Author or Editor: Michelle Bourgeois (DTS) - Edit

Guidelines for iOS App Purchases

Guidelines for iOS App Purchases

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 apps grows daily. Rather than apps for rote learning or memorization of discrete sets of information, we believe that the best apps 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 Plan (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 contact your school’s Learning Technology Coach or Instructional Technology Coordinator.

Selection criteria for other apps

In alignment with Board policy IJK, educational apps in addition to the list above should be approved by a principal or their designee(s) before being installed on district devices. The following selection criteria will be used in determining the educational value of an app.


  • App does not contain any advertising as part of the display
  • Use of the app does not violate our Responsible Use Policy
  • App does not require in-app purchases for full functionality
  • App does not exceed the 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 students to register or create an account (see the Student Data Privacy website for more information on protecting student data). Also:
    • If the app may be used by students under the age of 13, the provider’s terms of service (TOS) and/or privacy policy does not prohibit use by children under the age of 13
    • TOS states that data will not be used to advertise or market to children or their parents
    • TOS states that data will not be shared with 3rd parties without permission
    • It is highly recommended that we have on file (or can obtain) a district Confidentiality & Non-Disclosure Agreement (C&NDA)

Additional Guidelines

  • App provides opportunities for creativity, reasoning, and higher-order thinking
  • Content in app 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 are age-appropriate
  • Apps that are primarily for practice and/or reinforcement are adaptable to skill level and provide relevant feedback
  • iOS accessibility features are available

Please note: Paid apps will require the purchase of a license for each device.  App purchases for multiple devices is done through the VPP portal. The cost of purchasing these apps is the responsibility of the school, department, or individual user. At this time, DTS does not provide funds for app purchasing beyond those listed on the provided app list.

Last updated by mccartney_jennifer on 2018-12-28 04:05:49

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