Top Pick

Tech That Spurs Critical Thinking

Students love opportunities to sink their teeth into problems that don't have clear answers. It's oftentimes out of this murkiness that new perspectives and ideas emerge. Treat your students to these terrific games, apps, and sites and watch their new perspectives lead to more complex understandings of the world.

1.
Stick Pick Publisher: Buzz Garwood
Boost engagement, measure higher-order thinking skills with well-done app
Grades 1-12
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
2.
Crayon Physics Deluxe Publisher: Kloonigames
Influential physics game is still a draw
Grades 2-12
Type Game
Price $19.95
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
3.
Minecraft Publisher: Mojang
Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep
Grades 3-12
Type Game
Price 21.00
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows, Xbox 360
Graphite Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
4.
Geoguessr Publisher: Anton Wallén
"Just one more turn" gameplay jazzes up geography
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
5.
Ted-Ed Visit Website: http://ed.ted.com
Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short videos
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
6.
Scribblenauts Remix Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem solving
Grades 5-8
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Graphite Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
7.
Sid Meier's Civilization V Publisher: 2K Games
Legendary strategy game is a hit with history buffs in school and out
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price 49.99
Platforms Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
8.
Youth Radio Visit Website: http://www.youthradio.org
A stellar take on the news from diverse kid journalists
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
9.
Spent Publisher: McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham
Provocative, first-person look at poverty builds empathy
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
10.
Your Commonwealth Visit Website: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org
Engage with passionate international perspectives from youth
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
11.
Youth Voices Visit Website: http://youthvoices.net/
Vibrant online community hosts authentic student writing
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
12.
Historypin Visit Website: http://www.historypin.com
Crowdsourcing is key to making history accessible, approachable
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
13.
Solve the Outbreak Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Become a disease detective -- read clues, analyze data, save lives
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
14.
HowStuffWorks Publisher: HowStuffWorks.com
Explore the world's nuts and bolts in this fab interactive info hub
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
15.
Papers, Please Publisher: 3909
Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
16.
The Republia Times Publisher: Lucas Pope
Unassuming editorial sim elegantly exposes the business of bias
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Graphite Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3