Guidelines for Selection of Digital Resources (Apps and Websites)

The use of mobile devices in support of student learning can be powerful. There are thousands of apps and web services available for iOS devices, and the list of educational digital resources grows daily. Rather than apps or websites for rote learning or memorization of discrete sets of information, we believe that the best resources for the district to invest in and provide are those that serve the general cause of productivity for learning. The apps that are provided for use on student iPads as part of the Learning Technology Program (LTP) are best described as educational productivity and creativity tools to help students investigate, communicate, collaborate, create, model, and explore concepts and content in authentic contexts.

District Provided Apps

A base set of productivity and creativity apps will be provided on each iPad. These apps support active investigation of content, including modeling concepts, communicating ideas, and exploring problems through authentic uses of the tools of learning. A list of the district provided apps can be found here.

To request an additional app, please complete this form.

Selection Criteria for Other Apps and Web Resources

In alignment with Board policy IJK, educational apps and web resources should be approved by a principal or their designee(s) before being installed or used on district devices. The following selection criteria will be used in determining the educational value of a digital resource.


  • App does not contain any advertising as part of the display
  • Use of the app or website does not violate the district’s Responsible Use Policy
  • App does not require in-app purchases for full functionality
  • App does not exceed age limits for each group (ES – 4+, MS – 9+, HS – 12+)
  • Content sharing (if applicable for the app) is possible without requiring a social media account
  • If the app requires a student login, see the Student Data Privacy website for more information on protecting student data. Or, click on the decision making flowchart below:
flowchart for evaluating tools

Additional Guidelines:

  • App or website provides opportunities for creativity, reasoning, and higher-order thinking.
  • Content in app or website is linked to evidence outcomes identified in district unit plans.
  • Information presented is accurate and free from errors or bias.
  • Content and delivery methods do not promote violence or stereotypes.
  • The content, features, and functionality of the app or website are age-appropriate.
  • Apps or websites that are primarily for practice and/or reinforcement are adaptable to skill level and provide relevant feedback.
  • iOS accessibility features are available to use with the app or website.

Note: Paid apps will require the purchase of a license for each device. App purchases for multiple devices is done through Apple School Manager. The cost of purchasing these apps is the responsibility of the school, department, or individual user. At this time, District Technology Services does NOT provide funds for app purchasing beyond those listed on the provided app list.