New & Noteworthy Apps and Websites - Feb 11

February 11, 2014
Ellen Holderman
Common Sense Education


Every Tuesday, we spotlight newly reviewed products that received a 4 or 5 editorial rating. Since we're focused this month on STEAM and critical thinking, we wanted to be sure to spotlight products that focus on these themes. This week's list brings us art apps, games, and sites including a step-by-step drawing app, a website that lets kids improve their writing and drawing skills with the help of monsters, a museum app that provides art history lessons and activities, and a fun comic-creation app.

We invite you to add your voice to the conversation. Do you use one of these products in your classroom? Consider writing a Field Note to let other educators see how you integrate these tools into your lesson planning. For tips on writing a great Field Note, check out this step-by-step blog post.


ArtStudio - Draw, Paint and Edit Photo is an art-creating app that includes 150 brushes (more with in-app purchase), flexible canvas sizes, tons of colors and blending options, excellent step-by-step drawing lessons, and the option to include photos and layers. Read full review.

Monster Exchange
Monster Exchange is a website that allows kids to use their writing and drawing skills. The site facilitates classroom exchanges that challenge kids to be creative and write descriptively about a very important subject: monsters. Read full review.

Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco's educational website offers 91 lessons and activities, 326 videos, images of 257 pieces of art, and many more resources for educators and students. The inventive, creative activities provide a solid mix of art projects, reading, geography, and other lessons. Read full review.

Make Beliefs Comix
Make Beliefs Comix is a website that offers a fun comic construction tool for kids, plus parenting tips and educator resources. Site creator/cartoonist Bill Zimmerman says he created Make Beliefs Comix to help strengthen families and let kids express themselves. Read full review.