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Common Sense


Best EdTech of 2019

Our editorial team published 180 reviews of educational tools this year. Behind each of these reviews is a rigorous evaluation and testing process that can take days to weeks. Along the way we look into the tool's pedagogical approach and learning design, its fit for different classrooms and learners, and the way it challenges and delights students. In short, we have high standards, and that's why we're excited to share this list of the best edtech of 2019. These 11 tools are a unique bunch, ranging from small, artful apps to rock-solid, research-backed curricula. We think they've all got tons to offer your classroom, but we know you and your students are the ultimate judges.

Of course, there were many other great tools that just missed this list but are still worth checking out. We've included some of our favorites as honorable mentions at the bottom of the list.

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Top Picks


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Best EdTech Award Winners

Common Sense Selection

Nico & Nor Wonder Farm

Fun and engaging app will help basic plant growth concepts take root

Bottom line: There's little doubt that this app will help students understand the basics of plant growth, especially if the included lessons are used.


Short, daily practice and positive language make success accessible

Bottom line: A good, adaptive program that can be used to support a growth mindset along with strong math skills.

Common Sense Selection


K–2 literacy program offers comprehensive, adaptive activities

Bottom line: An easy-to-recommend tool thanks to its broad coverage of key skills and nice balance of student-driven and teacher-differentiated learning.

Common Sense Selection

Tinybop Schools

Collection of STEM simulations that students will love to explore

Bottom line: Tinybop Schools offers meaningful scientific exploration to students, particularly when partnered with good teaching and discussion.

Common Sense Selection

Sky Guide

Awesome astronomy app takes students on a journey through the universe

Bottom line: A quality, affordable way to bring true astronomy study to the classroom, even during the day, with a plethora of viewing options.

Common Sense Selection


Microscope attachment for mobile devices inspires field investigation

Bottom line: The use of stickers instead of slides helps students examine their world at the microscopic level with safety and convenience.

Common Sense Selection

Race to Ratify

Great history game offers cool constitutional spin on persuasion

Bottom line: This super smart game will get students digging into and understanding the federalist and anti-federalist sides of the U.S. Constitution ratification debate.

Common Sense Selection

East of the Rockies

AR experience offers moving insight into tragic history of internment

Bottom line: Culturally rich and emotionally moving, with purposeful opportunities for interactivity.


Research-backed resources that attack math myths head on

Bottom line: A fantastic resource for teachers working on changing attitudes toward math and teaching it in an innovate and engaging way.

Common Sense Selection


Comprehensive discussion platform develops critical-thinking skills

Bottom line: A great tool in any subject or topic for teachers looking to make discussion a central part of their classroom.

Model Diplomacy

Students become foreign policy experts in this real-world simulation

Bottom line: This impressive program has ready-to-use and expert-vetted content that'll help advanced students engage meaningfully with foreign policy issues and processes.

Honorable Mentions


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.


Robotics kit makes design possibilities virtually limitless

Bottom line: For schools with healthy budgets, KOOV helps kids design and code interactive robots with blocks, sensors, and imagination.


Collaborative writing game inspires purposeful storytelling

Bottom line: With some planning and customization, this unique card game can motivate thoughtful and sustained creative writing in your classroom.

Tayasui Sketches

Slick and satisfying illustration app on par with the competition

Bottom line: This tool, while a bit of an adjustment from pen and paper, gives students ample room to grow creatively.

Unity Learn

Complete game creation curriculum gives students real-world experience

Bottom line: It's a slick, fun, and effective way to get students building games right away, with plenty of room for depth.

Annenberg Classroom

Civics website makes teaching the Constitution manageable, meaningful

Bottom line: Go for the videos, stay for the lessons: Annenberg Classroom saves teachers' prep time when teaching the Constitution, current events, or other civics lessons.

Machine Learning for Kids

Authentic AI-powered projects make kids' creations feel like magic

Bottom line: It takes a topic that would be difficult to teach in any practical way and makes it accessible for the classroom.

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