January’s 11 buzzworthy edtech tools

The month of January’s hottest, must-know edtech tools—right now.

[Ed. note: Common Sense Education’s Edtech Eleven is chosen by Common Sense Education every month and helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Go to Common Sense Education for free resources including full reviews of digital tools, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.]

Things move fast in the edtech world, and we hear all the time from teachers how hard it can be to keep up. This is why we’ve created Common Sense Education’s EdTech Eleven: our monthly list of noteworthy tools generating buzz in the edtech world. While these aren’t recommendations or ratings (you have to check out our Top Picks for that), what you’ll find on Common Sense Education’s EdTech Eleven is a quick and current list of trending tools you might want to check out.

January 2017 Updates

What left the list? OneNote, Sutori, Swift Playgrounds

What’s new? Bitmoji, Space by Tinybop, TinyTap



Bitmoji — an app that lets users create their own personalized emoji — is the second most popular free app on the Apple store, and was bought by Snap in 2016. There’s no doubt it’s trending, but why did it make an edtech list? Because like Bitstrips before it, Bitmoji has caught fire with educators who we’ve seen use their Bitmojis to engage students as well as their PLNs.



In edtech right now, there’s nothing more novel — or generating more buzz — than BreakoutEDU. It brings the popular puzzle-room phenomenon to classrooms through purchasable physical kits or a DIY guide to building your own. What has really set them apart thus far, though, is their vibrant community of educators sharing stories and collaborating on new scenarios.



CommonLit, which recently launched a big update, is a literacy tool that teachers, especially ELA teachers tackling Common Core, need to check out. It’s totally free, spans grades 5-12, and makes it easy to find engaging texts (fiction and non) for students, assign the texts, assess student understanding, and analyze mastery.

DragonBox Big Numbers


Big Numbers is the most recent release in the critically acclaimed DragonBox series. Big numbers builds specifically on the previous Numbers game, introducing long addition and subtraction and, of course, big numbers.  What really makes this entry stick out though is its ambitious scope, including a world map, resource gathering, and modifiable houses for the characters.



There aren’t many — if any — tools out there like GoNoodle, which provides video and game-based “brain breaks” of physical activity for students. That might explain why we’ve seen GoNoodle take a big leap this school year, emerging as one of the top trending tools on Common Sense Education.

(Next page: Edtech tools 6-11)


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