TOP PICKS | 23 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.

Zigazoo

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.

Grades: K–5
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: K–8
Price:
Free, Free to try

Defined Learning

Stellar collection of STEM resources supports project-based learning

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

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Seesaw

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

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

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

Belouga

Impressive cross-curricular platform establishes global connections

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

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free to try

PenPal Schools

Give students global perspective with pen pal projects in any subject

Bottom Line: This is a thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that facilitates authentic and safe cross-cultural collaboration.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Tract

Student creators show what they know on video-based learning platform

Bottom Line: Teachers who want to encourage inquiry, PBL, and student-led lessons will find Tract has all the bases covered.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free to try

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.

Grades: 5–9
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative LMS platform helps manage classes, groups, and projects

Bottom Line: Educators will likely find that the wide variety of features Teams offers is worth the time it takes to learn how to use it.

Grades: 5–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Paid

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Paid

StoryMaker

Comprehensive civic media site supports youth voice and creativity

Bottom Line: This is a site that offers both actionable resources and an active community for student voice and civic engagement.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free, Paid

GradeCraft

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.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free to try

Notion

Cool, customizable tool turns notebooks into workspaces

Bottom Line: With some scaffolding, this could be a great way to capture, organize, and share info without juggling a class site, notebook, to-do list, and more.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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