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Great Student-Centered Learning Resources

Great student-centered learning experiences emerge from students' interests and give them agency. Student-centered learning also gets students more involved in planning and assessment: from setting up student learning goals to co-designing how they'll achieve them. The tools, resources, and lessons in this list will help you implement student-centered pedagogy in your classroom. There's a tool that get students invested in learning by connecting class work to their interests beyond the classroom. We've also curated tools to help students research their interests, connect with mentors, collaborate on projects, and create portfolios to collect learning activities. There are also some tools for tailoring assessments to each student's topic.

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Tools for Student Exploration and Inspiration

NOVA

Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom line: Stellar simulations, teacher guides, and other activities can stand on their own, and they're enhanced with high-quality video content.

NBC Learn

Vast video site offers current, historical content

Bottom line: This is a great source for video-based news, thanks to the huge archive, current events coverage, and teacher-friendly extra links to Newsela articles.

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.

Wizard School

Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning

Bottom line: There's plenty of material to inspire kids to embark on learning adventures that get them to explore, create, and share safely on the screen and off.

Newsela

Absorbing daily news stories offer kids just-right learning content

Bottom line: Up-to-date, high-interest articles meet students right at their level: Use this robust tool to bolster students' nonfiction reading practice.

Expeditions

Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom

Bottom line: With stunning scenes and a flexible delivery method, your students will thank you for journeying together through space and time.

DIY

Design, build, and share new things offline and online

Bottom line: DIY motivates kids to tackle a wide range of problems with independent and scientific thinking.

TED-Ed

Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short video lessons

Bottom line: TED-Ed includes excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.

Digital Public Library of America

Organized digital library features piles of useful primary resources

Bottom line: DPLA is at the top of the list of high-grade, online primary source collections if teachers make effective use of what's on offer.

Google Arts & Culture

Excellent curation and an unmatched art collection invite exploration

Bottom line: A one-stop shop for a vast amount of compellingly curated and contextualized art, but it's lacking educator supports.

Couragion

Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values

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

Research and Citation

PebbleGo

Easily accessible, kid-friendly database for the littlest researchers

Bottom line: Delightful, safe introduction to the world of research, databases, and reporting, with interesting content and stellar supports.

PebbleGo Next

Safe nonfiction database develops students’ research skills

Bottom line: Student-centric research site gives kids a just-right amount of information to build foundational research skills.

Citelighter

Substantial all-in-one tool scaffolds the research and writing process

Bottom line: This smart, intuitive system supports students in every step of the writing process.

Simple English Wikipedia

Adapted resource can help some ELLs, with potential for other students

Bottom line: This empowering research tool for more advanced English learners has the potential for wider, more creative applications.

ZoteroBib

Fewer clicks and less clutter equal a new go-to site for citing sources

Bottom line: An intuitive site that takes the stress out of citing sources, but students will still need instruction to tweak auto-generated citations.

SweetSearch

Search engine with filtered results leaves room for critical thinking

Bottom line: SweetSearch supplies valid, reputable websites that can help kids learn about a variety of topics.

NoodleTools

Expansive research tool uniquely melds learning and productivity

Bottom line: While the complex, old-school design isn't ideal, NoodleTools gives students specific assistance where they need it the most -- with citations, paraphrasing, elaboration, and organization.

Weava

Chrome extension helps organize web-based research

Bottom line: For Chrome users and mostly digital classrooms, this is a fairly intuitive tool that'll help students wrangle their research.

Google Scholar

Academic search engine, an excellent source for credible research info

Bottom line: This smart tool can help teens locate credible material for paper and report writing, general research, and other school projects.

Tools for Student Collaboration

Dreamdo Schools

Sleek project-based learning platform encourages global connections

Bottom line: An excellent tool for project-based learning; plan, create, and share learning around the world.

Minecraft: Education Edition

Stellar collaboration tools, controls make Minecraft classroom-ready

Bottom line: An excellent tool to engage students in learning, collaboration, and critical thinking is now more accessible than ever to teachers.

MURAL

Multifaceted interactive whiteboard promotes collaboration

Bottom line: MURAL facilitates lesson presentation and group project collaboration from anywhere by making idea sharing a simple, visual process.

Edublogs

Customizable classroom blogs get students writing and collaborating

Bottom line: This rich and safe blogging tool makes it easy for teachers and students to extend the classroom into a wider community.

Explain Everything Whiteboard

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

Spiral

Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

CueThink

Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

Bottom line: An innovative, community-based platform that helps students plan, strategize, and collaborate.

WordPress

Inviting, customizable mobile blog platform with easy-to-use interface

Bottom line: Wordpress's app makes it easy to create and edit blog posts, manage comments, and view friends' blogs, and could be an indispensable tool for communication and collaboration if well-implemented.

Tools for Student Portfolios and Student-Driven Assessment

Goalbook Toolkit

Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies

Bottom line: You pay for quality with Goalbook Toolkit, including access to clear, well-crafted learning goals and strategies that allow for far easier differentiation.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Bottom line: A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

Sown to Grow

Cultivate a growth mindset with reflective, student-driven learning

Bottom line: If developing a growth mindset is an important part of your teaching practice, this is a solid choice.

eBackpack

Easy system to submit, review, and store digital assignments

Bottom line: This is a great way to create a paperless classroom, but its potential for enhancing learning depends completely on how teachers use it.

Microsoft OneNote

Note-taking giant built for flexible, collaborative work

Bottom line: A powerful (and free) tool for thinking and organization that's making smart strides in the education space.

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.

Project Foundry

Helpful, yet complex, management tool for project-based learning

Bottom line: A powerful, though sometimes complex, tool for providing inquiry-based, student-centered learning.

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.

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