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Top 25 Education Sites & Apps For 2020

X-ray-like image of brain hovering above cardboard box
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It's the time of year again for my favorite annual sites and apps.  This year's list includes a wide variety of educational tools, from student response systems to curation tools to multimedia resources. Many are new and some are free. As always, tools listed in previous end-of-year posts are not eligible for this year's list.

  1. Wakelet - Wakelet lets educators bookmark any item on the web (i.e. article, blog, tweet, etc.), curate them in stunning visual ways, and invite others to collaborate.  Wakelet is great for digital storytelling, professional development, digital portfolios, newsletters and more.
  2. GooseChase - An innovative site/app (iOS/Google Play) for creating digital scavenger hunts. Includes plenty of templates for educators to create their own scavenger hunt, integrated into any curriculum.
  3. Educandy -  A wonderful site for creating educational games easily. Teachers simply enter questions and Educandy creates the game. Students play online or using the Educandy app. 
  4. Walnut - An excellent new site/app for finding educational videos and then taking quizzes to assess learning, similar to BrainPop. This is a great way for educators to assess learning and differentiate instruction.
  5. Knoword - A super fun vocabulary game with an educational portal where teachers can create their own word lists and track/monitor students.
  6. Mobile Permissions - A fantastic free new tool for educators to send parents permissions slips via their phone or mobile device.  Parents can then electronically sign and submit payment while educators can monitor it all from their teacher portal.  
  7. DOGOnews - DOGOnews is an excellent site for creating reading assignments for grades K-8 that can then be integrated into Google Classroom.  This is done through their curated safe (COPA compliant) educational database that provides assessment and language/speech features.
  8. VideoClass - A great site for educators and students to find standards-aligned educational videos on a multitude of subjects, including math, physics, English, literature and more.  Teachers can upload their own videos, create a screencast or even earn extra money by charging to download their videos.
  9. Parlay - Parlay is a very innovative online tool that educators are using to take classroom discussions to the next level.  Features include a robust library of discussion prompts (with resources), online discussion roundtable, and "live" verbal roundtables. Students review the materials provided and submit thioe own responses.
  10. Math Attax - A super-fun highly-addictive free mobile (iOS/Google Play) math game with a simple interface that helps students with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 

    [40 Sites & Apps for Teaching Kids to Program or Code]
  11. Loop - An interesting new student response system in which educators create an online classroom and post questions for students to answer. Teachers can create groups for any class and compare data between groups. Responses can be anonymous to encourage student engagement.  Helps teachers assess student learning and differentiate instruction.
  12. while True: learn() -  A innovative new iOS game that educators can use to not only integrate game-based learning into their instruction, but also introduce STEM skills such as programming, coding, and logical thinking.
  13. Backchannel Chat - An amazing site/app for creating backchannel chats that educators can use for classroom brainstorming and assessing learning. Teachers maintain full control over the discussion, with the ability to remove messages if needed. 
  14. Fishbowl - A new social network/community where teachers and other professionals can post questions, share resources, or collaborate on best practices.
  15. Kolibri - An interesting new site for finding interactive resources, videos, lesson plans and quizzes.  Topics include math, storytelling, social-emotional learning and more. 
  16. NowComment - A great learning tool which allows educators and students to annotate online documents to facilitate engagement and learning.
  17. FUNecole - A wonderful digital learning solution for grades 1-6 that focuses on computer science, digital literacy and SEL (social emotional learning).
  18. ClassroomQ - An easy-to-use innovative tool that acts as a digital hand raising device. Designed by two teachers, the site allows kids to ask for help without interrupting the flow of instruction. 
  19. Newlearn.io - A new professional social network for teachers to find educational resources curated by common core standards. Search for resources by keyword or by standard. 
  20. OneClass - A fantastic all-in-one solution for students looking for homework help, study guides, tutors, and more.
  21. Codelicious - Codelicious is a customizable computer science curriculum designed to help educators integrate STEM into their classroom with courses on Scratch, Javascript, video game development, graphic design, engineering and more. 
  22. AdaptedMind - An excellent online curriculum for math and reading grades K-6 that uses educational games to make learning fun. 
  23. Education Galaxy - This innovative learning platform provides online assessment, practice and instruction for K-6 students. Programs are aligned to state standards and free accounts are offered to educators.
  24. boclips - A great place to find vetted educational videos. Perfect for schools where YouTube is blocked by filters.
  25. Course Hero - Students can find online tutors in a variety of subjects, while teachers can earn extra income by signing up to become an online tutor. 

David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at dkapuler@gmail.com and read his blog at cyber-kap.blogspot.com.