Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2016

aasl best website logoThe 2016 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. 

Media Sharing

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and und understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

  • 3.3.4 Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context. 

best website icon

Movenote  (Note: Site moved to fee based after recognition)
Movenote is a one-of-a-kind video presentation tool online and on your portable devices. Combine any document or attachment with video and audio. Recording your presentations is easy and quick and everything is sharable online by email or social media with a simple link. Available as a chrome app, it integrates easily with Google Drive. Appropriate for 5th-12th grade students, use this tool to build a vast collection of resources for blended and flipped learning or encourage students to create their own presentations to share.

Vibby 
Vibby makes it easy to highlight, share, and discuss the best parts of any online video. Pick an online video, trim and mark the moments you want to emphasize, then share your highlight reel on any social media platform or embed it on a website/blog. It also allows viewers to comment and access the full video. Appropriate for 4th-12th grade, use Vibby to guide students in identifying important segments of a news broadcast, for example, commenting on the difference between facts and opinions.

best website icon

Bunkr (Site closed March 2017)
Bunkr is presentation tool that displays online content from over 80 content providers including documents, videos, pictures, graphs, maps, 3D models, and webpages. Functioning as both a website and an app, Bunkr is extremely user friendly and a great tool for introducing younger students to the concepts of creative commons. Appropriate for all grade levels.

best website icon

Picmonkey 
A free online tool for photo editing, basic graphic design, collage making, PicMonkey offers plenty of features through its free version. Help students create beautiful products for portfolios, flyers, websites, as well as other school projects. Appropriate for grades 5-12.

best website icon

Piktochart 
Billed as an easy-to-use infographic maker, Piktochart lives up to its reputation offering a large library of professionally designed templates with incredible visual appeal and plenty of layout choices. Piktochart can also be used to create colorful presentations and posters. Its drag and drop interface makes it a tool appropriate for grades 3-12. However, we encourage you to also use Piktochart to create stunning library reports to advocate for your program!

best website icon

Photos For Class 
Looking for a place to download safe images for use in the classroom and other educational projects? Need accurate image citations? Then Photos for Class is the website you’ve been looking for! Thanks to Photos for Class filters and its use of Flikr Safe Search, all images are appropriate for school settings, and licensed by Creative Commons for public use. Plus, downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms. Not only is this a powerful resource for images, but it can serve as a great tool for teaching students how to cite online products. Appropriate for all grade levels.

Digital Storytelling

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.

  • 4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

best website icon

Adobe Spark 
Adobe Spark defines itself as “a bit of art, a smidge of science,” and that is just what it delivers. With a gigantic collection of professional fonts, thousands of photos, layouts and icons, this powerful tool helps you and your students create beautiful social media graphics, videos, and web stories that can be shared anywhere on the web. The inspiration gallery is a wonderful place to browse for ideas, but to also help students consider message design in engaging media literacy lessons. Appropriate for grades 3-12.

best website icon

Biteable 
Biteable is a three-step animated video maker that lets the user choosefrom animation styles, upload pictures, select and change font, colors and text, in an incredibly easy process. Final videos can be emailed and shared at the click of a button. With new video templates added frequently, Biteable makes for a great addition to your digital storytelling toolbox. Appropriate for grades K-12.

best website icon

Office Sway 
Office Sway is a great tool for creating interactive reports, newsletters, presentations, and personal stories. All the user needs to do is upload content and then select a design. Sway does the rest! Easily add video, music, pictures and more to enrich the interactive component and take advantage of Sway’s suggested search result features (pulls in tweets, images, and other relevant content). Formatting is automatically taken care of and templates can be swapped with ease. Creations are easily shared online and privacy settings help you determine the breadth of your audience. A good website for use with grades 5-12.

Manage & Organize

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.

  • 2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

best website icon

Seesaw 
Seesaw is a digital portfolio tool that helps K-12 students document their learning journey. Students capture learning with photos and videos of their work, or by adding digital creations. Everything gets organized in one place and can be accessed with any device. Student work is easily shared with classmates, parents, or published to a class blog. See Saw also offers support for educators who want one-on-one guidance for setting up a See Saw account or project.

best website icon

Jeopardy Rocks (Now Factile) 
Easily create quiz show style games for up to four teams using Jeopardy Rocks. Games can be shared online with a simple URL. The company is working to develop a resource bank of games designed by educators so make sure to submit any games you and your students design. Appropriate for all grade levels, encourage students to design their own quiz questions for sharing with peers.

best website icon

Trello 
An excellent tool for helping groups collaborate effectively, and stay organized, Trello’s simple card interface is deceptively simple. Create boards that can pull in files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Then, add members, due dates, checklists, and labels to help keep everyone focused and on task. Encourage students to use Trello when planning school events or working on longer research projects. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Social Networking & Communications

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

  • 4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.

  • 4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

best website icon

Creatubbles 
Creatubbles is a wonderful site designed to share young peoples’ are in a safe atmosphere supervised by teachers or librarians and parents. You might think of it as a kind of Facebook for young artists. A Student creates 2D or 3D art or even audio or video. Then he or she, or (if under 13) his teacher, librarian, or parent, takes a photo and uploads the creation. All art is identified by the artist’s age, but privacy is protected since full names are never used. Then, other people can view the art and, if registered, comment and add “like” bubbles. A great way to use the site if for the teacher or librarian to create a collection around a theme and challenge students to create art for that theme. Teachers or librarians can even collaborate on building collections with other classes or schools across the country or world. Anyone can view the site, but art contributions are intended for 2 to 15 year-olds. Inspire your students by having them contribute to and explore creations on Creatubbles.

best website icon

Edueto (site unresponsive as of May 2017)
This site allows you to create online activities in a wide variety of formats, including multiple choice, gap filling, matching, free form writing, sorting, equations, picture tagging, sequencing, geometric shapes, and even surveys. You can create your own or borrow and modify from the extensive site bank. You can organize students in classes and download reports. Try using to to go paperless, flip your classroom, or get feedback through the survey option. It is suitable for all ages, and students can access it from any device.

best website icon

Quizizz 
This site gamifies and enlivens quizzes teachers can assign in class or for homework. The upbeat environment allows for optional music, immediate feedback, timers, and fun memes. You can create your own quizzes or borrow and modify from an extensive bank of existing quizzes. After students take quizzes, you can view and download results to Excel. Use Quizizz for formative assessments, checking for understanding, and exit tickets. Try getting students involved by having THEM write the quiz questions. It’s suitable for all ages and students can access it on any device. Note that all questions are multiple choice. Kahoot users will want to also check out this site.

best website icon

Bloomz 
Bloomz is a robust, secure environment for teacher to parent communication (no students allowed!). Teachers invite parents to sign up, and then can communicate news, class photos, alerts, and calendar items, and request and manage volunteer and conference signups. Parents can opt to receive the communications via email, text message, or the special Bloomz app. They can even opt to have communications translated to another language. Teachers can send communications to all parents or to individuals or small groups. And, parents can communicate with each other to set up carpools, etc., but the teacher always controls who is in the class and who else can send communications. Teachers and parents alike will love Bloomz for efficiently involving parents in the education process.

Curriculum Collaboration

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within a learning community.

  • 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

  • 4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

best website icon

Google Cultural Institute 
Google Cultural Institute encompasses three impressive sites that bring the world to students.  Google Art project allows students to take virtual art field trips around the world, to create and share galleries, attend live 360 degree performances from prestigious locations such as Carnegie Hall, and discover cultural treasures. Historic Moments contains online exhibits of primary sources and artifacts from topics such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Tolstoy. World Wonders features downloadable teaching guides to videos and still images from around the world. It uses Google Street View to allow students to explore world heritage sites from areas as diverse as Machu Pichu and the Great Barrier Reef.

best website icon

Google Maps Street View Treks 
Street View enables students to visually explore the world around them and beyond. Visit world landmarks, discover natural wonders, and step inside locations such as museums, arenas, restaurants and small businesses with 360-degree images on Google Maps. Appropriate for K-12th grade, use Street View to take virtual field trips to the settings of stories students have read in class or historical sites studied.

best website icon

Digital Compass (Common Sense Media) 
Common Sense Media’s Digital Compass addresses digital citizenship in a blended-learning environment. For grades 6-9, Digital Compass leads students through the fundamentals of digital citizenship with animated adventures and interactive experiences. Students explore digital dilemmas, make good (and not-so-good) decisions, and try out possible solutions through stories and mini-games, all without risking their real-world reputations.

best website icon

DK Find Out! 
A secure site for students to find, explore, and learn about anything, DK Find Out! Includes subject-based, curriculum-linked articles to support learning and teaching, and up-to-date resources for homework and project help. With a teacher and parent portal available, this website helps link classroom and home learning in a powerful way! For K-6th grade, this site can also be easily used by middle school students for background information and to promote inquiry. Contains videos, quizzes, interesting facts of the day and more. Use DK Find Out! to help students plan new and innovative science fair projects that are tied to real-world issues.

Content Resources

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

  • 2.4.4 Develop directions for future investigations.

  • 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

best website icon

Go Noodle 
Go Noodle is a site with imaginative games, videos, brain breaks, and activities to increase both the amount of movement and brain engagement in the classroom. Activities are readily searchable by such types as stretching, calming, dancing, and sports. While there are premium accounts available, the free account provides a multitude of activities. It is most popular at the elementary level, but older students could benefit! Ideas for using Go Noodle include selecting brain-based activities aligned with ELA or math standards, and creating a list of favorites for easy access on YouTube.

best website icon

Actively Learn 
Actively Learn is an online platform that allows students and teachers to interact with text. Over 3500 works are already included, delineated as ELA, social studies, science, math or current events. In addition, teachers may upload content of their choosing. Teachers are able select the content, distribute it to students through a class code, and later assign a grade. Questions, notes, ways to collaborate with others, text-to-speech, articles at different lexile levels, translation, and grading options add to the features currently available. Create classroom and district collections that can be shared among teachers, or upload current event articles and create questions of any type. Recommended for grades 5-12.

best website icon

Zoom In 
Zoom In has more than just history content; after students work with primary documents and questioning, it provides writing support at two different levels. There are extensive teacher resources, including a youtube channel demonstrating different uses and steps to prepare. Teachers can create a class, and use a code to distribute one of eighteen different units to students. There is scaffolding for them to determine author's point of view, analyze and collect evidence, organize research, and write explanatory or argumentative essays. Assessment begins at the draft level, so that teachers may regroup or reteach needed processes as needed. The organization of the materials lends itself to independent study, small group, or class discussion. Appropriate for all grade levels.

best website icon

Epic! 
Epic! for Educators, a subscription ebook service targeting elementary readers, is just that-- epic. Thousands of books from major publishers are available through free educator accounts available to all American and Canadian elementary librarians and teachers. Epic! is full of features like read-aloud, customized reader advisory, ad-free environment, and reading logs. Free educator accounts (available to American and Canadian elementary teachers and librarians) include up to 36 associated free student profiles. Even better, multiple simultaneous student users are allowed! Incorporate Epic! Ebooks as resources for inquiry projects. Or, project Epic! Ebooks during read-alouds so that everyone can clearly view the text and/or illustrations. Finally, use Epic! Ebooks for multiple students to access the same text simultaneously for a shared reading experience. Appropriate for all grade levels.

best website icon

Tween Tribune 
Tween Tribune hosts high interest, reputable current events articles for K-12 audiences compiled by the Smithsonian. The articles are categorized by grade, lexile, language (English/Spanish), and subject area. Each article is available across multiple lexiles for differentiation and has an associated comprehension assessment. Free educator accounts offer a plethora of features: Monday morning newsletters, class and student profiles, lesson plans, article assignment capability, and assessment score grade books. Student privacy is protected, and all comments are educator-moderated. Use Tween Tribune to compare bias/viewpoints from varying sources, support or inspire inquiry, or as a station highlighting literary styles.

2017   |   2016   |   2015   |   2014   |   2013   |   2012   |   2011   |   2010   |   2009