43 Apps, Games, and Websites Transforming This Year's Classrooms

Check out these useful tools that are transforming education in the classroom.

November 21, 2013
Amy Wilson
Common Sense Media
San Francisco, United States
CATEGORIES In the Classroom, Technology Integration

In the middle of October, we invited educators to tell us about the "apps, games, and websites that are helping to transform their classrooms this year." We asked that you submit your responses in the form of Field Notes and we received more than 700 submissions!

43 products emerged with several votes and strong, detailed Field Notes to explain just how they are being used effectively at school. So here is our (albeit unscientific) list of apps, games, and websites transforming classrooms this Fall. 

abcya website ABCYa! One reason I like it so much is that many of the games have different levels. This means that students who are more advanced can choose harder levels than those who are still in the beginning levels of learning a skill. Read more.
Kristin G.
Gower, MO


animoto app Animoto I believe that using Animoto helped keep the students engaged and really helped them to zero in on the important parts of the subject they were doing their project on. Read more.
Kathy S.
Dacula, GA


bitstrips website BitStrips It improves my role as a teacher because it really made it clear to me the areas where I need to improve. It made it easier for me to spot the holes/areas of struggle and the components that students understand. Read more. Meghan C.
Wilmington, MA


blogger website Blogger I use my class blog to have daily agendas, electronic copies of assignments, reminders, a class calendar, links to online resources, surveys, and anything else students need. Read more.
Amy L.
Portland, OR


brain pop featured movie app BrainPOP Featured Movie With the BrainPOP Featured Movie app, the learning transfers from whole-group to the individual. Students can take ownership of their learning using the app on an iPod Touch or iPad, an even quiz themselves with the app. Read more.
Teresa A.
Charlottesville, VA


classdojo website ClassDojo Since I began using ClassDojo with my students, I have seen a HUGE increase in willingness and eagerness to participate in class discussion. Read more.
Kim S.
Columbia, PA


code academy website Codecademy Codecademy lets students learn at their own pace. I find it ideal for working with students whom I see once a week. I can supplement their online, individual learning with in-person lessons. Read more.
Jonathan F.
Washington, DC


dance mat typing game Dance Mat Typing I do think this website is good to use to introduce the keyboard and allow younger students to use it in order to learn where the letters are located. Read more. Nicole K.
Isle, MN


desmos website Desmos It provides meaningful learning experiences for all students, and gives kinesthetic and visual learners the chance to excel. Read more.
Glen L.
Kennett Square, PA


DIY website DIY It helps me and my students track what we've completed, and offers a electronic portfolio of sorts to save and share later. Read more.
Jim T.
Rochester, NY


dropbox website Dropbox One of the key aspects to Dropbox for me is the ease of use and the fact that it saves time in the classroom. Prior to using Dropbox, I either had to individually email images to students or needed students to take their own images. Read more.
Caitlin O.
Seongnam, South Korea


duolingo app Duolingo If they finish an assigned activity or the need remediation they can use Duolingo. Duolingo puts more focus on spelling than we do in our classroom, but that is a good skill for them. Read more.
Lisa B.
Hershey, PA


edmodo website Edmodo I can supply them with folders and folders of topic specific support materials, the presentation itself, and an ongoing communication line for further questions and reference. Read more.
Susan F.
Atlanta, GA


edu blogs website EduBlogs I love using edublogs as a place for students to share their knowledge with one another. I can posed a critical assessment question that they must answer or assign them to engage their classmates on a topic. Read more.
Jennifer C.
Miami, FL


educreations interactive whiteboard app Educreations Interactive Whiteboard Instead of wasting my time going around and asking kids to count by 5's or write numbers and circle the 10's place I am using educreations. I give my students the oral/slate assessment all at once. Read more.
Adam W.
Hudson, WI


evernote app Evernote This tool allows teachers to keep track of conference notes, daily observations, create checklists for lesson and unit goals without all the heavy papers, binders, folders and notebooks. Read more. Colleen B.
Harrison, NY


Explain Everything EE allows me to engage the learner by moving away from the paper-driven work that tends to define traditional classrooms and integrate technology. Read more.
Kathryn R.
Chicago, IL


geogebra website Geogebra This tool allows teachers to keep track of conference notes, daily observations, create checklists for lesson and unit goals without all the heavy papers, binders, folders and notebooks. Read more.
Jordan O.
Ambridge, PA


goodreads website Goodreads In a customized learning situation, this was much more efficient than booktalking to the class because each student was directed to the content they needed at the time they needed it. Read more.
Amy R.
Mexico, ME


google drive website Google Drive Logistically, I really enjoy using Google Drive because I can move from work laptop, to classroom PC station, and back home without having to remember or use a thumb drive or emailing something to myself. Read more.
Brittany C.
Greenwood, SC


google earth website Google Earth In my Spanish classroom I use Google Earth to explore different places in Spanish speaking countries. It makes the students feel like they have been to that particular place not just read about it. Read more. Samantha S.
Charlotte, NC


google hangouts website Google
It changed my classroom from a place we meet for 80 minutes twice a week to a virtual world that's always on and always connected. Read more.
Kenja M.
Atlanta, GA


ixl website IXL Since the activities in IXL are mainly games or timed drills, it is a good way for students to reinforce the math concepts they are expected to know in class in an engaging, "techie" way. Read more.
Alex F.
Minnetonka, MN


kidblog website KidBlog Kidblog allows me to have as much control as I need for my class. I can allow students the freedom to have their own blog page, edit their name, edit their password, or edit their account. Read more.
Michelle B.
Atlanta, GA


learnzillion website LearnZillion It is easy to use and is great for introducing, reinforcing, or advancing student learning. The assignments can be individualized for each of my students so that I can determine what lessons they need to best help them. Read more.
Laci M.
Lafayette, LA


minecraft edu game

Minecraft Education Edition

The specific takeaway that I have from using Minecraft during club is that there is a lot of potential for learning, as long as students are focused and learning objectives are clear. Read more.
Caitlin M.
Brentwood, TN


national library of virtual manipulatives website National Library of Virtual Manipulatives This site improves my teaching as often I find we move away from using the manipulatives too soon and it can be cumbersome in grade four to have a bunch of hundred, ten, and one blocks for all students, this allows all students easy access! Read more.
Kathy V.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


padlet website Padlet My sixth grade students are very motivated by the opportunity to interact with each other. Padlet provides this opportunity. I am able to answer their questions, add links to their comments, and aid in their learning. Read more.
Carrie H.
Lenoir, NC


poll everywhere website Poll
Kids often assume that everyone thinks like them OR that they're the only one that thinks something. This method allows them to see where they stand in comparison to others in reality, without actually raising their hand in class. Read more.
Dierdre S.
Phoenix, AZ


popplet website Popplet They made presentations, inserting images and videos, drawing images, and typing text. Students are able to invite others to collaborate on their popplets. They were fully engaged and were able to make interesting presentations. Read more.
Vicki J.
Baton Rouge, LA


prezi website Prezi My overall opinion about the Prezi as a learning tool is that it is an exciting tool to present information. The times I have used Prezi in this fashion, I notice students paying more attention. Read more.
Jeremy C.
Indianapolis, IN


quizlet website Quizlet The product helps me as a teacher have different ways to teach my students vocabulary words. It is transforming my classroom by making my students want to study and learn new words. It has improved all of our test and quiz scores. Read more.
Stephanie C.
Brentwood, TN


read write think website Read Write
I use the graphic writing organizers as part of the planning stage during writing. This shows them how to organize their ideas for a report or how to build up arguments in a persuasive essay. Read more.
Amanda X.
Brooklyn, NY


scratch website Scratch Scratch really helps students understand programming basics with the colorful, linking blocks of code. Truly, Scratch is a highly engaging way to teach programming basics to K-12 students. Read more. Amy C.
Los Angeles, CA


socrative website Socrative Overall, this has impacted instruction in our school by giving teachers a manageable and quick way to change their instruction based on formative feedback. Read more.
Elizabeth N.
Blaine, MN


spelling city app SpellingCity I love how students are so engaged with the activities, and they can have choices while still practicing their words. It is wonderful for differentiation - students can have access to whichever lists you allow. Read more.
Julie K.
Sonora, CA


stack the states app Stack the
I like this as an enrichment/review activity because it requires little prep. Best of all, it reduces the amount of time I need to spend in front of the room doing "drill and kill" reviews. Read more.
Jean B.
Mounds View, MN


starfall website Overall, this has impacted instruction in our school by giving teachers a manageable and quick way to change their instruction based on formative feedback. Read more. Marianne G.
Phoenix, AZ


subtext app


This product is no longer available.

As a teaching tool, it's a great way to build in well crafted questions that help students to think critically about specific sections of a text, or to provide areas for students to stop and reflect. Read more.
Julie K.
Worcester, MA


twitter app Twitter Twitter provides a platform on which teachers can learn from a professional learning network. By bouncing ideas off of others and seeing what others are doing within their classroom, it leads to be a better teacher for the students. Read more.
Craig Y.
Walnut Creek, CA


voice thread website VoiceThread I absolutely loved using VoiceThread for my Physical Education classes. It allows students to express themselves without the restrictions of a classic, old-school homework assignment. Read more. Andrew G.
Granford, NJ


weebly website Weebly Students in my multimedia class really were not sure at first about building webpages. But weebly makes them all "web builders" in a few minutes. They were all surprised about what they could build! Read more. Samantha S.
North Platte, NE


wordle website Wordle This is great for science texts and non-fiction texts as well- to pull out vocabulary and identify the main idea. I use Wordle in the classroom setting to help students get the main idea of a text after reading it if they have difficulty. Read more.
Chimere C.
Baltimore, MD


We are also pleased to announce the winner of the $250 Amazon gift card. To qualify for the drawing, educators had to submit more than one qualifying Teacher Review during this campaign. Our winner is...  Julie Keefe, a Technology Instructional Coach in Worcester, MA. Visit her profile to read her excellent Teacher Reviews on Edmodo, XtraMath, and Subtext. Be sure to follow her on twitter!

What apps, games, and websites are transforming your classroom? Contribute a Teacher Review today!