The right tablet-based apps can help young students.

A glance around today’s ed-tech landscape reveals no shortage of tablets, tablet initiatives, and tablet apps—but most of these tools are used with older students. During a crowded ISTE 2013 presentation, educator Gail Lovely told session attendees about a number of important considerations and helpful apps that can make tablet initiatives successful in prekindergarten through second grade.

Before tablets, computer-based early education presented challenges for young students, who don’t have the dexterity to manipulate a computer mouse, use a laptop’s drag-and-click tracking pad, or even rest their feet on the floor in a regular-sized computer lab chair.

But tablets changed all of this, Lovely said. “This touch-screen, multi-touch device, regardless of who makes it, is the game-changer for us.” Part of what makes tablets so well-suited for young students is a tablet’s interface, which is developmentally appropriate for early education.

(Next page: What to look for in tablet apps, plus some of Lovely’s recommendations)