About Reading App Map

Reading App Map is an emergent framework for the evaluation of reading comprehension apps for the iPad. We are developing this framework so that K-12 teachers will have a reliable starting place for the evaluation of apps that claim to support reading comprehension specifically. It is the work of Paul Morsink, Michelle Schira Hagerman and Douglas Hartman of Michigan State University. We feel that there is an urgent need for this information since the range in the overall quality of “reading comprehension” apps is exceedingly broad.

In general, we have distilled seven factors that teachers might consider, in any order, and with any level of importance, as they decide when, why, and how to use a given iPad app with their students.

As shown in this infographic, the seven broad factors include: Curricular Considerations, Pedagogical Technological Considerations, Differentiation Considerations, Engagement and Motivation Considerations, Effectiveness Considerations, Cultural and Ideological Considerations and finally, Logistical Considerations.

Within each of these broad areas of consideration, we have also identified several sub-questions that teachers might also ask themselves. To see the full framework and to use it to evaluate an actual iPad app, please visit our Evaluate an App page.

On any given day, teachers may prioritize different criteria. We recognize that no single criterion is more or less important than the others. Rather, our “app map” has been developed to facilitate instructional thinking and choice-making consistent with a TPACK mindset (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). This mindset strives to take into account content, pedagogy, technology and context as well as the dynamic interactions among these factors.

As such, the framework is designed to be used flexibly in a variety of ways, depending on your needs and interests. For example, the framework’s list of “factors worth considering” is organized in categories (e.g., Curricular Considerations, Technology Logistics Considerations). On a given day you may be interested in only one or two of these categories. If that’s the case, you should skip straight to the categories and factors you’re interested in thinking about.

That said, we also see value in taking a minute to quickly skim down the list of categories and factors in a more exploratory manner. As you do this, you may discover an item that wasn’t previously on your mind but that now, upon reflection, you realize may be important to consider.

Thanks for your interest in Reading App Map!

We are presenting it to our peers at a poster session during the Literacy Research Association Conference in San Diego, CA in December, 2012. With their expert feedback, we aim to improve it and publish it here so that it may be made immediately available to as many teachers as possible.


Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record 108 (6), 1017-1054.


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