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About App Ed Review

App Ed Review was born in the spring 2013 semester, when Dr. Todd Cherner was teaching a graduate-level literacy class at Coastal Carolina University. As part of that class, Todd set aside time for “app-etizers” that were mini-lessons about apps. Because the school district where the majority of his students worked provided each of them an iPad to use in their classroom, Todd’s students were very interested in these mini-lessons. Then, during one of these app-etizers, a student asked him, “What makes an app good to use in the classroom?” Although Todd had been using apps as part of his teaching for two years at this point, he had never considered the worth of an app. In response, Todd investigated if there was a research-based app evaluation rubric and he found that a comprehensive one had yet to be developed. At this point, Todd met with Dr. Corey Lee and discussed how they could create such a rubric. During the remainder of that semester, Todd and Corey collaborated to create that rubric, which would eventually be vetted in an article published by the Journal of Information Technology and Teacher Education.

After creating the rubric, Todd and Corey used it to evaluate the quality of apps. However, they soon realized that an app’s quality and how it was used are two different key areas. As such, they developed a framework to review apps, which included: (1) An original app description, (2) a comprehensive app evaluation, and (3) instructional ideas for using the app. Todd and Corey saw these elements as being the information teachers needed to use apps quickly and effectively. With this framework in place, Todd and Corey began to review apps over the summer of 2013. By the end of that summer, 30 apps had been reviewed, and Corey created the App Ed Review website that launched in September of 2013. From there, App Ed Review quickly took off!

During the 2013-2014 school year, Todd and Corey put extensive effort into developing App Ed Review from being a project to a full-fledged resource for teachers. To do so, they presented App Ed Review at multiple conferences, appeared in both the Technology Horizons in Education and The Atheneum publications, were awarded a $5,000 grant, and had a peer-reviewed article published by the Current Issues in Technology and Teacher Education journal. With these successes in place, Todd and Corey saw great potential in App Ed Review and applied to a business incubator to sustain App Ed Review.

In late 2014, the Conway Innovation Center (CIC) selected App Ed Review as its first business venture. Being selected by the CIC was crucial because the costs to maintain App Ed Review were mounting. First, with support from the CIC, App Ed Review redefined its sustainability model. Second, a national board of advisors was recruited to steer the direction of App Ed Review. With their board of advisors, App Ed Review receives support and expert guidance for the direction of the project. Third, App Ed Review gained the attention of Myrtle Beach’s local news media – including television, online, and in press – and Concordia featured it in a podcast. With these accomplishments, Corey and Todd decided to reposition App Ed Review and set April 2015 as its re-launch date.