10 Sites with Great Community Features

June 20, 2014
Ellen Holderman
Common Sense Education


For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we're featuring sites with great community features. From age-appropriate social networking sites to vibrant communities of writers, edtech increasingly provides terrific ways for teens to learn from their peers online. Introduce your students to some of these sites (in responsible, safe ways) and watch them gain valuable commenting, critiquing, and sharing skills.

To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List, Sites with Great Community Features.


Makewaves is a site designed specifically for teachers and students to safely share digital content, including blogs, videos, and podcasts. Content is hosted directly on the site, so there’s no need for multiple accounts on YouTube or blogging sites. Read full review.

Students can create animations, games, and models that communicate artistry and learning. Kids or teachers download Scratch to their computers, which takes about 5 minutes over Wi-Fi. The website also hosts community features including a project gallery, support page, and forums. Read full review.

DIY can be an online or offline tool to engage kids in creative problem-solving and skills-building through activities that let them make and build things. The site encourages accountability for creative work. Read full review.

Creating a safe space for kids around the world to communicate and collaborate, ePals is a really neat idea that works. In addition to its collaborative nature, the site offers a significant amount of quality content. Read full review.

Students can comment on posts, which makes Edmodo a great way to demonstrate and reinforce appropriate online communication. The "walled garden" environment means students know teachers are paying attention to what they do. Read full review.

Students are encouraged to reflect on the choices they make when interacting in a social network and are rewarded with new friends, positive feedback, and awards for making safe and responsible choices. Read full review.

Roadtrip Nation
Roadtrip Nation offers a series of lessons that revolve around short videos, incorporated into a self-discovery curriculum that empowers students to explore pathways and opportunities for their futures. Read full review.

The Harry Potter Alliance
The Harry Potter Alliance really empowers students, confirming that they have a voice, and offers them lots of ways to use that voice for good. Read full review.

Youth Voices
Youth Voices is a vibrant home for young writers seeking an authentic audience and a space to publish writing across a wide range of genres. Read full review.

Teens learn by reading books, then forming and sharing opinions in an online setting. By engaging in friendly discourse about books, they'll learn communication skills. Read full review.


What are some websites that you use to engage with your students and fellow educators online? Sign in to comment below.