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2014 ON for Learning Award Winners

Common Sense Media's ON for Learning Award is given to the very best in kids' digital media. Our learning ratings program is designed to help educators surface the apps, games, and websites that truly deliver experiences that enrich and delight kids, helping them thrive with media and technology. We are excited to recognize these apps, games, and websites for earning the highest learning rating from Common Sense Media in the past year.

If you're a developer or a publisher, learn more about the ON for Learning Award here. Download a printable list of the winners here.

To see products for home use, please see our list for families, located on the Common Sense Media website here.

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Top Picks

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Elmo Loves 123s

Sesame Street sets the standard for teaching numbers

Bottom Line: Elmo Loves 123s takes kids on a learning romp from writing numbers to addition and subtraction.

Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity

Open-ended collage maker teaches symbolism and revs up creativity

Bottom Line: Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity is a don't-miss art app that encourages creativity at the same time as modeling it.

Every Body Has a Brain

Songs and mini-games introduce brain functions

Bottom Line: Every Body Has a Brain makes brain science fun and accessible for young kids.

Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa

Find lions, giraffes, and a robot (oh my!) in this fab app adventure

Bottom Line: Highly engaging way for kids to discover Africa's fascinating animals and ecosystems.

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Cooking Recipes on the Road

Kids cook up some math -- with thermometers, measuring cups, scales, and more

Bottom Line: Delightful cooking game incorporates math in fun and exciting ways.

LeVar Burton Kids Skybrary

Kids can "go anywhere, be anything" with vast book and video library

Bottom Line: Wonderful and practical way to get kids excited about learning and reading -- the greatness of the classic TV series, updated for the 21st century.

Proloquo2Go - Symbol-based AAC

Brilliant tool helps kids with speech difficulties communicate

Bottom Line: The price is hefty, but Proloquo2Go carries its weight by providing students and teachers an effective, one-of-a-kind communication tool.

MinecraftEdu

Teacher dashboard and genius tutorial help this sandbox gem sparkle

Bottom Line: Great for learners new to Minecraft and in need of guidance, but loses some of the wide-open and mysterious allure of the original.

Motion Math: Zoom

Ingenious way to visualize and explore the number line

Bottom Line: Kids have fun while exploring how numbers relate to each other on a number line.

Reflex: Math Fact Fluency

Addictive and adaptive games to help kids memorize math facts

Bottom Line: If worksheets are too dull but you need the same kind of skill-practice question sets, this is certainly a more engaging format.

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island

Wonderfully engaging eco-sim lets kids become pollution fighters

Bottom Line: Kids learn about pollution and what to do about it on this eco-friendly game.

Bobo Explores Light

Cute robot guides kids through concepts in excellent science app

Bottom Line: New ways to play with light inspire kids to learn more from this hands-on science app.

StudySync

Superb ELA resource spurs critical thinking with dynamic multimedia

Bottom Line: StudySync offers great potential to build background knowledge, model critical thinking, and prompt in-depth discussion and writing.

Design Squad Nation

Classmates can compete to solve fun engineering problems

Bottom Line: Design Squad Nation makes engineering fun through hands-on activities and easy-to-understand scientific explanations.

DIY

Design, build, and share new things offline and online

Bottom Line: DIY motivates kids to tackle a wide range of problems with independent and scientific thinking.

Minecraft

Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep

Bottom Line: An irresistible and seemingly limitless incubator for 21st-century skills that, with a little guidance, can chart new courses for learning.

Algodoo

Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry

Bottom Line: A robust, free pedagogical tool that's like a digital workbench where kids build and apply conceptual science knowledge.

GarageBand

Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity

Bottom Line: There's exceptional functionality in this solid, all-inclusive audio workstation that's fantastic for high-quality, anytime, and anywhere audio recording and sharing.

Mozilla Thimble

Inspiring platform teaches coding through remixing

Bottom Line: Thimble is an excellent, free resource for teaching students to code through experimentation.

Subtext

Collaborative, customizable digital reader for all subject areas

Bottom Line: An excellent, flexible tool for accessing, annotating, and engaging with literature in the classroom.

Scribblenauts Remix

Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem-solving

Bottom Line: Wide-open problem solving builds creativity, vocabulary, and spelling skills, but controls can be tricky.

SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!

Truncated environmental city-planning sim geared toward classrooms

Bottom Line: This version of the SimCity game still has something to offer, but it's probably not worth the subscription cost on its own.

Zoo Tycoon

Excellent park management game helps kids explore economics and zoology

Bottom Line: A great way for budding zoologists to learn more about animals and the business of caring for them.

Re-Mission 2

Six arcade-style games tackle tough subject of cancer

Bottom Line: Hours of engaging gameplay will grab even non-gamers and, with some guided reflection, can spur serious learning about the human body.

Mobile Observatory

Impressive tool for stargazing and identifying objects in the sky

Bottom Line: It's an excellent hands-on astronomy reference tool.

Roadtrip Nation

Outstanding site motivates kids to follow dreams, work hard

Bottom Line: Incredibly inspirational, fun, and helpful guide for kids trying to figure out a sustainable, happy future.

Get the Math

Solve real-life algebra problems with diverse crew, delightful video

Bottom Line: Fantastic proof that algebra is used to solve real problems in kid-approved professions -- basketball, music, and fashion.

BioDigital Human

Explore every bit of the human body in this powerful, interactive 3D tour

Bottom Line: This visually stunning, incredibly useful way to virtually explore the human body is a must for the anatomy classroom.

Google Art Project

Massive online global collection makes art accesible to all

Bottom Line: Extensive access to the world's cherished art collections gives teachers a glimpse at the future of arts education.

Duolingo: Learn Languages Free

Ever-growing, free courses cement learning in six languages

Bottom Line: Sparkling, holistic learning for five traditional European languages plus English.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art

Bottom Line: Gives students easy access to professional tools for creating digital art.

WordFlex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

Bottom Line: Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.

Procreate

Outstanding art tool supports the workflow of seasoned digital painters

Bottom Line: For iPads, this is a best-in-class tool with enough pro-level features and technology, and some nice support resources.

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