New resource will help educators, parents evaluate digital tools

Teachers might incorporate more digital tools into classroom lessons if they feel secure in evaluating those tools.

A nonprofit organization plans to launch a resource that will help teachers and parents rate and review digital media and assess the learning value of various digital tools.

The resource, set for release later this year from Common Sense Media, will address age-appropriateness and entertainment value and will guide users on learning potential along with advice on how to get the most out of playing a game, exploring a website, or using a mobile app. It will be similar to Common Sense Media’s current media ratings.

Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer said the new evaluation tool might inspire the creation of more high-quality learning media.

The initiative “will not only give parents and educators yet another set of tools to make smart media choices, but will also … really elevate the way we think about the learning potential of media and technology,” he said.

Digital media can help connect children to learning experiences they otherwise might not have, but it often can be difficult for parents and children, and even teachers, to find high-quality digital tools.

The 2011 Always Connected report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center revealed that “children’s exposure to and consumption of different types of digital media are growing rapidly.”

Children have more choices, not only when it comes to content, but also when it comes to content delivery.

Laura Ascione

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