Common Sense


Best Global and Cross-Cultural Education Apps and Websites

By giving students global perspective, teachers can offer context that raises the stakes of education, creates learning opportunities, and builds empathy. These picks will help students see and understand how big -- and small -- the world really is, and that it's full of discoveries to make and problems to solve.

Continue reading

Top Picks


PrintPrint list

Homes by Tinybop

Explore homes -- and cultures -- around the world in exquisite detail

Bottom line: Offers a delightful and accessible way for kids to learn about the world's cultures.

One Globe Kids - All Friends

Engaging stories, activities introduce kids to peers around the world

Bottom line: A smart, thoughtful way to learn about the lives of kids around the world.

Google Earth

Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom line: Google Earth offers less functionality than the PC version but still thrills.


Kids travel the world, cultivate global curiosity and responsibility

Bottom line: Kids get a sense of culture and global responsibility via kid-friendly articles and great multimedia.

PenPal Schools

Tech takes learning global with pen pal projects in any subject

Bottom line: A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that builds global awareness and content by facilitating authentic, cross-cultural collaboration.


Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom

Bottom line: With stunning scenes and a flexible delivery method, your students will thank you for journeying together through space and time.

Google Earth

Virtual globe shines with breathtaking features, endless possibility

Bottom line: Outstanding features, interactivity, and astonishing versatility -- the virtual total package for kid explorers.


Kids learn together in well-rounded, collaborative global classroom

Bottom line: A safe communication system and excellent learning materials help create a global youth community.


High-quality customizable maps help students understand their world

Bottom line: This map app takes time to learn to use but offers both teachers and students highly useful tools for creating custom maps and interactive social studies and science presentations.

Google Maps

Cool extras bolster top navigation app

Bottom line: Google Maps is an essential navigation tool that can empower students to explore their world.

Facing History and Ourselves

A wealth of resources explore racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism

Bottom line: These valuable materials empower students to understand and address difficult ethical choices -- past and present.


Interactive animated charts explore global development trends

Bottom line: Gapminder brings meaning to what otherwise might be considered “boring” numbers; students learn about social, economic, and environmental development.

Stop Disasters!

Slick sim explores global natural disasters

Bottom line: Few other browser-based sims better illustrate the potential of gaming for learning about serious issues in our world.

Your Commonwealth

Engage with passionate international perspectives from youth

Bottom line: Offers a rich variety of news and opinion stories on global issues, and its young writers will get U.S. students hooked on civic engagement.

Bury Me, My Love

Moving portrayal of the dangers and uncertainty of a Syrian refugee

Bottom line: It effectively connects students with the harrowing journey of a Syrian refugee, even though some of the interactive elements are underwhelming.

Global Oneness Project

Dynamic multimedia resources explore life experiences around the world

Bottom line: Unique approach to incorporating global issues into the curriculum; monthly stories capture interdisciplinary topics.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point

Complex global-influence game in which players’ choices rule the world

Bottom line: Complex multi-issue game succeeds in teaching world politics and global development while building perspective and decision-making skills.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

Deep, complex database is challenging but a peerless research tool

Bottom line: This is a highly academic site for better and for worse; it's filled with deep, research-backed resources and primary sources but is intimidating without clear guidance.

1979 Revolution: A Cinematic Adventure Game

Violent, immersive view of revolution engages despite tricky interface

Bottom line: This important historical experience is the perfect start for more global understanding, but the challenging interface may get in the way of learning.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources