Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 22
Edtech Industry
Network Summit
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Common Sense Education's 50 Favorite Tools

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Wednesday, June 26, 8:30–9:30 am
Location: 201A

Dr. Tanner Higgin   Danny Wagner  
In six years, the Common Sense Education editorial team has rated and reviewed over 3,000 tools. This rapid-fire presentation presents the team's 50 favorites, from free apps and teacher tools to weird and wonderful games sure to delight your students.

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Online tools, apps and resources
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

-Participants will learn about 50 tools they can use in their classrooms in the new school year.
-Participants will better understand re-definitional use of technology that moves away from using tech to replicate traditional approaches.
-Participants will be able to more effectively and efficiently search for useful tools on their own.


- Background on Common Sense Education and our editorial process (5 mins.)

Session (45 mins.)
-We'll go over our 50 favorite tool selections via rapid-fire, highly-visual (PechaKucha-inspired) presentation. Each tool will be accompanied by a use-case focused on re-definitional use of technology that pushes past traditional practice.)
-Tools will be grouped in categories like "totally," "weird and wonderful," "best for privacy."

Wrap-Up (10 mins.)
-Audience members will submit their favorites for discussion (8 mins.)
- How to find and evaluate tools on your own (2 minutes)

Supporting research

I published this article on EdSurge which offers some of the key things we've learned at Common Sense Education about learning design and the edtech market: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-07-21-what-makes-a-good-edtech-tool-great

We also have a forthcoming research study tentatively titled the Common Sense Educator Census. It'll be released in late 2018 or early 2019 at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research. Many of the findings in that study, which I can share at the presentation, relate to the challenges teachers have finding and using tools effectively.

More [+]


Dr. Tanner Higgin, Common Sense Education
Danny Wagner, Common Sense Education

Danny is Senior Editor, Education Reviews at Common Sense Education. His focus is on guiding the editorial direction of the Ratings & Reviews platform to discover the best in education technology for teachers and schools. In addition to reviewing digital media for learning potential, Danny produces content and articles for a variety of topics, including STEM and social and emotional learning. Previously, he was Curriculum Technology Integration Specialist for San Francisco Unified School District and a middle school science and robotics teacher for a decade in the Midwest. Prior to his career in education, Danny worked as an Environmental Engineering consultant.

People also viewed

1 Tech Coach, 19 Sites: How to Personalize Coaching for Professional Growth
Screencasting for Improved Reading Fluency With Adolescents
Wednesday Mainstage: Adapt