Top Pick

Best Tech Creation Tools

Students love to make their own creations no matter the topic. Creating challenges students to think in new ways, builds pride and confidence, and offers a naturally engaging way to demonstrate learning. These terrific tools provide opportunities for students to make everything from animations to music to games.

Easy Studio - Introduction to Animation Publisher: Les Trois Elles Interactive
Ideal, easy-to-use way to help kids learn basic animation
Grades K-2
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Scratch Visit Website: http://scratch.mit.edu/
Jump-start future programmers with adaptive sandbox tool
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
VoiceThread Visit Website: https://www.voicethread.com
Easily collaborate and create with voice, video, or image
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price $79/year
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
3D Slash Visit Website: http://www.3dslash.net
Minecraft-like 3-D modeling (and printing) made super easy for all ages
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Pixel Press Floors Publisher: Pixel Press Technology
Ingenious game-creation tool translates kids' paper-and-pencil designs
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Minecraft Publisher: Mojang
Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep
Grades 3-12
Type Game
Price $26.95 for desktop, $19.99 for consoles (except Wii U at $29.99)
Platforms Linux, Mac, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Google CS First Visit Website: https://www.cs-first.com
Middle school CS platform offers stellar resources, organizing tools
Grades 4-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Tynker Visit Website: http://www.tynker.com/
Cute, colorful coding platform caters to strong independent readers
Grades 4-8
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Gamestar Mechanic Publisher: Institute of Play and E-Line Media
Captivating manga romp teaches kids game design
Grades 4-9
Type Game
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Algodoo Publisher: Algoryx
Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
GarageBand Publisher: Apple
Amazingly powerful music workstation unleashes the musician in us all
Grades 4-12
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
LittleBigPlanet 2 Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price 19.99
Platforms PS3
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Mozilla Thimble Visit Website: https://thimble.mozilla.org/
Inspiring platform teaches coding through remixing
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Stencyl Publisher: Stencyl, LLC
Code-free game development tool helps kids program and publish
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
GameMaker: Studio Publisher: YoYo Games Ltd.
One of the best creation tools available for aspiring game developers
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
123D Sculpt+ Publisher: Autodesk
Easy-to-use 3-D sculpting app works well on tablet, mobile
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Appinventor.org Visit Website: http://www.appinventor.org/
Great mobile app creation site has solid teacher resources
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
MIT App Inventor Visit Website: http://appinventor.mit.edu/
Fun programming site gets kids to build their own mobile apps
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
SketchUp Visit Website: http://www.sketchup.com/
Make learning meaningful through 3-D design
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Tinkercad Visit Website: http://www.tinkercad.com
Amazingly simple yet powerful and flexible online CAD tool
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Twine Visit Website: https://twinery.org/
Cool interactive story creator can both dazzle and baffle
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Animoto Visit Website: http://animoto.com/
Snazzy video slideshows a snap to create
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
GameSalad Publisher: GameSalad, Inc.
Great interface, flexible publishing options make game-making a snap
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $19+ per month, discounts for educators
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Autodesk Sketchbook Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Tiki-Toki Visit Website: http://www.tiki-toki.com/
Create stunning multimedia timelines for any project or purpose
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Vidcode Visit Website: http://www.vidcode.io/
Cool coding tool tuned to teen girls' passions aids creativity
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated