This article was updated for back to school 2023
It’s back-to-school time again!
Whether you’re excited about the new school year or need some inspiration, a new teacher or a seasoned pro, or teaching in a classroom or online—you and your students will benefit from education sites and apps that deliver the all-important student engagement while supporting learning goals in reading, writing, math and more.
The following sites and apps are some of the best all-around edtech teaching tools. Most are fully free, while others offer free basic accounts or generous free trials. All are worth checking out!
20 Sites/Apps Every Teacher Should Try for Back to School
The GooseChase online platform helps users design and a variety of scavenger hunts: indoor, outdoor, virtual, and group. The free basic teacher’s account allows one live game at a time in team mode. iOS Android
Desmos Classroom Featured Collections
Help your students reveal their inner mathematician with hundreds of free classroom math lessons and activities covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry, functions, calculus, and more. Each lesson includes a step-by-step teacher’s guide and interactive digital slides.
Book Creator allows students and teachers to blend text, visuals, audio, and video to create digital books and portfolios, interactive stories, academic reports, graphic novels, and more. It’s an excellent way to boost literacy, independent learning, and collaboration. The free account permits one library and up to 40 books.
With this tool teachers can turn videos into lessons by adding questions, audio, or notes. Integrates with Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology, Moodle, PowerSchool, Blackboard, and blackbaud. What’s more, Edpuzzle tracks student progress, helping teachers to differentiate instruction. Free basic plans offer access to more than 5 million editable videos, storage space for 20 videos, and student analytics.
BoomWriter is a Google for Education Partner that allows students to collaborate in writing books. In addition to motivating students with an interactive platform and highly engaging online environment, BoomWriter is a top-notch vehicle to deliver individualized feedback and writing instruction. Excellent brief video tutorials demonstrate how to get started in your classroom. Free to sign up and use; to purchase the final hard-copy books costs $12.99 plus S&H per book.
A standards-aligned, game-based practice and assessment site for K-12, designed to help prepare students for state testing. The free basic teacher’s account allows one teacher and either 30 students/all subjects or 150 students/one subject.
Who doesn’t love movies? ClassHook leverages the power of “moving pictures” to help educators capture student attention across a wide range of subjects, including science, math, history, SEL, health, and others. Free basic accounts offer 20 clips and three live discussion rooms per month.
With a learning approach based on education and neuroscience academic research, Oodlu’s innovative platform lets educators create learning and assessment games for their students. Free standard account allows formative assessments, the ability to create, search and select questions, and more. Oodlu for students: Android iOS
The Common Curriculum platform allows educators to design standards-aligned lessons, units, and assignments in one easy-to-use website. Collaborate with your colleagues too! Free basic plan offers lesson planning, posting to Google Classroom, downloading, and uploading.
A cloud-based slide presentation platform, Storyboard That is ideal for digital storytelling, project-based learning, graphic organizers, writing prompts, and much more. Teachers create storyboards from a large library of graphics and text of every conceivable type, from people to building to shapes to math equations. Strong grade-level resources are available for using Storyboard That in the classroom along with lesson plans, assignments, and templates. Common Core-aligned, FERPA, CCPA, COPPA, and GDPR compliant. 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
A top site for K-12 educators who are integrating keyboarding and typing into the curriculum, TypeTastic provides engaging game-based learning as well as a teacher dashboard to track student progress. Free basic account includes a complete K-12 keyboarding curriculum without ads. A 60-day School Edition free trial for educators is available.
I Know It
A super-fun way for K-5 kids to practice math. Educators can assign Common-Core-aligned lessons, assess students, and differentiate instruction. For kids using a touch screen, a "work space" feature allows them to show their work by drawing on the screen. Free 30 day trial, no credit card required.
Bookmark this simple free website that provides a wide range of online calculators, STEM formulas, unit conversion tables, file conversion tools, simple coding commands, graph makers, and more. Users will enjoy finding unexpected tools such as the password generator and online voice recorder.
“Learning isn’t about memorizing facts to pass a test.” If you agree with this statement, you will find a lot to like in this free math/computer science concept website, built by former Microsoft programmer Kalid Azad. Articles such as “Developing Your Intuition For Math” and “How To Learn Trigonometry Intuitively” offer a learning path that goes beyond exam prep, and ultimately may lead toward a deeper understanding. Colorized math topics and cheat sheets (don’t worry, there’s no cheating) use colors and plain English to help readers understand tricky ideas. Excellent resource for teachers and students in grades 9-12 and beyond.
This user-friendly platform offers a diverse selection of interactive educational games, ideal for students or anyone seeking both entertainment and knowledge enrichment. Explore an array of captivating digital games encompassing subjects including mathematics, language, world geography, brain-teasers, and timeless classics such as chess, checkers, backgammon, and mahjong. Then dive deeper into the educational experience, where you'll find an extensive compilation of engaging lessons supplemented with visuals, covering topics such as history, biographies, geography, and science. Assess your understanding through interactive quizzes and explore related game links. No registration necessary to play or learn.
The New York Times: Exploring the Creative Process With ‘Live Art’
An in-depth examination of the creative process through videos featuring various artists creating art and narrating their work flow. The article includes specific ideas and prompts that teachers can use to customize the lesson for their classes. All links and videos within, as well as the article itself, are freely accessible without an account.
Google Fact Check Tools
The internet alone was bad enough for truth. Now with free AI tools proliferating, how can you believe anything? With Fact Check Explorer, students and teachers can search for fact checks from various sources with a single word or phrase. Try a quote from a politician or a Twitter or Facebook meme. A great resource for students doing research or studying journalism.
An organization dedicated to supporting civic education, NewseumEd provides thousands of free lesson plans, digital artifacts, virtual classes, professional development, and more. Search by topic, tool type, grade, time of keyword. For full access to all resources, create a free account.
Have you ever seen a StoryMap? This unique digital presentation combines text, images, and maps in a free-flowing, graphically dramatic form. Esri, the inventor of StoryMaps, provides free mapping software for use in K-12 instruction. Educators can request ArcGIS for Schools Bundle here; expect to be contacted within a week. Want to learn more about how StoryMaps can boost your class engagement and creativity? Check out these guides for teachers:
- Teach with GIS Implementation Guide
- Explore the Lesson Library
- Geolnquiries Collections
- Esri K12 GIS Organization
Google Arts and Culture
An incredibly rich source of web- or app-based (Android iOS) interactive learning. Head over to Google Arts and Culture and simply start scrolling through topics such as “The Gardener” by Vincent Van Gogh, 10 of the World's Zaniest Buildings, Cultural Crosswords, Virtual Museum Collections, and so much more. Ideal for art, social studies, history, design, PBL, even STEM—but every classroom or online learning environment will benefit. Free.
This outstanding video discussion tool is designed for the digital classroom but works in any learning environment. Teachers post videos as prompts for class discussions and students respond using text, emojis, and stickers. Integrates with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and Remind. Free.
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