Top Pick

ELA Tools Backed by Research

A lot of tech tools claim to have learning benefits, but how do teachers know what's the real deal? One way is to look for either tech that's inspired by the latest research into learning, pedagogy, and instructional design or tech that's been evaluated by researchers. It's not always easy to find this information, so we've curated a list of English language arts apps, games, and websites that fit the bill. 

Learn with Homer Publisher: Homer
A captivating, comprehensive beginning reading resource
Grades Pre-K-1
Type App
Price Free to Try
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Starfall.com Visit Website: http://www.starfall.com/
Well-designed literacy site with great activities for new readers
Grades Pre-K-2
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Curiosityville Visit Website: http://www.curiosityville.com
Highly engaging, age-appropriate site with delightful games
Grades Pre-K-3
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Social Stories Publisher: PufferFish Software Inc.
Quick and simple behavior-reinforcement tool for kids with autism
Grades Pre-K-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
IXL Visit Website: http://www.ixl.com/
Immediate feedback and breadth a major plus, despite emphasis on drills
Grades Pre-K-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Flocabulary Visit Website: http://www.flocabulary.com/
Schoolhouse Rock meets Tupac in this delightful hip-hop-based platform
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Makewaves Visit Website: https://www.makewav.es/
Safe social-publishing platform with amazing badge system
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Proloquo2Go Publisher: AssistiveWare
Brilliant tool helps kids with speech difficulties communicate
Grades K-12
Type App
Price $249.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Pictello Publisher: AssistiveWare
Fabulous tool can help kids create social stories
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price $18.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
News-2-You Publisher: AssistiveWare
Draw kids into weekly news with powerful symbols and voice narration
Grades 2-6
Type App
Price $1.99 per newspaper; $54.99 per year
Platforms iPad
Common Sense says
Teachers say
StudySync Visit Website: http://www.studysync.com/
Superb ELA resource spurs critical thinking with dynamic multimedia
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy Publisher: GlassLab
Hone powerful persuasive skills on a red-planet adventure
Grades 6-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense says
Teachers say
SAT Vocab - MindSnacks Publisher: MindSnacks
Variety is key in charmingly effective SAT vocab app
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Animoto Video Slideshow Maker Publisher: Animoto Inc.
Slick video slide-show tool lets kids tell stories and share them
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Visual Thesaurus Visit Website: http://www.visualthesaurus.com/
Watch words branch out into intriguing, layered language maps
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Vocabulary.com Visit Website: https://www.vocabulary.com/
Smart, stylish site helps students commit new words to memory
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say