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20 Sites/Apps Every Teacher Should Try for Back to School

 school girl raising her hand to ask a question during teacher lecture
(Image credit: Getty Images/FluxFactory)

It’s back-to-school time again! 

Whether you’re excited about the new school year or need some inspiration; whether you’re a new teacher or a seasoned pro; whether you’re teaching in a classroom or online— you and your students will benefit from education technology tools 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. Many offer free accounts or generous free trials; some are fully free. All are worth checking out!

  1. Book Creator (opens in new tab)
    Book Creator allows students and teachers to combine text, images, audio, and video to create digital books and portfolios, interactive stories, academic reports, graphic novels, and more. A terrific way to boost literacy, independent learning, and collaboration. The free account permits one library and up to 40 books. 
  2. BoomWriter (opens in new tab)
    BoomWriter is a Google for Education Partner that allows teachers to create and manage fiction, nonfiction, and vocabulary-focused group writing activities. 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. 
  3. Buncee (opens in new tab)
    Nominally a slide presentation platform, Buncee is actually a powerful vehicle for innovative multimedia teaching, social-emotional learning, and much more. With thousands of graphics and templates to choose from, and a drag-’n-drop interface, it’s easy to get started. Not sure how to use Buncee? Check out the Ideas Lab for great examples from other educators. 30-day free trial with no credit card required. 
  4. Chronicle Cloud (opens in new tab)
    A multifaceted education app, Chronicle Cloud allows teachers to record exportable multimedia notes, assess students, provide feedback, communicate with parents, and more. A free personal account includes 50 notes or 50 MB storage. Also available as an iOS (opens in new tab)   or Android (opens in new tab) app . 
  5. ClassHook (opens in new tab)
    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. 
  6. Common Curriculum (opens in new tab)
    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. 
  7. EDpuzzle (opens in new tab)
    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.
  8. Education Galaxy (opens in new tab)
    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. 
  9. Flipgrid
    (opens in new tab)
    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. 
  10. Google Arts and Culture (opens in new tab)
    An incredibly rich source of web- or app-based (Android (opens in new tab)iOS (opens in new tab)) 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. 
  11. GooseChase Edu (opens in new tab)
    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 (opens in new tab) Android (opens in new tab) 
  12. I Know It (opens in new tab)
    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.
  13. Oodlu (opens in new tab)
    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 (opens in new tab) iOS (opens in new tab) 
  14. Prodigy (opens in new tab)
    A highly engaging learning platform that uses games to teach math to kids. Perfect for online, hybrid or classroom learning, Prodigy allows teachers to differentiate learning and students to build math fluency. Free with premium extras.
  15. Rumie (opens in new tab)
    A fully free site, Rumie features short learning experiences, aka “Bytes,” that foster meaningful learning in just 10 minutes. Bytes have been developed through collaboration between Rumie and volunteer professionals. Great for civics, creative arts, critical thinking, career skills, PBL, social-emotional learning, and many other classes.  
  16. Storyboard That (opens in new tab)
    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.
  17. Super Teacher Worksheets (opens in new tab)
    A fantastic online repository for finding educational resources, worksheets, printables, puzzles, and more, in a wide variety of subjects. More than 10,000 printable teaching resources for a $25 yearly membership. 
  18. ThinkFluency (opens in new tab)
    ThinkFluency is an innovative iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab) app that lets teachers easily assess students’ reading fluency. The scoring is done in real time and the app generates detailed, sharable reports. Student data is saved, making it easy for teachers to track progress over time. Free 30-day trial available.
  19. TypeTastic (opens in new tab)
    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 (opens in new tab) is  available. 
  20. YoTeach (opens in new tab)
    Some edtech tools take the entire class period just to set up the first time. Not YoTeach - it’s a super-simple, effortless approach to creating and monitoring online class discussions or backchannel chats. Extra-cool feature: The online whiteboard accepts not only text and images, but also multicolor sketches using the built-in digital pen. Chats can be password-protected and hidden from online search. Free.