[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.]
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 the 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 the EdTech Eleven is a quick and current list of trending tools you might want to check out.
February 2017 Updates
What left the list? CommonLit, Dragonbox Big Numbers, ReadWorks Digital
What’s new? Checkology, Explain Everything, Toontastic 3D
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.
Created by the News Literacy Project — a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on building students’ digital literacy — checkology virtual classroom offers students a blended learning experience that helps them practice skills of separating fact from fiction using real-world stories and examples. We’ve heard some buzz around this tool recently and for good reason: it seems perfectly positioned to help teachers tackle the challenging media circumstances students now face.
Explain Everything Classic has long been one of the most popular tools in the crowded interactive whiteboard and lesson genre. While we rated Explain Everything Classic highly, we noted the detailed but complex design vis a vis competitors like Educreations. With this brand new revision, titled simply Explain Everything, the app has undergone a total visual overhaul that seems to offer a more elegant, intuitive experience, and adds new features like collaboration on projects.
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.