Google Play has announced on its developer website that teachers will be part of an editorial program to highlight high-quality apps for kids on the default Android app store.
Google says it consulted with academic experts to develop a framework for rating apps for kids. Teachers were then trained on this framework to rate apps for kids, evaluating things like:
- Design quality
- Appeal to children
- Enrichment potential
- Ads & in-app purchases
Although this programme was only expected to launch later this year, Google brought the initiative forward because kids and parents are stuck at home thanks to lockdowns around the world. Remote work is in full swing for parents, which means they are likely to put the responsibility of learning and supervision on educational and entertainment-based apps.
Google has selected teachers from pre-school to 6th-grade from across the US. Teachers rate apps based on the target age group(s) developers chose for their apps. For example, a pre-school teacher would rate apps for ages 5 and under, while a 6th-grade teacher would rate apps in the 9-12 target age group. Teachers rate apps using their knowledge of children, and apply it to the framework Google has developed.
Teachers in the program look for fun and inspiring apps that kids will love, with or without an educational focus. Teachers are specially positioned to use their expertise in child development to look for content that’s not only age-appropriate, but also reflects current trends in what kids like.
Teacher-approved apps will display a “Teacher Approved” badge on the Google Play Store. The initiative will be rolling out over the next few days in the US and internationally over the next few weeks.