The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Graphite Helps Teachers Discover, Share, and Use the Highest Quality Education Technology for the Classroom

San Francisco, Calif. – For teachers heading back to school, there is a new online resource that will help identify the best education technology for their classroom. Common Sense Media, in partnership with Bill Gates, is launching Graphite™, a free service that makes it easier for educators to find the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their classrooms.

“Common Sense Media’s growing network of educators – more than 100,000 nationwide – are using technology to create more engaging and interactive ways of learning,” said James Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “Until now, the onus has been on them to spend valuable time searching for and testing platforms that might work. With every product on Graphite evaluated for its learning potential, teachers can successfully find optimal solutions that really satisfy their curricular goals and their individual students’ needs.”

“Graphite will make it easier for educators to find the tools they want and empower them do their best work,” said Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “It's a great example of how we can support teachers who want to incorporate education technology in their classroom to help every student excel.”

Graphite has been tested extensively by thousands of teachers, and the reception has been extremely positive. “My fifth and sixth graders are so tech-savvy and truly excited by it,” said Teresa Bodenmiller, a teacher and technology coordinator in Lammersville Unified School District in Northern California. “But as a teaching tool, it’s the right technology used well that makes the difference. Finding a new app, game, or website that has been rated, reviewed, and recommended by other teachers improves the likelihood that incorporating it into my lessons will be engaging and really inspire learning.”

Teachers can use Graphite to find unbiased reviews and ratings of education technology tools across a broad range of core academic subjects – English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies – and identifies products that help develop deeper learning skills like creativity, thinking and reasoning, and collaboration. Each product is tested and rated for learning potential based on engagement, pedagogy, and support. Teachers search for products by subject, skills, and grade bands using intuitive filters, and all products are mapped to Common Core State Standards. Editorial reviews are bolstered by practical insights from a growing community of educators about what products they use and how they use them.

Common Sense Media is able to offer Graphite to teachers for free due a personal investment from Bill Gates and the generous support of Susan Crown, founder and chair of the SCE Foundation.

To access Graphite, visit www.graphite.org.

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