Common Sense


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.

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Closed video-sharing platform encourages project-based learning

Bottom line: This video-sharing platform is an open-ended, easy-to-use tool with rich learning potential.

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.

Common Sense Selection


Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

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

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.

Common Sense Selection


Impressive cross-curricular platform establishes global connections

Bottom line: Versatile video-based curriculum inspires reflection and action.

Common Sense Selection

Project Pals

Unique project-based learning tool focuses on collaboration

Bottom line: Once teachers get their bearings, they'll find this to be a uniquely useful workflow and project management tool that can guide students through collaborative work.

Common Sense Selection

Global Problem Solvers

Free animated series and companion materials bring problem-solving to life

Bottom line: If teachers go beyond the videos and worksheets, students can apply what they learn to hands-on, collaborative problem-solving projects.


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.

Google Drive

Nifty tool to create, collaborate, and sync files across devices

Bottom line: With its wide range of free productivity tools and slick file syncing, it's a level-setting 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.

Nimbus Note

Comprehensive note keeper offers loads of organizational features

Bottom line: Customized notes sync across devices to enhance productivity and promote a paperless classroom.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Use a game-inspired classroom structure to offer some autonomy and flexibility

Bottom line: GradeCraft has the potential to revolutionize your classroom by inspiring students to take control of their own learning.

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.

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