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[Q] Interviews with educational app developers

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edapps2014
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(Last edited by edapps2014; 23rd February 2014 at 04:33 PM.)
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Info 2 [Q] Interviews with educational app developers

Greetings. My name is Glenn and I work with children and adults with disabilities. For the past few months I have been reviewing educational apps for children with autism. Sometimes a math app has great graphics and good engagement--think completing the equivalent of half a dozen math worksheets in five minutes. But the same app doesn't take into account the extreme math anxiety, and general anxiety, that children with autism can have: I have come across apps that said "Not good. The answer is ____" or "NO," in a disappointed voice that you would expect to hear from your mother if you failed a test that you hadn't bother to study for. So in addition to the review I am often providing suggested adaptations to make the app a successful experience for the child.

I have gotten a few emails from educational app developers, thanking me for reviewing their app and also telling me how difficult it has been to get a decent amount of downloads for their app after all their hard work. When I was interested in the film industry, I used to publish interviews with up and coming screenwriters, "Interview Spotlight with Peter Considine and Morgan's Way." I would like to do something similar for educational app developers and have created a "self-interview" for educational app developers. Once I receive the responses, I will publish them. I don't have 4,000,000+ readers on my site, so I can't give you that kind of exposure, but the readers on my site are looking specifically for educational apps like yours that can improve the learning experience of their children.

If you're still reading, and your answer is yes to my question, "Would you be interested in sharing with my readers a bit about who you are (an educator, parent/sibling of a child with a disability), why you decided to build the app, and what makes it special?," then you can find the submission guidelines on my site, autism plus math dot blog spot dot com. Click on the tab at the top marked, Guest Post guidelines for app developers.

Thank you.
 
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I don't fall into the category of being interviewed by you. I do have an idea for you that I would be interested in reading. A blog post or any readable describing what mistakes developers make in regards to making apps for people with disabilities and or other issues. You can include things like what not to do (a disappointment sounding/looking "No you are wrong") and what can be done instead. I guess for the app to say "please try again" but I don't know if that's good enough for people with anxiety. I would definitely read such an article, and perhaps it would come in useful sometime in the future.

Up until your post here I didn't realize that saying "no you are wrong" may not be so good with people having anxiety. In the blog post it would be also very interesting and good to include how such statements effect/affect people of such conditions.

Just thought I would bring this idea up to you
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Originally Posted by over_optimistic View Post
I don't fall into the category of being interviewed by you. I do have an idea for you that I would be interested in reading. A blog post or any readable describing what mistakes developers make in regards to making apps for people with disabilities and or other issues. You can include things like what not to do (a disappointment sounding/looking "No you are wrong") and what can be done instead. I guess for the app to say "please try again" but I don't know if that's good enough for people with anxiety. I would definitely read such an article, and perhaps it would come in useful sometime in the future.

Up until your post here I didn't realize that saying "no you are wrong" may not be so good with people having anxiety. In the blog post it would be also very interesting and good to include how such statements effect/affect people of such conditions.

Just thought I would bring this idea up to you

Thanks for asking.

I think the key thing to remember is that every child with a disability is different, so what may frustrate one child may turn out to be an enjoyable challenge for another. Having said that, it can help to imagine your potential learner as someone who's spent most of their education repeatedly giving the wrong answer when called on, and as a result, they need LOTS and LOTS of positive encouragement and praise.

My comment above about "no you are wrong" is from an article I wrote a couple months ago (see below). I also provide examples of games that DO provide a positive learning environment and how they did it.

You did say that you weren't an educational apps developer, however. I think most video games are by design kid friendly, regardless of whether a child has a disability. Video games are about not having to read and memorize a bunch of rules, but instead are about playing around and trying different approaches. If you die in the game, you can hit replay and try again in five seconds or less. So the potential frustration from losing is short lived.

Where I could see a frustration is in games where if you die after completing several levels, you have to start over from the beginning. Make sure you have sufficient checkpoints so that players only have to restart from their last checkpoint. But again, this is a feature that will benefit children without disabilities as well.

Ugh! Looks like I can't give you a link to the article mentioned above, so I have moved it to my landing page: autism plus math dot blogspot dot com.

I also have a virtual filing cabinet of "How to" articles for app developers on my home page: click on the tab at the top marked "How to resources for app developers." Of particular interest, you may find useful the article on the game Re:mission, which increased the number of children with cancer who voluntarily took their meds.
 
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Thanks Edapps!

XDA still lets you post links like this by the way:
autismplusmath.blogspot.ca/2014/01/not-good-and-no-said-in-disappointed.html

I just read that article and will go through some of the games reviews you got later when I'm at home.
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