Top Pick

Top Picks for Connecting the Classroom and Real World

It’s a no-brainer that students are more engaged in learning when real-world problems and scenarios support what they’re doing. When students see the connection between what’s inside and what’s outside their classroom, they see that there’s more at stake in learning than a report card. These picks build bridges beyond the classroom by connecting content with careers, showing everyday applications of learning, and getting students doing authentic activities that have real impact.

Discover and Engage in a Community

Teaching Tolerance Visit Website: http://www.tolerance.org/
Thought-provoking classroom resources support diversity education
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Zooniverse Visit Website: https://www.zooniverse.org/
Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Project Noah Visit Website: http://www.projectnoah.org/
Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
iCivics Visit Website: http://www.icivics.org/
Exceptionally well-designed games, lesson plans demystify government
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
The Harry Potter Alliance Visit Website: http://www.thehpalliance.org
Fan site promotes real-world heroics with activism for social justice
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4

Explore Careers

Curiosity Machine Visit Website: https://www.curiositymachine.org
Kids build, share, receive pro feedback with awesome engineering site
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Edheads Visit Website: http://www.edheads.org
Realistic, appealing simulations deliver superb science content
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
KidsThinkDesign Visit Website: http://www.kidsthinkdesign.org/index.html
Projects inspire creativity; a place for kids' sharing would boost fun
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Khan Academy: Pixar in a Box Visit Website: http://www.khanacademy.org
Great tool shows kids how math relates to creative design
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Couragion Visit Website: http://www.couragion.com/
Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
The Sports Network 2
Make news and build ELA skills with this cable sports show sim
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4

Make New Creations

littleBits Invent Publisher: littleBits Electronics Inc.
Top-notch tool empowers kids to invent, build, and control wirelessly
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Wizard School Publisher: Duck Duck Moose
Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
DIY Visit Website: http://www.diy.org
Design, build, and share new things offline and online
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Stencyl Publisher: Stencyl, LLC
Code-free game development tool helps kids program and publish
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Appinventor.org Visit Website: http://www.appinventor.org/
Great mobile app creation site has solid teacher resources
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Autodesk Design Academy Visit Website: http://academy.autodesk.com
Outstanding project-based tutorials for popular engineering software
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Instructables Visit Website: http://www.instructables.com
Endless collection of DIY projects; good for sharing and inspiration
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
HowStuffWorks Publisher: HowStuffWorks.com
Explore the world's nuts and bolts in this fab interactive info hub
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3

Promote STEM Learning

Sound Uncovered Publisher: Exploratorium
Interactive science tool teaches with virtual experiments, exploration
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Color Uncovered Publisher: Exploratorium
Engaging ebook combines art with science in playful ways
Grades 5-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Mathalicious Visit Website: http://www.mathalicious.com/
Toughest palates can't resist appetizing look at real-world math
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price $320 annual subscription per teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Get the Math Visit Website: http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/
Solve real-life algebra problems with diverse crew, delightful video
Grades 7-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Solve the Outbreak Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Become a disease detective -- read clues, analyze data, save lives
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4