Top Pick

Best Tech-Creation Tools

Students love to make and create to demonstrate what they're learning. However, teachers know that the creative process isn't just about having students demonstrate what they already know; it's also about getting students to construct mental models and learn through experience. By making things, students build meaning, work through problems, and acquire new knowledge and skills in context. There's built-in challenge to creation that gets students thinking in new ways while building their confidence. With this in mind, we've compiled this list of terrific tools for tech creation that offer a wide variety of engaging end products kids can create, from stories to animations to music to games. 

Video and Animation

Easy Studio Stop-Motion Studio Publisher: EDOKI ACADEMY
Ideal, easy-to-use way to help kids learn basic animation
Grades K-2
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Shadow Puppet Edu Publisher: Seesaw Learning Inc.
Resource-rich video slide-show maker a gem for a variety of classrooms
Grades 2-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Green Screen by Do Ink Publisher: DK Pictures, Inc.
Versatile, easy-to-use moviemaker yields great results
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Screencastify Visit Website: https://www.screencastify.com/
Easy screen-recording tool facilitates outside-the-box teaching
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Binumi Visit Website: www.binumi.com
One-stop shop for creating and assigning beautiful video stories
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Explain Everything Classic Publisher: Explain Everything, Inc.
Classic version of dynamic presentation tool still excites
Grades 4-12
Type App
Price Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Animoto Visit Website: http://animoto.com/
Create snazzy video slide shows with simple, flexible features
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
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Clips Publisher: Apple Inc.
Create and share videos with cool effects, tons of language options
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Prezi Classic Visit Website: http://prezi.com/
Stylish presentation creator with a unique 3D zooming effect
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Coding and Game Design

Minecraft: Education Edition Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Stellar collaboration tools, controls make Minecraft classroom-ready
Grades K-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
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Scratch Visit Website: http://scratch.mit.edu/
Jump-start future programmers with adaptive sandbox tool
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Itch Visit Website: https://www.itchcode.com/
Full-featured tool makes teaching with Scratch easier than ever
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
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The Infinite Arcade by TinyBop Publisher: Tinybop
Simple game-design app has endless creative potential
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Bloxels: Build, Play, & Share Your Own Video Games Publisher: Pixel Press Technology
Making games using physical cubes is fun, despite execution issues
Grades 2-7
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
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littleBits Invent Publisher: littleBits Electronics Inc.
Top-notch tool empowers kids to invent, build, and control wirelessly
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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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, Nintendo Switch
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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
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Tynker Visit Website: http://www.tynker.com/
Cute, colorful coding platform caters to strong independent readers
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
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Gamestar Mechanic Publisher: Institute of Play and E-Line Media
Captivating manga romp teaches kids game design
Grades 4-9
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
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Mozilla Thimble Visit Website: https://thimble.mozilla.org/
Inspiring platform teaches coding through remixing
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Ready Maker Publisher: Ready Makers, Inc.
Fun and easy game design yields surprisingly complex creations
Grades 4-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, Chrome, Mac Apps
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Stencyl Publisher: Stencyl, LLC
Code-free game development tool helps kids program and publish
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac
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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
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LearnToMod Visit Website: http://www.learntomod.com/
Effective springboard to coding for dedicated Minecraft fans
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Thunkable Visit Website: https://thunkable.com/#/
Build a working iOS or Android app, even without coding experience
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
GameSalad Publisher: GameSalad, Inc.
Great interface, flexible publishing options make game-making a snap
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
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Bloxmob Visit Website: https://www.bloxmob.com/home/
Create and share apps even without the coding know-how
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
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Art and Design

3D Slash Visit Website: http://www.3dslash.net
Minecraft-like 3D modeling (and printing) made super easy for all ages
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Adobe Photoshop Express Publisher: Adobe
Top-notch photo editor helps perfect pics for creative projects
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
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Office Sway Publisher: Microsoft
Cool scroll effects, flexible features boost visual storytelling tool
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Apps for Windows
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SketchUp Visit Website: http://www.sketchup.com/
Make learning meaningful through 3D design
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Tinkercad Visit Website: http://www.tinkercad.com
Amazingly simple yet powerful and flexible online CAD tool
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Autodesk Sketchbook Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free to Try
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
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Music and Recording

GarageBand Publisher: Apple
Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac Apps
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Auxy Studio - Music & Beat Maker Publisher: Auxy AB
Loop beats like a pro with stellar music-maker
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Flat Visit Website: https://flat.io
Terrific composition tool empowers budding musicians to create, share
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated

Storytelling

Storybird Visit Website: http://www.storybird.com
Social storytelling fun; artwork inspires, but limits creative freedom
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
Pixton Visit Website: http://www.pixton.com
Popular comic creation tool well-tuned to classrooms
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
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Sutori Visit Website: http://www.sutori.com
A slick way to share knowledge via interactive timelines and stories
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
Twine Visit Website: https://twinery.org/
Cool interactive story creator can both dazzle and baffle
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say