(You might also be interested in The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress)
Also, A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites has even more similar tools.
I know “The Best…” list has a very awkward title, but I couldn’t think of a better one.
You might also want to check out The Best Sites Where Students Can Learning Typing/Keyboarding.
There are sites we use, and which I think stand-out when compared to similar web applications:
Raz-Kids provides a large number of “talking books” at multiple levels that speak-the-text at the same time the words are highlighted. There’s a wide range of fiction and expository text, and is suitable for Beginning and Intermediate readers. It costs $90 annually for one classroom of students.
My Testbook looks like a great addition to list. It lets students study math, science and English.
A big thanks to Kelvin Hartell, who let me know about Study Ladder. It has impressive literacy, science and math interactives, and teachers can set-up “classrooms” to keep track of student work. Plus, it’s free!
TED-Ed allows the creation of quizzes and monitoring of student results. Read more about it at Using TED-Ed Videos.
I’m adding two “sister sites” to list– Qwizzy’s World (for K-7) and Cram Stoppers (for 8-12). Both only provide quizzes, so they are much more limited than most of the other sites on that list. However, unlike many of the other sites I have posted about, at least the Cram Stoppers might be usable for mainstream higher grades.
Because of their limitations, however, I wouldn’t use it during the school year. I’d just include it as an option for students to use during vacations to limit the summer slide.
Thanks to reader Michelle Anthony, I’ve learned about ScootPad. It lets teachers set-up virtual classrooms to monitor student progress in grad one-to-three reading and math lessons. And it’s free.
No Red Ink looks like a site that has a lot of potential. It focuses on grammar skills.
Power My Learning lets teachers create virtual classrooms and monitor student progress in multiple subjects.
Review Game Zone lets teachers, and anyone, input academic questions and have them turned into a games that students can use for review. It’s free, and teachers can also monitor student use of at least some types of the games.
Brainscape lets you add images and allows you to record sound simply by clicking on the “Advanced Editor.” It’s easy to add both, and those features make Brainscape stand out a bit from some of the other sites out there. They also say that “For teachers (or even parents) there are also tools that allow you to track the study progress of your students subscribed to your subject!”
Newsela provides several “levels” of the same newspaper articles, along with accompanying online quizzes, that students can read and take. Teachers can create a virtual classroom, assign articles and monitor student progress.
I wouldn’t say it promotes higher-level thinking but, of course, I would say the same thing about most (if not all) of the sites on list. They are, however, useful for reinforcement of certain skills at home or at the computer lab for an occasional change of pace.
One thing that Newsela does have going for it is the different levels of complexity it offers for the same article. That increases the odds of it being useful to English Language Learners.
SchoolShape is an online “language lab” that is also worth a look. Some exercises are free, but most require payment. But it does look like an easy way for students to create online work (including audio recordings) for teacher review.
“ClassFlow” Is Live, Available & Free
Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, has just announced several new online education resources.
The one that really stands out for me is Sea Of Liberty. After registering for free, teachers can create virtual classrooms and student can make lots of online interactive posters and projects using Monticello resources.
Scrawlar lets teachers create virtual classrooms, lets students write and use a “whiteboard,” doesn’t require student email registration (just a classroom password and a student-created sign-in code, and is free. It’s also usable on laptops, desktops, tablets and phones.
It provides well-done interactive exercises to reinforce grammar exercises and the real advantage is that you can create virtual classrooms to track student progress.
ABC Mouse only provides content for pre-K and Kindergartners, though much of it would also be accessible and useful for Beginning English Language Learners. Though it charges families, teachers can sign-up for their own virtual classrooms. It’s also accessible for free from public libraries.
But what’s particularly impressive to me is the ability for teachers to set-up virtual classes, create assignments, and track individual student progress on the work. It has lot of other bells-and-whistles that I’ve just begun to explore, including the ability to leave virtual post-it notes on many of their resources.
Bookopolis lets teachers create virtual classrooms — for free — where students can identify the book they’re reading (they just have to type in the title and the site automatically “finds” it) and write a review. There are a number of other features, too. It seems like a very useful site, though I’m less-than-thrilled with the extrinsic points and badges students can earn.
Books That Grow has a library of texts that have each been edited to be made accessible to different reading levels. And it has some other unique features — teachers can create virtual classrooms to assign and/or monitor what students what are reading and students can click on words that are new to them to see definitions and hear how they are pronounced. They are also planning on adding comprehension questions. The texts can be read on any device.
Everything is free for now, though they plan on starting to charge for some “premium” features in the 2015/16 school year.
You can register now on their sign-up page, and then they’ll contact you by email in a few hours or the next day with registration information. They won’t have a super-easy system in place until January for registering students in virtual classes, but they’ll do it for you prior to that time.
Hstry is a nice new online too for creating timelines. Richard Byrne just wrote a post about it, and I’d suggest just you visit his blog to learn more. As he points out, one of the particularly nice features of this free tool is that teachers can create virtual classrooms for their students.
Thanks to reader Vincy Murgillo for letting me know about the Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune.
It provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and provide decent “critical thinking” questions that students can respond to in the comments. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments.
And it’s all available for free!
Quizizz is on The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games list — students play an online quiz together, and a “leaderboard” is shown after each question is answered (I talk about the benefits and challenges of this kind of feature at the “Best” post). They just added a great feature — the ability to assign these quizzes as homework and to have teachers track student progress.
ClassKick lets teachers create virtual classrooms with pre-made or original assignments. It’s free.
At Second Look, Wizer Looks Like A Fabulous Way Create Virtual Classrooms & Track Student Progress
Again, any and all feedback is welcome.
How to create digital homework that students love is an excellent “how-to” post about using TED-Ed with students.
Listen Current provides podcasts with accompanying exercises. You can create virtual classrooms in the premium version, but they won’t tell you how much that costs unless you contact them. I’m always wary of sites that don’t post their prices. To their credit, they seem to offer premium versions for free during the summer.
I’ve previously posted about the Smithsonian Learning Labs – when they first opened you could create your own personal online collections of their “objects,” which was why I added it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Their Own Online Art Collections. They expanded its features to include letting teachers create class rosters, assignments, and monitor student progress. You can even upload non-Smithsonian resources to your assignments.
Using those features don’t appear to be as intuitive as I would like them to be – you can read the instructions here. But, I assume they’ll deal with those challenges as they receive feedback.
Here’s a video about the Learning Labs:
For $53 annually, teachers can set up a virtual classroom for up to 25 students at Vocabulary/Spelling City.
“Word Bucket” Lets Students Learn Vocabulary In A New Language & Teachers Can Set Up Virtual Classrooms
Perusall is a new online tool inspired by Eric Mazur. I’ve previously posted about his work encouraging college instructors to move away from lectures. Perusall is a free site where teachers can assign student readings for homework and where students annotate the text while connecting with other students doing the same thing at the same time. The tool then also supposedly provides some kind of automatic assessment for the student annotations. Teachers can upload anything they want, as well as assigning textbooks that then have to be purchased through the site (I assume that this is their strategy for making money). You can read more about it at This new tool makes the flipped classroom more social.
Vocabulary.com lets teachers create free virtual classrooms and assign vocabulary lists to learn. They’re not the most exciting online activities for students to do, but it could used periodically in class, and I suspect some students might like to do it at home.
OpenStax provides free online textbooks and the ability for teachers to create virtual classrooms and have student annotate the text (along with other features). It’s limited to college instructors now. However, it appears they are expanding to K-12, starting with an AP pilot and you can apply to participate. I first heard about it by an announcement of research they were beginning to analyze student online highlighting of text and try to identify how to enhance that strategy for learning.
WriteReader lets students create their own online books fairly easily. Teachers can create their own virtual classrooms and monitor student progress. It’s free for the next two months (I’m writing this in August, 2016) but, after that time, they’re going to charge $79 per year for a class of 35 students.
Ixil lets you create a virtual classroom for your students for $250. The activities all seem fairly basic, but it appears to be a fairly popular site among educators.
Kids Discover Online (for Social Studies) and Whooo’s Reading (for literacy) seem to offer some decent materials, though they also both require payment. Neither’s cost is outrageous. The also both offer some free resources, but those are pretty limited.
Lyrics2Learn is a music video program to teach early readers. It feels to me something like a StarFall (the famous site for early readers) put to music. You can create a virtual classroom with it, and can try it out for a month. Then you have to pay $150 per year. I’ve been having a few of my lowest English-proficient and least engaged Beginning ELLs use it, and it seems to be going well. We’ll have to see, though, if I think it’s worth paying for in a few weeks.
StoryWorld is a new site that has about forty bilingual stories (English/Spanish or English/Chinese) with audio support for the text. Teachers can easily create virtual classrooms. You can get a thirty-day free trial (no credit card number required). Then, it costs $69 per year for a classroom. I think it might be particularly useful for my Spanish-speaking students who are not literate in their home language. I’m going to try it out this month and see.
Thanks to The Backseat Linguist, I learned about The Language Muse. It appears to be Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) attempt to break into the English Language Learner market. It will take any text you give it and automatically turn it into a zillion different learning activities you can either assign electronically or via paper.
I have lots of concerns about tools that spit out automatic activities (see “textivate” Has Potential, But…..), but you might want to try out The Language Muse. You have to request a password, and I received one within twelve hours. It seems free to use now, but I think it’s a safe bet that ETS will be charging schools in the not-so-distant future.
Here’s a video about it:
Project-Based Learning with Drawp for School Student Tool is from Class Tech Tips.
SpellQuiz is an online tool that lets you create virtual classrooms for spelling and phonics instruction. Teachers can have their students access one quiz a week for free, or they can pay $120 per year for unlimited access.
Quizlet Teacher account – worth it? is a post from ELT PLanning.
Bulb is a somewhat similar tool that might be worth exploring.
I’ve previously posted about the Buncee tool that lets you compose multi-media creations (it’s on The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013 list). I’ve learned from David Kapuler that they’ve developed a feature for teachers to create virtual classrooms at a cost of $100 per year.
Read Oasis lets teachers create a free (for one school term) virtual classroom for up to 50 students and provides tons of reading resources.
Powtoon, the popular presentation creator that’s on The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows list, has recently announced a new tool called Slides. The more important Powtoon-related news is that they now have an education program that lets teachers create virtual classrooms. It does cost about $100 per year.
EdVisto is another presentation tool where it appears that teachers can create virtual classrooms for their students. I learned about it from the CristinaSkyBox blog. There’s a cost involved after an initial free trial, but I can’t figure out the amount.
ClassCraft also lets you create virtual classroom and supposedly turn learning into some sort of adventure game. I’m adding it to the same list.
Typing.com lets teachers create free virtual classrooms to teach…typing.
Thanks to Nik Peachey, I just learned about an excellent free site called Apps 4 EFL. The site has a huge variety of ready-to-use interactives and games for English Language Learners. In addition, teachers can use the site’s tools to create their own. Even better, teachers can create free virtual classrooms where students can enroll. You can read more about it in Nik’s post.
C3Teachers lets you access teacher-created “inquiries” and says it provides you the ability to create your own “inquiries” and have students complete them online. I wasn’t able to figure out how to do the latter, but I assume it’s because of my lack of understanding of how the site works.
The Answer Pad is yet another site that lets teachers create free virtual classrooms and have students do online work.
Web Poster Wizard lets teachers create free virtual classrooms with student assignments, primarily for “web poster” reports on specific projects.
Creatubbles lets teachers create free virtual classrooms where students can share their “maker” creations.
LiveWorksheets lets teachers either create, convert, or borrow existing worksheets and make them “fillable” online. You can create virtual classrooms (called “interactive workbooks”) of assigned activities where teachers can monitor student progress.
Cikumas lets teachers create virtual classrooms for free and post lessons for students.
kiddZtube Academy lets teachers adapt YouTube video, add questions to them, and create student assignments. They are limited now to pre-school students, but will be expanding soon to grades one-to-five. It’s free. Here’s a video about them:
I’ve previously shared about the great tool My Simple Show (see Wow – “My Simple Show” Is An Extraordinary Tool For Creating Free Video “Explainers”). Richard Byrne blogged about their new free option for teachers to create fifty free student accounts in a classroom plan.
Rocket Spelling lets you create a virtual classroom – for a cost.
Lalilo is designed to teach literacy to students in the K-2 range and could also be used with Beginning ELLs. Teachers can create virtual classrooms for students to access activities. I learned about it from David Kapuler.
Animaker Edify is a new educational feature of the popular tool for creating animations. Teachers can create virtual classrooms.
I previously posted “En.News” Looks Like A Good Site For Intermediate ELLs To Learn About Vocabulary & Current Events. I’ve now learned that teachers can create free virtual classrooms to monitor student progress at the site. Just go here to register.
Showbie is yet another site that lets teachers create virtual classrooms where they can monitor student progress on assignments. You have to pay $99 annually to get all their bells and whistles, but there’s a free plan, too.
Glose raises $3.4 million for its collaborative reading app is from TechCrunch. Glose is a “social reading” site that has game elements. It has an education arm that lets teachers created virtual classrooms with up to forty students for free, including a fair number of class books in the public domain (you have to pay for others).
Wixie is an online tool where students can write and where – for a fee – teachers can create virtual classrooms.
Socrates is yet another tool where teachers can create virtual classrooms. For a price.
Mr. Nussbaum is a well-known and free site with excellent academic activities. Now, its creators have come up with an additional site where teachers can create virtual classroom – MrN365. You have to pay for this new one.
The DBQ Project provides Social Studies lessons and lets students create virtual classrooms. It looks pretty interesting, and I learned about it from Ken Halla.
Braingenie – Math & Science Practice from CK-12 is a post from Richard Byrne talking about yet another tool letting students create virtual classrooms.
Bloxels lets students create video games. Teachers can create virtual classrooms.
EduFlow seems like a fairly simple way for teachers to create virtual classrooms and have students do assignments.
TeachVid lets teachers do lots of things with videos and create virtual classrooms – for a cost.
DogoNews for Teachers lets you create virtual classrooms for students to read articles about current events and have them answer questions for only a few bucks per student each year. It’s inexpensive compared to other similar sites.
Read To Lead is free, and provides online simulations that “teach students literacy and leadership in an immersive virtual workplace.”
Reading IQ is an online reading site with tons of books providing audio support for the text, and they say it’s free for teachers who want to set up classrooms for their students. Unfortunately, their sign-up process for students seems a little tricky – at least for me.
Kid Citizen is a free site designed for students to learn with primary sources. It says its focus is K-5, but I think it could be useful with older students, too, – particularly English Language Learners. It’s filled with interactive videos and, on top of that, teachers can also create their own interactives, share them with students, and monitor student progress through a sort of virtual classroom.
Scholastic Action lets you create virtual classrooms – for a price – and have students read some pretty interesting articles and interact with them.
Story Duel is a similar tool though, here, after students write different chapters of a story, everyone votes on which one should be added.
You Know lets you upload texts and create private or public discussion groups about them – for free.
Edulastic is an online tool teachers can use for student assessment.
Summer Slugger looks like an impressive digital curriculum from Major League Baseball that allows teachers to create virtual classrooms.
This is Language is another online tool for language learning that has made its platform free during school closures.
EFL Digital has a lot of potential, I think, as a tool for teachers and students during our time doing remote learning. Here’s a video explaining it:
Whiteboard.fi is a very cool site where, without registering, teachers can create virtual classrooms where students can write their answers to questions on “whiteboards.” If they ever add an audio feature to the site, I would say it could be one of the most useful ones around. Read more about it at Blog de Cristina.
Seneca Learning offers many online self-paced “classes” for multiple subjects, and teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor progress.
Essaypop allows teachers to assign writing and monitor progress.
Arludo is an online interactive and gaming site for teaching the natural sciences.
Education Galaxy lets teachers create classrooms for free in math or reading, K-8.
Canopy Education looks interesting. It lets teachers create lessons and entire units, and also lets students access them. They also have specific contests for educators to create these lessons and units – for example, on the 1619 Project.
ZenGengo looks like a potentially useful language-teaching/learning tool for teachers and students.
LightSail looks like a very impressive online literacy tool. It appears to have a very large number of online books to read, and a tool to support student writing – all available for free. It appears to begin to cost if you want to expand the number of available books.
Prodigy Math has been on THE BEST MATH SITES THAT STUDENTS CAN USE INDEPENDENTLY AND LET TEACHERS CHECK ON PROGRESS list for quite awhile. I recently learned that they had expanded their games and interactives for younger people to English, and it’s free.
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