Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 24 TOOLS

Tech for Cross-Curricular Learning

Math, ELA, science, social studies, and art are all mixed up in the real world, so why not the classroom? Interdisciplinary teaching can help students make connections between subject areas and transfer concepts and skills between classrooms. This list of apps, games, and websites -- each of which blends two or more traditionally separate subject areas --  will help interdisciplinarity blossom, adding new dimensions to learning.

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ArtsEdge

Impressive cross-curricular resource helps put the A in STEAM

Bottom line: A useful and engaging resource for integrating the arts into a variety of other subject areas.

Defined STEM

Stellar collection of STEM resources supports project-based learning

Bottom line: Excellent, well-thought-out resources for developing problem-solving skills in the classroom.

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.

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Discover, create, remix, and share first-rate museum artifacts

Bottom line: This thoughtfully crafted, open-ended curation and creation tool has a place in most classrooms.

TED-Ed

Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short videos

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

Tuva Labs

Dynamic data exploration tool offers large collection of data sets

Bottom line: Partner with another teacher (preferably a data whiz) and work together to develop cross-curricular activities.

CODAP

Drag and drop data to investigate nearly any subject

Bottom line: A bit awkward to use, but far more engaging than traditional spreadsheet/graphing tools.

StoryCorps

From the everyday to the extraordinary, personal interviews get kids listening

Bottom line: It's a great resource to help demonstrate the value of listening and the importance of storytelling and interviewing skills.

Big History Project

Fascinating look at life's bigger questions with a fresh perspective

Bottom line: A wonderfully innovative and divergent way to teach foundational concepts in history, humanities, critical thinking, and science.

Make New Creations

Scratch

Jump-start future programmers with adaptive sandbox tool

Bottom line: With plenty of time and support, Scratch can help kids of all ages learn essential programming concepts.

littleBits Invent

Top-notch tool empowers kids to invent, build, and control wirelessly

Bottom line: Easy-to-use, versatile electronic invention set that works wirelessly with your hand-held device.

Design Squad Global

Fun engineering problems encourage classroom competition, innovation

Bottom line: Design Squad Global makes learning STEAM concepts fun through hands-on activities and easy-to-understand scientific explanations.

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.

DIY App - Creative Community for Kids

From cardboarding to cooking, this app helps kids find the fun in DIY

Bottom line: Fabulous way for kids to get skills and share their projects digitally.

Sphero Edu

Cool robots and creative play make programming irresistible

Bottom line: Hub for Sphero robots draws crafty kids who love making into coding, and it empowers them to be collaborators.

Math Science Music

Thoughtful tools teach STEM skills through music and creativity

Bottom line: Limited but quality content gives STEM teachers a new toolset for fostering engagement and understanding.

Anchor

Podcasting app is super easy to use, if you can do it all in one take

Bottom line: There are few easier ways to publish a podcast, but that ease of use comes at the cost of one-take creation and few tools for post-production.

Lightwell

No coding required -- visual app design for the rest of us

Bottom line: Create authentic learning experiences for your students with app design in the classroom.

Tap Into Game-Based Learning

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.

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.

Minecraft

Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep

Bottom line: An irresistible and seemingly limitless incubator for 21st-century skills that, with a little guidance, can chart new courses for learning.

Mayan Mysteries

Captivating archaeology adventure about ancient Mayan culture

Bottom line: Mayan Mysteries is a well-made, varied game teachers can use to dig into ancient Mayan civilization and modern archaeology.

Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy

Hone powerful persuasive skills on a red-planet adventure

Bottom line: A visually appealing, pedagogically sound exploration of what makes a valid argument.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Brilliant, charming puzzler challenges kids' ELA and math skills

Bottom line: It's on Nintendo DS so it's not easy to weave into a classroom, but it's worth it, bridging ELA and math in complex puzzles guaranteed to absorb students.

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