Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Great Question about the APP Rubric

Hi Harry,  It's me Laurie from Australia, now living in Alexandria VA. 

I have a question about your rubric.  There has been a somewhat heated discussion within my research group around the domain "curriculum connection".   As you know, we are adapting the rubric to make it applicable to choosing apps for students with autism.  

One comment from the group, was that "curriculum connection" was too broad for our purposes because there is no "curriculum" for autism in Australia.

So we discussed changing it to "IEP connection".  Actually that was my suggestion.   I suggested changing skills and content to goals and objectives   I'm coming at this from the angle of a former state administrator and current research professor   Increasingly there is an expectation and indeed a mandate to include measures of accountability in the education of children with disabilities.   I'm also aware of a number of cases in the US where parents are retroactively suing the school district for the denial of FAPE after their child graduates because they are ill prepared for the post secondary world.   Well, the suggestion was not well received by the rest of the group because they felt it was TOO specific.   So, what was your original intent in including the "curriculum connection" domain?  was it to help teachers make a decision about what educational benefit would be derived from the adoption of that app?

Thanks for any insight you can provide. Kind Regards,

Hi Laurie from Australia why did you ever leave and move to Virginia,

      I think you make a great point.  The rubric was originally designed with the general education environment in mind.  As I have collaborated and corresponded with folks around the world, my thinking has certainly been expanded.  I have come to the realization the rubric should be revised/adapted depending on the field or the population.  In your case, depending on the severity of the child’s condition, the IEP may in fact be the “curriculum.”  A number of folks have used my rubric as a skeleton and made revisions based on the clients or students who are sitting in front of them.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  The big idea that spurred my thinking to develop the rubric was the realization that we(within a given field) needed to be using a consistent language and structure to evaluate apps for any given purpose.  There wasn’t a system for doing this prior to 2010 when I first conceived of the rubric.  While it would be nice to have top rated apps for every purpose, that just isn’t going to happen until app developers better understand what we are trying to do.  I believe the most effective use of the rubric is in the comparison of apps for the same purpose with the goal of finding the best within that group.  Thanks so much for your question and for continuing to push for the use of mobile technologies to meet the needs of all kids.



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