What Education Apps Sell? Ask Your Kid

While the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms were never specifically designed for kids, the purchasing patterns tell a different story, according to study released earlier this month from the Joan Ganz Coony Center. iLearn: A Content Analysis of the iTunes App Store’s Education Section examined 100 highest selling Apps in the education section of the App store, as of April 2009.

The biggest find? Nearly half of the titles (47) specifically target children, with preschoolers being the largest single age category with 35 out of 100 titles. Said study author Carly Shuler by phone “While gaming devices such as Nintendo’s DS still command the bulk of attention when it comes to kids, this study makes it clear that Apps are a significant new medium for providing educational content to children, both in terms of their availability and popularity.”

The list reveals a breadth of school subjects, including letter recognition, foreign language, math and test prep. Also good news for parents — children’s educational apps tend to cost less than apps for older children or adults, rarely going above $.99. It is also interesting to note that the list let by small, nimble publishers who didn’t exist a year ago. Since last April, new children’s educational apps have been released from household name publishers, like Disney, Highlights for Children, PBS Kids Sprout and Scholastic, making the battle for the Top 100 ranking all the more interesting. Whether or not Apple intended it to be an educational resource, the iPhone and iPod Touch, with it’s ever-growing App store, appears to be earning a rightful place alongside the #2 pencil.

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