Top Pick

Top Reference Tools

Remember the imposing shelves of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases you grew up with? Times have changed. Now, hundreds of handy reference tools can be accessed on just a single device. What's more, their sleek images and interactive content will wow students.

Google Earth
Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
American Chemical Society Visit Website: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education.html
Chemistry resources for teachers and kids, straight from the experts
Grades Pre-K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 5
Barefoot World Atlas Publisher: Touch Press
Visually stunning 3-D globe piques students' interest in world facts
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 2
The Free Dictionary by Farlex Publisher: Farlex, Inc.
Vast word reference features tons of content and word games
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free, Free to Try
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Chrome
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Geo Walk HD - 3D World Fact Book Publisher: Vito Technology
Dazzling look at the world via an interactive atlas
Grades 5-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
National Archives Visit Website: http://www.archives.gov/
Access U.S. history with treasure trove of docs, genealogy, and other resources
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Center for Young Women's Health Visit Website: http://www.youngwomenshealth.org
Maturely covers difficult physical and mental health issues
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
Digital Public Library of America Visit Website: http://dp.la/
Impressive online collection of historic and cultural artifacts
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Dictionary.com Publisher: Dictionary.com, LLC
Useful reference tool with voice recognition and daily updates
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Math Open Reference Visit Website: http://www.mathopenref.com
Dynamic tools and clear descriptions deliver power and precision to geometry study
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Sparticl Visit Website: http://www.sparticl.org/
Teen-focused collection of science snippets hosts class-ready content
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Wolfram Alpha Visit Website: http://www.wolframalpha.com
Calculations, computations, algorithms give kids just the facts, ma'am
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
WordFlex Touch Dictionary
Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free to Try
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
Ptable Visit Website: http://www.ptable.com/
Definitive periodic table with all the bells and whistles
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy Online Visit Website: http://adameducation.com/
Explore detailed images with powerful, customizable anatomy curriculum
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
Google Scholar Visit Website: http://scholar.google.com
Academic search engine, an excellent source for credible research info
Grades 9-12
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
Sex, Etc. Visit Website: http://www.sexetc.org
Reliable, unbiased sex ed site keeps it real for teens
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Shmoop Visit Website: http://www.shmoop.com
Pop culture plus solid content equals legit learning
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4