Simplify communication, collaboration, and document sharing
Pros: Easy-to-learn interface; integrates with lots of apps and websites; seamlessly share, collect, and grade G Suite documents.
Cons: Integration with student information services is still in development; no standards-based grading options.
Bottom Line: Google Classroom is a great way to manage and organize learning, though teachers who need more features may need to look elsewhere.
FREE missions boost learning with balance of focus and freedom to explore
Pros: Mastery-focused missions set the pace for each student individually while continuous assessment gives teachers valuable real-time data.
Cons: Video instruction may be too fast-paced for some learners; a fair amount of instruction is only delivered via text with few illustrations.
Bottom Line: A solid resource for math and science instruction as well as foundational knowledge in a number of other high school subjects.
Pros: It's super customizable, which means you can assign kids the lessons they need to work on most.
Cons: Lacks an element of fun, which could make using the site feel like work for some kids.
Bottom Line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.
Collect and share class data, pictures, and videos
Pros: Kids can gather and share data around questions they develop together.
Cons: Tools are missing to measure and analyze quantitative data.
Bottom Line: Works within Google Classroom to help kids record and share observations of the world around them.
Find and assign STEAM tasks with dynamic project-based learning hub
Pros: Lessons that are ready to use and easy to assign provide opportunities for teachers to differentiate and for students to think critically.
Cons: Many lessons require investment in a variety of partner technologies, and feedback capability is limited.
Bottom Line: Dynamic resource for finding, creating, and rating lessons that support STEAM and PBL.
Sown to Grow
Cultivate a growth mindset with reflective, student-driven learning
Pros: Gives students data to think critically about their goals and progress by easily adding a self-reflective layer to any assignment.
Cons: Finding time to assess academic assignments and an additional layer of student reflection can prove challenging for busy educators.
Bottom Line: If developing a growth mindset is an important part of your teaching practice, this is a solid choice.
Freckle is a practice website (and app) that addresses skills and concepts for Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Target standards-based skills with dynamic practice and assessments
Pros: Interactive student assessments are tightly aligned with CCSS, and the teacher dashboard is very easy to use.
Cons: Filters may restrict student access to some content, and the basic version contains some limits on the ability to assign content and practice skills.
Bottom Line: Rich with content-aligned assessments, activities, printable worksheets, and progress analytics, this valuable resource promotes skills mastery through practice.
One-stop shop for a wealth of fantastic PBS KIDS educational content
Pros: Easy, one-stop access to the high-quality design and extensive resources available from PBS KIDS websites.
Cons: So much variety can be overwhelming; kids will need guidance and direction to access specific topics and games.
Bottom Line: Amazing collection of valuable learning resources covers an impressive array of topics.
Cool organization and eportfolio tool; watch out for privacy features
Pros: Nice features for creating eportfolios, sharing class materials, and finding student and teacher resources.
Cons: Sometimes-complex tools and limited visual appeal might hinder interest, and binders are public with a free account.
Bottom Line: A good tool for its organizational, storage, and digital publishing features.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.