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App of the Week: Getting ready for middle school


Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school.

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Hall of Heroes is a social and emotional learning game that is designed to help students transition to middle school. Students begin by designing their own customizable “superhero” avatar. Soon after, students are given a quick orientation to their school by the stoic and heroic Principal Shields. Students are encouraged to interact with characters by choosing one of three options that appear in speech bubbles, which can be read aloud. These answers are logged and later appear in an assessment report for teachers; a teacher dashboard provides data on whole-group and individual student progress. Students can get help by clicking a question mark on the lower-left side of their screen, which either repeats a tutorial or has written instructions.

Price: Free to try, Paid

Grades: 5-8

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Engaging visuals, responsive feedback, and detailed progress reports boost learning potential.

Cons: Because each level takes time to master, students might become antsy or lose focus.

Bottom line: Wonderful and fun social-interaction game designed to teach cooperation and friendship skills needed for middle school and beyond.

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