New & Noteworthy Apps and Websites - January 28

January 28, 2014
Ellen Holderman
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES In the Classroom, Tools

Every Tuesday, we spotlight products that have just been reviewed and have earned a 4- or 5-star editorial rating. This week's list brings us an online community for sharing physics and math problems, an interactive storytelling app, an online discussion forum for classroom collaboration, and a political sim game teaches governmental concepts.

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.


Brilliant is an online community of learners who share and solve physics and math problems. Aimed toward high aptitude students, it's particularly useful to kids competing in Math or Science Olympiad contests. Brilliant is elegantly laid out and easy to navigate. It lets kids solve problems at their level while getting immediate feedback. Read full review.

Pictello is an interactive storytelling app that lets students and kids make virtual storybooks with their own titles, photos, videos, and captions. It should have appeal for all students, but be especially useful for kids who have difficulty understanding social cues, reading facial expressions, and interpreting body language. Read full review.

Collaborize Classroom
Using a social media-like approach, Collaborize Classroom offers a secure online antidote to uninspired, disengaged classroom discussions. Teachers post discussion questions and set specific response options; multiple choice, yes/no, comment-based, or poll-based. Read full review.

Democracy 3
Democracy 3 is a somewhat abstract downloadable government simulation for older students. Democracy 3 delivers big ideas and concepts not easily grasped by students via more traditional means, showing how governing involves compassion, compromise, and cost, and how politicians balance their own ambitions and the desires of their constituencies and parties. Read full review.