Top Pick

EdTech That Inspires Interest-Driven Learning

When students are passionate about something, it's essential to create an environment of support that helps them dig deeper. One of the best ways to get students invested in learning is to connect what they're doing in the classroom to what interests them beyond the classroom. These picks help students get inspired, research their interests, connect with mentors and collaborate on projects, and create portfolios. There are also some tools for tailoring assessments to each student’s topic.

Interested in seeing tips on how you might use some of these tools to build curiosity in the classroom? Check out our blog series We All Teach SEL: Inspiring Activities for Every Classroom

Exploration and Inspiration

Podcasts Publisher: Apple
Search, access, and organize podcasts from iTunes' free library
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Teachers say
Thrively Visit Website: http://www.thrively.com/
Cool assessment targets kids’ strengths; sprawling content overwhelms
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
News-O-Matic for School, 2016-17 Nonfiction Reading Publisher: Press4Kids
Flexible, interactive daily stories for elementary school students
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price $6.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Teachers say
Wizard School Publisher: Duck Duck Moose
Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Teachers say
Newsela Visit Website: https://newsela.com/
Absorbing daily news stories offer kids just-right learning content
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
Expeditions Publisher: Google Inc
Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Teachers say
KidsThinkDesign Visit Website: http://www.kidsthinkdesign.org/index.html
Projects inspire creativity; a place for kids' sharing would boost fun
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
Couragion Visit Website: http://www.couragion.com/
Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated

Research and Citation

Citelighter Visit Website: http://www.citelighter.com
Substantial all-in-one tool scaffolds the research and writing process
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
Simple English Wikipedia Visit Website: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Adapted resource can help some ELLs, with potential for other students
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
findingDulcinea Visit Website: http://www.findingdulcinea.com
Quality search tool with curated resources and links to credible sites
Grades 6-10
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
SweetSearch Visit Website: http://www.sweetsearch.com
Search engine with filtered results leaves room for critical thinking
Grades 6-10
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
Evernote Visit Website: http://evernote.com/
Handy storage locker for anything and everything you might create
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
ResearchReady Visit Website: http://www.imagineeasy.com/academy/
Versatile site helps integrate literacy skills into the curriculum
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
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Teachers say
Noodle Tools Visit Website: http://www.noodletools.com/
No noodlin’, just serious research with this comprehensive resource
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
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Teachers say

Collaboration

Dreamdo Schools Visit Website: https://edu.dream.do/
Sleek project-based learning platform encourages global connections
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Edublogs Visit Website: https://edublogs.org/
Customizable classroom blogs get students writing and collaborating
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Actively Learn Visit Website: http://www.activelylearn.com/
Empowering social ereader keeps kids actively, independently engaged
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Google Hangouts Visit Website: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/
Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
Wikispaces Visit Website: http://www.wikispaces.com/
Powerful tool for creating collaborative websites
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
Google Drive Visit Website: https://drive.google.com/
Nifty tool for collaboratively editing docs and syncing files across devices or online
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
WordPress Publisher: Automattic
Inviting, customizable mobile blog platform with easy-to-use interface
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Fire phone
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Teachers say

Portfolios and Assessment

Goalbook Toolkit Visit Website: https://goalbookapp.com/toolkit-info/
Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies
Grades Pre-K-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Seesaw: The Learning Journal Publisher: Seesaw, Inc.
Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Chrome
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Teachers say
WeLearnedIt Publisher: eduClipper, Inc.
Digital portfolio and management tool for project-based classrooms
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
PlayPosit Visit Website: http://www.playposit.com/
Simple design makes it easy to jump into interactive video
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
eBackpack Visit Website: https://www.ebackpack.com/
Easy system to submit, review, and store digital assignments
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
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Teachers say
Project Foundry Visit Website: http://projectfoundry.org/
Helpful, yet complex, management tool for project-based learning
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price
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Teachers say