Common Sense Media is an amazing organization that provides families information and education on media and technology to help them make informed decisions. Until recently, the Common Sense Media website rated movies, games, apps, websites, TV, books and music only for their age appropriateness, with comments on sex, language, violence, role models, etc. However, recently the website added learning ratings for websites, video games and mobile apps.
As we are seeing the educational benefits of technology, parents now need help sorting between the games, apps and websites that are truly educational and those that are not. Common Sense Media has teamed up with the SCE foundation to create these ratings to help families and teachers extend learning time while having fun.
Parents want to know which products provide deeper learning and social skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. Just having the word “Educational” on a box does not mean anything.
You will see the learning ratings whenever you visit the reviews of websites, mobile apps or video games on Common Sense Media:
Under the tab “Learning Potential,” users see summary reviews of what kids can learn, what the product is about, how kids can learn, and how parents can help. Along with the summaries, a section called “Subjects and Skills” lays out both the core subjects and the 21st-century skills that the product addresses. The entire review culminates in an overall learning rating, ranging from “Not Meant for Learning” to “Best for Learning.”
You can also see a list of all items with Learning Reviews. For more information on this topic, visit Common Sense Media’s Learning with Technology page. You will also find “best of” lists in various categories.
I have been a big fan of Common Sense Media for a long time. However, this change is so helpful and such a great idea that I am now in total awe of the organization and the site. And I love that Common Sense Media included video games in the learning ratings, showing that the organization sees that video games do have benefits.
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