Top Pick

Best Games and Websites for Teaching Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration

Critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration –- otherwise known as the “4Cs” --  are four skills that teachers, researchers, and employers agree are key to success in the 21st century. Below, we’ve identified the best games and tools that build all four of these skills simultaneously, helping students turbocharge their learning.

Interested in seeing tips on how you might use some of these tools in the classroom? Check out our blog series We All Teach SEL: Inspiring Activities for Every Classroom

Wizard School Publisher: Duck Duck Moose
Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
PenPal Schools Visit Website: https://penpalschools.com/
Collaborative lessons connect students across the globe
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Spiral Visit Website: https://spiral.ac/
Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Minecraft Publisher: Mojang
Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep
Grades 3-12
Type Game
Price $26.95 for desktop, $19.99 for consoles (except Wii U at $29.99)
Platforms Linux, Mac, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Journey Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Gorgeous, moving adventure -- a jewel of social and emotional learning
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms PS3, PS4
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
LittleBigPlanet 2 Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price 19.99
Platforms PS3
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Sutori Visit Website: http://www.sutori.com
A slick way to share knowledge via interactive timelines and stories
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Publisher: 2K Games
Best entry in classic strategy series might not be best for classrooms
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $59.99
Platforms Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
MediaBreaker Visit Website: https://mbstudios.thelamp.org/
Free video-remix tool boosts media literacy, presents some challenges
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
The Radix Endeavor Publisher: MIT Education Arcade
Online fantasy world is a platform for STEM skills
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say