Ello, World’s Most Advanced AI Reading Coach Recognized by Common Sense Media as Top AI Tool

SAN FRANCISCO (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ello, developer of the world’s most advanced AI reading coach, announced today that Common Sense Media rated the Ello app as one of its top 10 AI products for ethical use, transparency, safety and impact.

Ello received an overall ranking of 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 for privacy and kids’ safety in Common Sense Media’s first-ever AI-ratings system. Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a company that displayed Responsible AI practices, especially its machine learning fairness that contributed to the app’s high rating. Ello was also recognized for the unique design of its AI reading tutor, the selection of diverse and engaging books that it offers, and the positive ways the AI tutor motivates young, struggling readers. Ello’s detailed Participatory Disclosures provided a strong basis for its positive evaluation against the “ Common Sense AI Principles,” the AI ratings system, developed with input from a range of AI experts. To read more about Common Sense’s AI rating and review of Ello, please visit https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ai-ratings/ello.

“Ello worked directly with parents, children and educators to build our AI reading tutor to ensure the experience is educational and safe while also addressing diversity and representation in children’s reading,” said Dr. Elizabeth Adams, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Ello. “Nearly 70% of American children read behind grade level, and the latest AI technology can help address this issue by providing 1:1 reading support while still putting privacy and safety of kids first. We are honored that Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a responsible AI application.”…Read More

How asynchronous tech can bridge the digital divide

When pondering the future of education, it’s understandable that most of us will slip into Utopian scenarios. Think Garrison Keiler’s Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” The reality, of course, is always going to be different. 

So it is when discussing the idea of digital equity. Every student deserves the right to high-bandwidth, solid-state, always-on access to the Internet, right? Reality check: A 2021 report from Common Sense Media found that 15 to 16 million K-12 public school students in the U.S. live in homes with inadequate internet or computing devices. This represents around 30 percent of all public school students in the U.S.

That doesn’t mean those students can’t get the education they deserve. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan Ross, CEO of Olivia Technologies, about their attempts to address this issue through synching techniques that don’t require access to the Internet outside the school campus. Their solution has been deployed in schools in Texas and Hawaii, where in certain areas, over 30 percent of students do not have reliable internet connectivity. …Read More

Common Sense Education ramps up ‘Digital Citizenship for All’

Common Sense Education’s new Digital Citizenship for All campaign, part of the organization’s commitment to making digital citizenship a national priority, urges educators to take a digital citizenship pledge and model behavior for students as they use technology responsibly.

The campaign is the cornerstone of Common Sense Education’s back-to-school offerings and invites teachers and administrators around the world to “Take the Digital Citizenship for All Pledge” to guide students in using technology safely, responsibly, and effectively.

Common Sense Education launched its K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum in 2011.…Read More

Yes, teens are addicted to mobile devices — but so are adults

Infographic shares realities behind today’s mobile device addiction

As kids get older, cries for strict limits on their screen time tend to taper off. By the time students hit high school, many are accustomed to texting in the hallways or even sneaking a peek at Facebook during dinner. But is the laissez-faire approach to device use actually enabling addictive behavior? Parents think so—and so do many of their kids, according to a recent Common Sense Media poll of 1,200 parents and teens centered around technology use and addiction.

Multitasking, toggling between multiple screens or between screens and people, which is common for kids doing homework or socializing, can impair their ability to lay down memories, to learn, and to work effectively, according to the report.

See also: Report: Teens feel ‘addicted’ to mobile devices…Read More

App of the Week: Eat your way to basic math skills

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? DragonBox Numbers surreptitiously introduces kids to basic number concepts through puzzles, challenges, and free play. “Nooms” represent each number from 1 to 10. Kids can stack Nooms, have them “eat” each other and turn into different Nooms (for example, 3 eats 5 and becomes 8), or slice them into smaller Nooms. In the sandbox, kids freely experiment with the Nooms against a number line. In “ladder,” kids build a Noom to reach a star on a number line, which gets more challenging as they want to avoid or pass through certain points along the way. In “puzzles,” kids create pictures using the Nooms in certain ways. All activities earn coins that kids can use to “buy” more levels.

Rating: 4/5…Read More

App of the Week: Daily news and events, just for kids

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? News-O-Matic, School Edition, 2015-16 is a daily news and activity app for kids in grades 2–5. Teachers and kids can read five current events articles daily, answer questions, chat with classmates about the stories, and send comments or questions to the editor. Topics include everything from religion and politics to scientific discoveries and kid entrepreneurs.

Rating: 4/5…Read More

App of the Week: Skaffl

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.
 skaffl

What’s It Like? Skaffl is a tool for distributing, completing, and grading work on the iPad. Teachers create classes and then share each class’s unique access code with their students, who can then use that code to enroll in the class via their own Skaffl login. Teachers then create three types of activities: an in-app assignment, a student dropbox, or a handout. A handy workflow for these activities appears every time teachers create a new one. Teachers can distribute activities instantly (to some classes, some students, or all at once) or schedule them for a later date.

Price: Free/subscription

Grades: 6-12…Read More

Five apps for boosting middle school math skills

These five apps can help middle school students learn math skills such as geometry, estimation, and simple algebra

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These math app reviews come from Common Sense Media and its free Graphite service.

Here are reviews of five high-quality digital apps that can help teach middle school math, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service—a free database of teacher-written reviews of learning technologies.

Slice It!…Read More

Seven great ed-tech tools for music instruction

Here are seven music apps, tools, and websites for use in the classroom, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service.

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Here are seven music apps, tools, and websites for use in the classroom.

As we reported recently, new research confirms that music education can help close student achievement gaps and enhance learning in other subjects. Here are seven music apps and websites for use in the classroom, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service—a free database of teacher-written reviews of ed-tech tools.

 …Read More

Special Report: Teaching with digital apps

Finding high-quality digital apps and integrating them into instruction isn’t always easy. Here’s how some educators are making the shift.

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Want to create your own video game to help students learn phonics? Or poll students to check their understanding in the middle of a lesson? There’s a free app for that.

For social studies teacher Jean LaBelle, the value of her school’s new iPad program was driven home by a recent lesson on the Emancipation Proclamation.

LaBelle, who teaches U.S. history and other subjects at Maynard High School in Massachusetts, leads a lesson in which she asks her freshman students, “Did the Emancipation Proclamation end U.S. slavery?”…Read More