Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2019

 

The 2019 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. Sites recognized are free web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

Past Lists  |  Tools & Resources

Anchor 


Both an app and a website, Anchor makes it easy to create high quality podcasts with their free and easy to use creation tools and hosting service. With a library of a variety of sound effects and audio clips, transitions can be included before and after audio recordings to create a professional mix of audio. Anchor makes it easy to share saved podcasts directly to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Anchor also generates a link and an embed code for each episode. Grades: All

Bootstrap 

 
Boostrapworld.org consists of curricular modules that integrate computational thinking in algebra, physics and coding. This resource enables non-computer science teachers to deliver computer science instruction within math, science, and even stand-alone computer science courses. Backed by research and inspired by courses taught at reputable universities, the content aligns with state and national math standards. Leveraging creativity, such as video game design to integrate mathematical concepts in coding, students are inspired to advance to the next level of computational thinking building a solid foundation within the framework of computer science. Bootstrap World offers virtual office hours as an added tool for teacher support. Grades 6 -12

Brush Ninja 


Brush Ninja is a free and simple application for making animated GIFs. The site indicates that “Brush Ninja is free to use with no accounts, login, or tracking done.” The app will run on any Web browser and work with desktop and mobile devices. To make an animated GIF it is as simple as drawing on a blank scene editor. After drawing multiple scenes to create the gif, the user presses play to preview the animation with the ability to easily make edits. Grades: Elementary and up.

CS First 


Teach computer programming and coding to students with the free CS First curriculum. Instructional videos guide students through theme-based projects such as sports, art, fashion, digital storytelling, and more. Projects involve block-based coding using Scratch and no experience is needed for educators or students.  Students will enjoy the fun, interactive projects and can earn badges along the way.  Grades: 4-9.

Deck.Toys 


Teachers use Deck.Toys to create interactive lessons for their students. A deck is created by the teacher with paths and activities for students to follow. Media may be included in the deck with options to assess students along the path using apps that allow for  varied types of responses offering a fun learning experience. Easily integrates into Google Classroom or share a link with the class. Can be used with all different age groups. Grades: Teachers create for grades of all ages

Edpuzzle 

Make any video your lesson. Pick a video, add your magical touch and track your students’ understanding. Edpuzzle utilizes videos that are readily available and is a fantastic resource for flipped classroom learning. Grades: All

Elementari 


Create and share Interactive stories for free!  Elementari promotes arts and literacy through their platform that allows users to easily write, collaborate, and publish interactive stories for free. Educators can create a free classroom of up to 30 students and have access to Elementari’s curriculum guide.  Students can write and illustrate digital stories that allow for voice recorded narration. In addition, students can also animate their stories using basic coding functions. Grades: K-5

Empatico 

 
Empatico is a free tool connecting classrooms around the world through live video exchanges and activities designed to spark empathy, curiosity, and kindness. A three step approach of prepare, interact, and reflect encourages deeper learning, meaningful connections, and helps students practice social skills such as respectful communication, perspective taking, cooperation, and critical thinking, as they experience positive connections with peers around the world. Grades: K-5

Explore 


Explore.org hosts live streaming videos from all over the world allowing learners to observe a variety of animals in their natural habitats. The learning extends beyond the classroom offering a portal into the natural world with authentic exposure to a variety of species. Applications of explore.org can include creating a center activity in which students observe animals in their natural settings to gather and record data as citizen scientists. As the introduction to an animal research project, this resource can ignite curiosity and encourage further investigation. Additionally, explore.org can serve as a gateway to compare and contrast different animals among diverse habitats. Grades: All

Genially 


This tool allows you to create presentations, infographics, video presentations, resumes, and more. It includes many templates with access to photos, animations, and illustrations giving the user the ability to make any image or text interactive. Content can be shared through a link or downloaded. Teachers can make materials to share with students or other teachers, and students can use to build resumes or design a product for summative assessment. Grades: 6-8

GeoGuessr 


GeoGuessr is a game for students to challenge themselves in geography. The user, with or without an account, must place the picture seen on the screen on its location on a map. Results show if user has made the correct guess. Play can be set on a world map or instead, a specific region, country, or even city can be selected. Games can easily be integrated into a social studies classroom either with the teacher projecting pictures on the board for the whole class or individually such as using as a bell ringer. Grades: 9-12

Knightlab Storytelling 


Although designed with journalists in mind, this suite of online tools will prove useful to high school students looking to infuse a degree of professionalism into projects. Features such as Juxtapose, Scene, Soundcite, Storyline, and StoryMap leverage online content in a way that will enhance online storytelling and journalistic efforts. Step-by-step tutorials will assist students and educators in making the most of this robust collection of resources. Grades: 9-12

Libraries Ready to Code 


Taking up the mantel for helping students learn coding, the Libraries Ready to Code project is an initiative of the American Library Association and sponsored by Google. The Ready to Code Collection provides resources for librarians based on their own expertise. Resources can be browsed by different topics and include such support as lesson plans and professional development on topics as diverse as design thinking, robotics and storyline. Grade: K-12

National Geographic Education 


National Geographic is a trusted resource for all aspects of geographic education. This site has resources for grades K-higher education and the breadth of the resources available cover a wide variety of activities, interactive material, mapping (of course), and guides for instructors. The scope of the site is such that subjects such as arts and music, English language arts, and biology are options along with -ology topics that one would expect to find in a site from National Geographic. The indexing of the site by grades, content types, and subjects allow easy searching through the website. Grades: All

NCMA Learn 


NCMALearn brought to you by the North Carolina Museum of Art is designed for educators, students, and anyone interested in learning through works of art. Explore resources for exhibitions and the collection. Teachers and students can explore works of art along with videos that discuss specific works. Teachers can also find lesson plans that include activities, assessments, and resources. Grades: All

NowComment 

 
NowComment makes it easy to have rich, engaging discussions in both large and small groups. This online discussion platform allows students to converse about documents, videos, and images in a way that supports students’ enjoyment of social media. The ability to handle multiple, simultaneous conversations ensures that students can comment on what they find interesting, without disrupting the flow of other conversation threads. This resource can be used in a variety of ways to spark thought exchange and in-depth learning. Grades: 5 & Up

Pulitzer Center 

 
The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting promotes in depth engagement with critical global issues by sponsoring quality international journalists and newsrooms. Stories by Pulitzer Center grantees are freely available on their website and span thousands of print, video, photo, and digital stories published in 150 media outlets; including The New York Times , PBS NewsHour, The New Yorker, NPR, Time Magazine, and National Geographic. Stories as well as accompanying lesson plans, are searchable by issue, date, author, region and grade level. In addition, the Pulitzer Center offers in person and Skype journalist visits to classrooms, workshops and professional development opportunities. Grades: Upper Elementary & Up

Storyline Online 


The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Betty White and dozens more. Each book includes supplemental curriculum as well. Videos can be viewed in YouTube or SchoolTube. Grades: K – 5

Teaching Tolerance 

  
Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators-teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners-who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use Teaching Tolerance materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. With a focus on social justice and anti-bias education, this site offers something for every educator including lesson plans, teaching strategies, printable posters, frameworks for teaching difficult topics, webinars, podcasts, and more. Grades: All

Thunkable 

 
Thunkable enables anyone to build their own beautiful mobile apps. Using drag and drop code, students can start from scratch or remix a sample app. Created app projects are accessible on both iOS and Android platforms.  Thunkable has an active community with regular design challenges to keep students thinking outside the box with their app creations. Grades: 7-12

Tour Creator 

Tour Creator makes it easy to build immersive, 360 tours right from your computer. Students and teachers can include photos, points of interest, image overlays, boxes with informational text, and “did you know?” points of interest. It is easy to share and can take students places they have never been. Utilizes Google sign in and can be used with Google Expeditions. Grades: All

Unite for Literacy 

 
Unite for Literacy pictures a world where all children have access to an abundance of books that celebrate their languages and cultures. With a goal of cultivating a lifelong love of reading, Unite for Literacy provides free digital access to picture books, narrated in many languages. Grades: PreK – 2

Wakelet 

 
Wakelet is a robust curation and storytelling tool, offering educators and their students a multitude of possible uses Links, images, notes, titles, PDFs, YouTube and Vimeo videos, Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, Google or Dropbox Documents, Soundcloud tracks, Spotify playlists, Google Maps, Flipgrid responses, Screencastify recordings and more can be added to user created “collection”s via browser extension, dashboard or directly from synced applications. Users can edit, embed, change privacy settings, customize the appearance, and invite contributors to add to their collections. Wakelet may be used to create newsletters and playlists, collect learning experience resources, present research artifacts or create an annotated bibliography- it’s potential is endless! Grade: All


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