The Top Ten S'Cool Tools for Q2, 2015

The Top Ten S'Cool Tools for Q2, 2015

Mary Jo Madda

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy--though for many educators and administrators, preparations for the new year have already begun to rev up. Perfect timing for the next round of top “S’Cool Tools!”

Every week, EdSurge sends out an educator-specific INSTRUCT newsletter ( sign up here) containing a section called “S’Cool Tools,” where we showcase 3-5 edtech tools that have tickled our fancy.

Out of 75+ S’Cool Tools featured over the past three months, ten products from Q2 have risen to the top based on the number of clicks they’ve received from our INSTRUCT readers. Check them out below! (And educators, if you've got some cool tools you haven't seen yet in the newsletter or on our site, let us know!)

10. AdmitHub - Free! Know a curious "rising senior" who wants to explore college options this summer? AdmitHub offers a free forum where students and parents can ask questions about financial aid, standardized tests, being a first generation student and more, answered by counselors and former admissions officers. And check out this collection of resources to help pay for school, too!

9. CK-12 BrainFlex - Free! Without the restrictions of tests and standards, summer is the perfect time for students to catch up on concepts they missed—or get ahead on what they'll learn next year. Using CK-12 BrainFlex, students can complete exercises on math and science skills, from probability to earth science, and parents can track their progress. Not intended for kids under 13.

8. Listen Current - Freemium: After standardized tests and AP exams, it's no wonder your students are sick of worksheets and study guides. But Listen Current offers public radio stories that keep students learning by listening to current events, as well as ELA, science, and social studies themed pieces. Access the radio stories for free, or contact Listen Current to upgrade for student accounts, lesson plans and class activities.

7. NY Times Interactive Graph - Free! Though our S'Cool Tools are normally actual products, here's a little something different--a fascinating interactive story from the NYTimes where you guess how family income predicts a child's chance of going to college. The answer may surprise you.

6. TenMarks Summer Math - Free! What if your students came back to school in September with more math comprehension, rather than less? TenMarks Summer Math runs students through a diagnostic test then tees up a personalized curriculum of videos, word problems, games and more. TenMarks should be used with parental consent.

5. TIME Edge - Freemium: TIME Edge offers current events articles that you can use to help your students develop close reading nonfiction skills. Designed for seventh and eighth grade social studies classrooms, the site offers versions of articles in Spanish, on audio, and at different reading levels. Plus, access over 90 years of historical primary sources through the TIME archives. The free preview is over, but there is now a free 60-day trial available on the website.

4. HelloTalk - Free! HelloTalk lets students practice a foreign language while learning any subject--and they make make a friend or two in the process. On the app, users can practice, say, Arabic or Catalan (over 100 languages are available) by speaking or typing with native speakers from across the world. HelloTalk also translates and pronounces text, for early language learners.

3. Roblox - Free! Know any students who love gaming? Using Roblox, those developers-in-training can create game worlds by coding. Users can explore games, from "Apocalypse Rising" to "Sword Fighting Tournament," created by thousands of other users, and create their very own. (Hey, they might even make some serious cash doing it.) Available on browsers, the App Store, and Google Play. Users under 13 need parental permission.

2. CommonLit - Free! CommonLit offers literacy teachers free texts (poems, news stories, historical docs and the like) linked to discussion themes (friendship, love or greed). As the recent winner of the TFA Social Innovation Award, the company has been getting some love from the field. And yep, it's free!

And the winner is...

1. YummyMath - Free! Teach your kids about current events and math with YummyMath, which provides exercises based on news happening in the world today. Search by math skill or chronological events to find activities like calculating the possible dates on which Memorial Day could fall or predicting the profits of "The Avengers 2" based on opening weekend sales.

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