The App Map: A tool for Systematic Evaluation of Apps for Early Literacy Learning

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As portable devices become increasingly available in elementary classrooms teachers are expected to use these new technologies to engage students in both traditional print-based literacy learning and digital literacies practices, such as multimodal composing. Teachers face the daunting task of integrating apps into their current research-based literacy practices. This article describes "The App Map," a framework for elementary teachers' selection of apps for early literacy instruction. The App Map guides teachers as they draw upon their knowledge of research-based best practices for literacy instruction to systematically evaluate apps, identify affordances, and determine value added to instruction through the use of apps for literacy learning. This systematic approach to selecting apps supports teachers in their efforts to use apps that complement best practices for literacy instruction while fostering 21st century learning skills and digital literacies.