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Top Tools by Grade and Subject for Learning During School Closures

Topics:   EdTech

Hand-picked tools for every scenario, all well-suited for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tanner Higgin | March 19, 2020

Teachers and families are in a tough spot right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many are quickly figuring out distance learning arrangements for their students or kids for the first time. Beyond the tricky technical and logistical issues involved -- not to mention equity and safety issues -- teachers are also trying to understand how to re-formulate their curriculum. During this process, there will likely be some content gaps to fill.

If you've found yourself searching for quality, content-focused tools students can turn to at home, then we think the list below will help. These are all hand-picked tools we recommend for this unprecedented situation. Most are free (or cheap), and all offer standout learning experiences that shouldn't be too difficult to slot into your plans. Of course, you'll also want to dig into their privacy and safety practices, so make sure to check out the privacy evaluations on the review pages (when available).

Elementary Math and Science

Khan Academy Kids iconKhan Academy Kids 

Creative, smart mix of pre-K to K activities is a breath of fresh air
Price: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android, Amazon

Mystery Science iconMystery Science

Big questions, kids' curiosity drive impressive science curriculum
Price: Free memberships available
Platforms: Web

Prodigy iconProdigy

Adaptive math practice wrapped in role-playing adventure
Price: Free (with optional paid upgrades)
Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

 

Elementary ELA and Social Studies

Epic! iconEpic!

Free, expansive digital library unlocks treasure trove of books
Price: Free for teachers and, due to COVID-19, caregivers if invited by teachers
Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome

Lalilo iconLalilo

K-2 literacy program offers comprehensive, adaptive activities
Price: Free through the end of the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19
Platforms: Web

Lexi's World appLexi's World

Kids create a lovely magical world by spelling simple words
Price: $2.99
Platforms: iOS

 

Elementary Arts and Creativity

Book Creator iconBook Creator

Magically easy way to create and publish digital books and multimedia
Price: $4.99
Platforms: iOS

Picture Dots iconPicture Dots

Kids connect the dots with multisensory, interactive media creator
Price: Free
Platforms: iOS

Sounds Rebound iconSound Rebound

Make musical contraptions with playful sound and physics sandbox
Price: Free
Platforms: iOS

 

Middle School Math and Science

CueThink iconCueThink

Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning
Price: Free through July due to COVID-19
Platforms: Web

Mosa Mack ScienceMosa Mack Science

Engaging design challenges turn kids into actual science detectives
Price: Free through July due to COVID-19
Platforms: Web

Science Journal by Google iconScience Journal by Google

Turn your phone into a lab sensor to collect and analyze data
Price: Free 
Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome

 

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

CommonLit iconCommonLit

Feature-rich literacy resource offers superb support for readers
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

826 Digital icon826 Digital

Popular after-school program shares its resources with teachers
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

iCivics iconiCivics

Exceptionally well-designed games, lesson plans demystify government
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web (and individual games available on iOS and Android)

 

Middle School Arts and Creativity

DIY iconDIY

Design, build, and share new things offline and online
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web, iOS

Google Arts and Culture IconGoogle Arts & Culture

Excellent curation and an unmatched art collection invite exploration
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

Tinkercad logoTinkercad

Amazingly simple yet powerful online CAD tool turns kids into makers
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web, iOS, Chrome

 

High School Math and Science

Big History ProjectBig History Project

Fascinating look at life's bigger questions with a fresh perspective
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

BioInteractiveBioInteractive

High-quality multimedia brings biological research to life
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

CanFigureIt IconCanFigureIt Geometry

Flex your deductive reasoning muscles with geometric proofs
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

 

High School School ELA and Social Studies

Actively Learn iconActively Learn

Empowering reader keeps kids actively, independently engaged
Price: Free through the end of the school year due to COVID-19
Platforms: Web, iOS, Chrome

Facing History iconFacing History

A wealth of resources explore racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

Global Oneness ProjectGlobal Oneness Project

Captivating, cross-curricular stories increase cultural awareness
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

 

High School Arts and Creativity

Adobe Spark IconAdobe Spark

Super-flexible design tool for crafting fab images, videos, and sites
Price: Free 
Platforms: Web

Garageband iconGarageBand

Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity
Price: Free 
Platforms: iOS, Mac

Snapseed iconSnapseed

Extremely powerful photo editor will equally delight pros, amateurs
Price: Free 
Platforms: iOS, Android

 

If you're looking for something specific, try our browse and search tool to look through our complete library of reviews or our Top Picks lists.