stated Learning Objectives
- Relevant Screen & Sound Use
- Learner Support Available
- Easy-to-Use Interface
- Age-Appropriate Reading Level
- Performance Reports
This allows you to quickly compare apps to see which ones might be a good fit. From there, you can drill down and get a review of each app you are interested in learning more about.
Currently, Balefire Labs only evaluates apps on the iOS system. Since my husband’s old iPad seems to have been taken over my our girls, it works well for these apps. But I have an Android phone, so I am excited to get some feedback on the Android apps that are available too. (Per Balefire’s FAQ, Android is coming soon.)
Balefire Labs is a subscription service. You can either pay month-to-month for $3.99 or you can subscribe for a year subscription with a discount of $1 per month and only pay $2.99 per month.
Three lucky winners (yep 3) will receive a one-year subscription to Balefire Labs.
To enter – Please use the Rafflecopter form below to take advantage of your entry opportunities.
MANDATORY ENTRY MUST BE LEFT AS COMMENT ON BLOG POST BELOW– then you can check off in Rafflecopter that you did it. Otherwise, all other entries will be invalid. *** PLEASE be sure to read instructions in Rafflecopter form as to what to comment about.***
Contest ends September 29, 2013.
They do not accept advertising from companies that develop apps and we never get paid for reviews.
Amanda W. says
I like that they are not paid and they use scientific research. 🙂
Lesley W says
I love that they aren’t loaded up with annoying ads and that my daughter could have fun and learn at the same time.
keely hostetter says
It’s nice to know it was developed by someone in the educational field who saw what was missing and what kids needed.
I like that they don’t accept advertisers so that they can be an unbiased website.
Ruth Tay says
Would love to be able to use the site to find some great apps for my kid!
Kristie F. says
I learned that they don’t accept any advertisements.
michelle oakley warner says
i like that they research their app and test it so they know themselves that their product is working.
Sarah L says
We do not accept advertising from companies that develop apps and we never get paid for reviews.
Thanks for the contest.
Mihaela Day says
I find it awesome that they don’t accept any advertisements.