Common Sense Media is an amazing site that has way too much information on digital literacy and citizenship to fit into just one post. Even the section of the site for educators is massive, so I’m going to narrow it down even more and focus only on Graphite, which is just a small part of what Common Sense Media has to offer.
Graphite, as described on the Common Sense Media website, is the place to “find the best apps, games, and websites, rated for learning, and mapped to the Common Core.” It is free and easy to register. Resources are categorized by type, subject, grade, and price, which makes finding something relevant to your teaching simple. If that weren’t easy enough, you can also search for materials by Common Core Standard. There are so many resources out there and more arriving every day, but Graphite can quickly point you in the right direction.
Graphite also has a sense of community to it in that teachers rate and write reviews for materials. This is a very important aspect of the site since Graphite is only as large and diverse as the participating community. For example, if you visit Graphite, search for an app, and don’t find a review for it, you should recommend that they review it. How else would they know that people are interested in that particular app? Also, if you read something negative about a product you thought worked very well with your students, post your own notes. The contributors, like you, are what make the site so great.
Using Graphite, teachers can also create boards of their favorite tech resources, read and comment on Graphite blog posts, and attend Appy Hour, which is a webinar that takes place once a month via Google Hangout. There’s so much to do and see that you should probably take a look at it now and bookmark it for later. Have fun finding the right materials for your students!
Already familiar with Graphite? Share your favorite resource here!
Hello Tara, I’m always looking for tech-resources for the L2 classroom and I came across your articles. Do you know any app that helps students structure sentences by any chance? I’m not a programmer but I wish I had the opportunity (and budget) to create a really useful application for my students some day and help them complete sentences correctly based on every tense I teach…anyways, I can’t explain it all here, I might get you bored.
Well, thanks in advance and have a great day!
Hi Daniel, thank you for your comment. That really is a great question. Unfortunately, I do not have a recommendation for you, but the kind of app you described seems likely to exist. I did a quick Google search and some results caught my eye, but I think what you choose will have a lot to do with the ages of your students and the devices available to you. I think that Graphite could definitely help you with your search for that perfect app once you find some worth considering. Let us know what you find. Good luck!