Hear what teachers have to say here.
I recently shared that Graphite, a new, free service from Common Sense Media provides rigorous ratings and reviews of apps, games, websites, and digital curricula. This allows teachers and school leaders to connect in important ways to make informed decisions about which technology to integrate into the curriculum via reviews and “Field Notes” written by innovative educators who are using these products in the classroom.
Not only does Graphite provide an efficient and effective way to assess technology programs, but it also has a terrific component allowing educators to see how each website or app supports the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Below are six ways to do just that.
6 ways Graphite can support teachers implementing CCSS
- Every product is CCSS aligned - All of the products on Graphite that have a Math or ELA component have been mapped to Common Core by the team of expert educators at Common Sense Media. Rather than accepting a list provided by the developers or relying on outside sources, they have indicated the key standards that are addressed. To find the list of standards supported by an app (game or website), click on the green button in the left hand column of the review page that says, “See Common Core Standards.”
- Search by standard - You can search for products on Graphite by Common Core Standard! Looking for edtech products that help students, “Read About and Solve One-Variable Equations And Inequalities?” Just type “6.EE.5?” into the search bar on any page and a list of apps, games, and websites that support that standard will appear. Then you can refine your search by clicking on which devices you have in your classroom, or by whether it’s “paid, free or free to try.”
- Learn about what works from innovative educators - The Graphite™ reviews and the Teacher “Field Notes” let you quickly zero-in on what works well in the classroom. Read advice from teachers about how to incorporate the technology into a specific lesson plan or find out what hidden benefits they discovered while using it themselves. Like in this Field Note about Desmos [http://www.graphite.org/website/desmos-teacher-review/3893946] where a teacher in Fairbanks, AK describes how he has “used this application to explore graphing y=mx+b with algebra students He goes on to describe how the website “easily creates sliders to manipulate the standard variables of equations” which enables students “to explore how slope and the y - intercept values will affect the graph.”
- Expert educators provide top recommendations - The expert educators at Common Sense Media have curated Top-Picks lists on Graphite™ that pull together the very best apps, games, and websites aligned to Common Core. Start with ELA Products Aligned to Common Core Standards: http://www.graphite.org/top-picks/ela-products-aligned-to-common-core-standards and Math Products Aligned to Common Core Standards: http://www.graphite.org/top-picks/math-products-aligned-to-common-core-standards.
- Pin your own boards - Teachers can also curate their own “Boards” which serve as personal Top-Picks Lists. For example, a teacher in Gibsonville, NC recently created a Board called Websites and More for Common Core: http://www.graphite.org/users/partrik03/boards/websites-and-more-for-common-core.
- Appy hours - Appy Hours on Graphite are free webinars hosted by expert educators in Google Hangouts on Air. This month’s Appy Hour (which isn’t an hour and isn’t limited to apps) takes place on Tuesday, October 29 from 1:00 – 1:30 pm PDT. The topic? Best ELA Apps and Websites Aligned to Common Core. The hosts will discuss which apps and websites are highly recommended and how to use them. You can watch on Google+ and ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #appyhour. Join the discussion!
What do you think? Is this something that will be useful in your practice? How do you envision using Graphite to meet the Common Core Standards?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.