News

New resource helps educators teach with digital apps

From staff and wire reports
June 25th, 2013

Common Sense Media says its system is the first centralized source for unbiased reviews of the learning potential of apps developed for a variety of platforms.

The sheer volume of new learning apps being created every day poses a key challenge for educators looking to teach with mobile devices, as many teachers say they don’t have time to find and evaluate the best apps for their classrooms.

But a brand-new service, announced June 24 at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2013 conference in San Antonio, could help.

Called Graphite, it’s a free online portal to help educators from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade find, use, and share the best digital apps, games, and websites for their students.

Created by Common Sense Media with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the service contains objective ratings of apps and other digital learning resources from professional reviewers, along with reviews from dozens of “Graphite Educators,” teachers who are hand-picked by Common Sense Media. The nonprofit children’s media group says its system is the first centralized source for unbiased reviews of the learning potential of apps developed for a variety of platforms.

“Technology can be a powerful tool to help teachers create more engaging and interactive ways of learning. But finding the right resources and figuring out how to use them is much more difficult than it needs to be,” said James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “By evaluating the learning potential of emerging technology, we are removing barriers for any educator to successfully use ed tech to personalize—and even transform—learning.”

(Next page: How the new service works)