Confused about ed tech tools? New rating site for apps and games — from by Katrina Schwartz


To evaluate the bonanza of apps, games, and websites that claim to have educational value, Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization best known for rating commercial media for age-level appropriateness, has developed a new rating system called Graphite.

The site provides ratings of products in three categories: pedagogy, engagement, and support. Pedagogy is the highest weighted category, and is based on the depth and quality of content and how well it’s integrated into the mechanics of the reviewed game or website. The highest rated games require players to think critically about how to progress, and help build skills that are transferable. The engagement category measures how well the game grabs and keeps players’ attention, and the support category refers to the quality of tools the product offers to help learners when they get stuck. Support also includes tools for parents or teachers so they can help a learner and gets higher marks if it offers content in a variety of ways, catering to different types of learners. Some examples might be clear tutorials or content offered with both visuals and text.