What I’ve Learned about the Common Core State Standards and Educational Apps


Today I wrote a blog piece for Balefire Labs about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and educational apps. Over the past few months I’ve been doing a ton of aligning apps to the CCSS and I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

Once I published that piece I thought I should also share it here to see what your experience has been. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started doing the alignment, but, I confess, now that it’s done I have to say that I really like the new standards. I’d love for you to read my piece and chime in on what your experience has been and whether or not you agree with what I learned from the experience.

Here it is….


5 Things We’ve Learned about EdApps & CCSS

As most of you know by now, we spent a great deal of time over the past several months aligning apps to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Many of you have asked whether or not we did the alignment ourselves (we did), how brutal it was (very) and what we’ve learned in the process (a lot). So today I wanted to unpack some of what we’ve learned because some of it was unexpected and some of it, I think, will be helpful to teachers and educators (and not just the ones you might expect).

First, to clarify why we added CCSS alignment to our site: many of our current teacher customers and most potential teacher customers who we talked to wanted it. It’s just that simple. We’ve been asked what our “position” is on CCSS and we want to be clear that we are not a political organization and we have not received any funding from corporations that have a vested interested for or against CCSS. We are, quite simply, providing a service for teachers and educators: those who are working in the trenches every day and have a practical need for CCSS-aligned materials.

Going into this alignment project, none of us had actually spent much time in the standards. Sure, we had read many pro- and anti-CCSS opinion pieces in the media. We had read the mission of and explanations from the Common Core State Standards Initiative. And certainly it has been hard to miss the angry exchanges among many people, both in and out of education about these standards. So we didn’t really know what to expect embarking on this alignment journey, but we knew it would be a learning experience for us.

Here we are, after aligning about 400 educational apps (we only review those apps that earn a letter grades of A-C according to our review criteria) and spending many hours getting to know the standards. And here are the highlights of what we have learned:….to continue reading the rest of this repost, click here.


What has your experience been with aligning resources to CCSS (especially digital resources)? And after spending time digging in to the actual standards (not just proselytizing about them one way or the other) what do you think about their practical utility or lack thereof?

About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
This entry was posted in Academics, App Reviews & Recs, Balefire Labs, Implementation, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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