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You Get What You Pay For: Educational Quality of Free and Paid Children’s Apps

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Abstract:

Although the majority of families now purchase apps or make in-app purchases on a regular basis (T. Rowe Price, 2014), experts have speculated that there is little relationship between app price and educational quality (Walker, 2011). In this study, we conducted a content analysis of the top free and paid kids’ apps from November 2013 to assess this relationship. Results indicated that free and paid apps were of comparable educational quality (as measured by a modified version of the Evaluation Rubric for Mobile Applications), although paid apps were slightly easier to navigate. However, among free apps, “freemium” apps that offered limited free content before requiring users to make a purchase are of higher educational quality than truly free apps. These findings may prompt concerns about apps’ potential to promote consumerism or disparities between families of varying economic means but do offer optimism that even free apps are providing educational content.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p983294_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hurwitz, Lisa., Lauricella, Alexis. and Wartella, Ellen. "You Get What You Pay For: Educational Quality of Free and Paid Children’s Apps" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p983294_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hurwitz, L. B., Lauricella, A. and Wartella, E. "You Get What You Pay For: Educational Quality of Free and Paid Children’s Apps" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p983294_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Although the majority of families now purchase apps or make in-app purchases on a regular basis (T. Rowe Price, 2014), experts have speculated that there is little relationship between app price and educational quality (Walker, 2011). In this study, we conducted a content analysis of the top free and paid kids’ apps from November 2013 to assess this relationship. Results indicated that free and paid apps were of comparable educational quality (as measured by a modified version of the Evaluation Rubric for Mobile Applications), although paid apps were slightly easier to navigate. However, among free apps, “freemium” apps that offered limited free content before requiring users to make a purchase are of higher educational quality than truly free apps. These findings may prompt concerns about apps’ potential to promote consumerism or disparities between families of varying economic means but do offer optimism that even free apps are providing educational content.


 
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