Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 22 TOOLS

Tools for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, or PBL, challenges students to design and engage in more authentic, extended, and complex learning. But while PBL is a trusted strategy for increasing student engagement and learning, it's not easy to orchestrate. There are tons of moving pieces, and if you're doing it right, students will be engaging in a variety of interest-driven projects all with various needs and on different schedules. So how do you manage it all? Tech can be a huge help. This list gathers some useful productivity and organization tools that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects. There are also a few tools designed specifically for PBL, as well as plug-and-play PBL experiences.

Continue reading

Top Picks

RELATED

PrintPrint | Save as PDF

Makers Empire

Stellar 3D design hub promotes innovation, collaboration, and creation

Bottom line: This is a great design and creation tool that teachers and students can use to be innovative and share ideas with a vibrant community of makers.

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.

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.

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.

Workbench

Find and assign STEAM tasks with dynamic project-based learning hub

Bottom line: Dynamic resource for finding, creating, and rating lessons that support STEAM and PBL.

PenPal Schools

Give students global perspective with pen pal projects in any subject

Bottom line: A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that facilitates authentic, cross-cultural collaboration.

Metaverse

Ambitious augmented-reality tool engages users, promotes coding skills

Bottom line: This dynamic tool allows users to create and experience augmented-reality activities while learning 21st-century skills.

Mathalicious

Toughest palates can't resist appetizing look at real-world math

Bottom line: Easy-to-deliver lessons use real-world topics tweens like.

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.

Evernote

Organize digital content with full-featured web clipper and notebook

Bottom line: Students and teachers can learn to better manage their digital lives via this comprehensive organizational tool.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects

Bottom line: It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations.

Notability

Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities

Bottom line: An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities.

Notebook - Take Notes, Sync

Curate and organize all kinds of content into customizable notebooks

Bottom line: From the novice to the super-organized student, Notebook's versatility is a rare free find.

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.

Google Applied Digital Skills

Practical PBL lessons teach critical computer skills

Bottom line: Thorough digital literacy curriculum offers mix-and-match options to fit any classroom.

Meridian Stories

Unique challenges for great learning; site could offer more support

Bottom line: As a fun opportunity for students to showcase their learning in creative ways, the site could offer more direction and incentives to participate.

Wikispaces

Powerful tool for creating collaborative websites

Bottom line: Wikispaces.com is a rare, collaborative Web tool that's both powerful and accessible.

Educurious (with LMS)

Spark deep curiosity with PBL courses that connect life and learning

Bottom line: Get kids involved in learning that really matters to them with these interactive, inquiry-based units.

Google Drive

Nifty tool for collaboratively editing and syncing files across devices

Bottom line: Google Drive is a smart choice for budget-conscious schools, with its free productivity tools and file syncing.

WordPress.com

Solid blogging tool and content management system offers DIY blogs

Bottom line: This is a great tool to get kids blogging and creating online content.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources