Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 21 TOOLS

Career and College-Prep Apps and Websites

Part of making students ready for college, career, and life involves helping them realize their unique talents and the value they can bring to their workplace and community. Some of the tools on this list help students self-reflect on their own strengths and interests, as well as browse the wide variety of careers and jobs available to them. Other tools help students build portfolios to show their work, search and connect with universities, earn scholarships, jump-start the college application process, and learn good test-prep habits.

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Careers and Interests

Thrively

Cool assessment targets kids' strengths; sprawling content overwhelms

Bottom line: A great starting point for conversations about students' strengths; skip some of the digital content.

Mindprint Learning

Expert feedback and tools designed for individual learner profiles

Bottom line: This impressive tool uses normed digital assessments to create a specific learning profile and provide authentic tools for individual learners.

TryEngineering

Helpful but aging engineering career site caters to all

Bottom line: This one-stop shop is best used for helping teachers plan engineering lessons and getting students involved with the community.

KidsThinkDesign

Projects inspire creativity; a place for kids' sharing would boost fun

Bottom line: A go-to site for teachers looking for well-presented project ideas; kids will need opportunities to share work locally.

Engineer Girl

Female engineers give girls career advice on this visually appealing site

Bottom line: Empowering tool encourages girls to explore engineering but is mostly static and best-suited for choosing courses and looking at colleges.

Roadtrip Nation

Outstanding site motivates kids to follow dreams, work hard

Bottom line: Incredibly inspirational, fun, and helpful guide for kids trying to figure out a sustainable, happy future.

Couragion

Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values

Bottom line: Students identify career values and use them to evaluate STEM options.

Pairin

Robust personality survey for students results in real-world insights

Bottom line: For educators who have the time, drive, and buy-in, this program is a great data-analysis and character-development tool.

Portfolios and Scholarships

Pathbrite

Create, organize, assess sleek digital portfolios

Bottom line: A simple PBL tool that promotes digital literacy and lets kids create flexible, accessible digital portfolios.

Bulb

Slick portfolio tool has cool features, limited feedback options

Bottom line: A neat tool for publishing online, possibly better suited to teacher content creation than student publishing.

Credly

Great how-to content, flexible features boost digital badge tool

Bottom line: A useful tool for issuing digital badges.

Exibi

Comprehensive but complex tool for creating and publishing portfolios

Bottom line: This is a fantastic choice if you take eportfolios seriously; just be prepared to devote serious time to teaching the tool.

C'reer

Free app helps kids refine career search, connect to universities

Bottom line: For students who are unsure where to begin, this app helps jump-start the college and career application process.

LinkedIn

Great for some college-bound kids; too much pressure for others

Bottom line: While it offers resources for kids headed to college, it's hard to envision them actually wanting a LinkedIn profile.

RaiseMe

Proactive tool lets students earn scholarship money in high school

Bottom line: This tool takes some mystery out of the financial aid process, and the ability to earn early may motivate financially strapped or otherwise reluctant students to dream bigger.

Scholly

Find scholarships, preview college essays with pay-to-search tool

Bottom line: An approachable tool that empowers students to face the overwhelming task of financing their college educations. 

SAT and Test Prep

Quizlet

App to find, create, use digital flashcards; website is better

Bottom line: A convenient way to find, create, and review digital flashcards, which have all the advantages and disadvantages of paper flashcards.

SAT

Trustworthy, practical SAT prep from the makers of the test

Bottom line: Kid will gain confidence as they review practice tests, videos, and SAT advice.

Albert

Flexible, interactive test-prep practice for high school and beyond

Bottom line: A variety of question types and on-the-spot analytics help teachers individualize test-prep practice.

College Passport - SAT Edition

Good SAT review, iffy college-search guidance

Bottom line: A neat concept with useful features, but the college search's tonal bent and content undermine the app's seriousness.

SAT Word Slam

Creative SAT prep mixes humor with well-researched word lists

Bottom line: Laughing while learning proves effective for learning words in this witty vocab app.

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