Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 35 TOOLS

Best Apps and Websites for the Flipped Classroom

Be more mentor than teacher by turning traditional lecture-based instruction on its head. These great flipped-classroom apps and websites help students gain new knowledge at home so that they can come to class ready to put it to use. The resources in this list -- everything from interactive lesson apps and instructional videos to whiteboard apps -- help teachers create, curate, and deliver content that students can experience at their own pace, freeing up classroom time for clarification, exploration, and creation.

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Instruction, Classroom Management, and Communication Tools

Loom

Create, present, and assess with effortless interactive screencasts

Bottom line: This intuitive tool is excellent for recording and responding to screencasts of any length.

Remind

Messaging platform offers tight focus on school-to-home connection

Bottom line: Well-designed, highly effective messaging tool delivers on its promise to connect home and school.

Kiddom

LMS offers tangible options to differentiate learning

Bottom line: An excellent option for monitoring individual progress toward goals, but teachers will need to be deliberate when selecting and assigning content.

Nearpod

Engage and assess students with media, videos, and interactive slides

Bottom line: This is a great tool with a vast content library, and the teacher- or student-paced learning can unlock the potential of 1-to-1 environments.

PlayPosit

Interactive video creator has great question variety

Bottom line: This tool strikes a nice balance, offering teachers an easy intro to interactive video mixed with a large set of features that can lead to increasingly sophisticated lesson design.

Kahoot!

Game-like student-response tool can spark competitive fun

Bottom line: This is an effortlessly fun and flexible platform, but it shines best with creative implementation that tests its boundaries.

Screencast-O-Matic

Create and edit sophisticated screencasts without breaking the bank

Bottom line: This is the most flexible screencasting tool, but it requires patience -- and perhaps a subscription -- to unlock all of its possibilities.

Blendspace

Create multimedia lessons with engaging but not-so-interactive style

Bottom line: Allows you to incorporate lots of multimedia resources, but be discerning with content and assessments to avoid lazy teaching or learning.

Edmodo

Manage classes, content, and communication with social LMS platform

Bottom line: This free platform allows for teacher-monitored classroom communication with basic tools.

Edpuzzle

Crop, customize, and remix online video content with interactive tool

Bottom line: This is a valuable tool that teachers can use to flip classrooms or support student-led creation.

Educreations

Enliven lessons and presentations with easy-to-use whiteboard tool

Bottom line: An easy, functional way to create presentations on the fly.

Explain Everything Whiteboard

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

Common Sense Selection

Google Classroom

Exceptional, simple communication, collaboration, and document sharing

Bottom line: Though it doesn't have it all, it's an incredible tool for managing and organizing learning.

LessonUp

Flexible interactive presentation tool engages kids at school and home

Bottom line: LessonUp is for teachers who like designing unique lessons to reach every learner.

Common Sense Selection

Screencastify

Easy screen-recording tool facilitates outside-the-box instruction

Bottom line: This is an instructional tool that could reinvent classroom workflow, especially for classrooms in the Google ecosystem.

Spiral

Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

Actively Learn

Empowering reader keeps kids actively, independently engaged

Bottom line: Far beyond the average e-reader, this tool helps students connect and stay engaged while teachers easily measure progress.

ClassFlow

Robust lesson creation and delivery tool helps with assessment

Bottom line: In the hands of a determined teacher, this platform's useful suite of tools can support learning experiences that move from instruction to assessment and back.

Vmaker

Simple, easy screencast creator with room to grow

Bottom line: This is a competitive entrant into the screencasting field and leans into ease-of-use and fewer restrictions vs. tons of features.

Verso

Flip the classroom, gather student feedback with easy-to-use tool

Bottom line: Promote better discourse, participation, and accountability -- across devices -- with this thoughtfully designed platform.

Google Hangouts

Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform

Bottom line: It runs like a dream, works on all devices, and can be used in so many ways to enhance interactive learning.

Kialo Edu

A terrific, troll-free zone for structuring student discussion and debate

Bottom line: A valuable platform for students to learn about social and political issues while practicing digital citizenship and argumentation.

WordPress.com

Solid blogging tool and content management system offers DIY blogs

Bottom line: This is a great tool to get kids blogging and creating online content.

Discord

Social hub offers a novel but tricky spin on classroom communication

Bottom line: With some creativity and moderation, this student-loved messaging alternative to Google and Microsoft could be a key extension of your classroom.

Instructional Content for At-Home Learning

Common Sense Selection

PBS Kids

One-stop shop for a wealth of fantastic PBS Kids educational content

Bottom line: Amazing collection of valuable learning resources covers an impressive array of topics.

NOVA

Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom line: Unparalleled science documentaries offer a window into real-world scientific topics in a high-interest way.

Redbird Mathematics

Excellent adaptive math for flipped or blended classrooms

Bottom line: If you're looking for courseware for your classroom, this is based on solid research and proven technology.

Khan Academy

Flexible learning environment offers a personalized journey to mastery

Bottom line: A solid, free resource for targeted math and science instruction, test prep, history, and more.

Common Sense Selection

Newsela

Great stories, just-right leveled reading; now mostly by subscription

Bottom line: Up-to-date, high-interest articles will meet students right at their level, and help teachers bolster students' nonfiction reading skills.

TED-Ed

Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short video lessons

Bottom line: TED-Ed includes excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.

BrainPOP

Clever animated hosts Tim and Moby masterfully tackle complex topics

Bottom line: Cartoon videos in this extensive collection break down ideas in clever and thoughtful ways.

Gooru

Personalized tool fosters exploration, teacher-led meaningful learning

Bottom line: A great portal for supplementing classroom instruction; supports independent and personalized learning.

Brightstorm

Brief video lessons for kids who need a homework boost

Bottom line: Short, digestible lessons on all the major subjects are helpful for mastery but not substantial enough for kids who need more help.

BioInteractive

High-quality multimedia brings biological research to life

Bottom line: Superb multimedia tools and lesson plans help kids explore biology through real-world examples.

HippoCampus

Multimedia lectures and simulations good for supplemental instruction

Bottom line: This one-stop shop for free distance learning resources is a reliable place for enrichment or remediation.

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