*ISTE Workshop: Transitioning to the Common Core with Google Apps – Join me!

The Common Core State Standards initiative was state led and coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers to create benchmarks for learning from kindergarten through grade 12. The standards themselves “were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts” and are divided into two separate sets of standards: English language arts and math.  The English language arts standards also include history, science and technical studies.

The Common Core State Standards seeks to develop students who:

– Demonstrate independence

– Evaluate complex texts

– Possess strong content knowledge

– Communicate effectively

– Comprehend and critique

– Locate and use evidence effectively

– Feel confident solving real world problems

– Understand other perspectives and cultures

– Apply their existing knowledge to new situations

– Use technology and digital media strategically and capably 

According to the Standards, teachers must teach and students must learn using relevant technology that students will need to succeed beyond high school. 

10 Tech Tools That Can Help!

English Language Arts Standards:

1. Diigo free online research, note taking and annotation tool. Students can read articles online, insert post-it notes to annotate the text, bookmark, highlight and easily share their notes with others. Diigo makes it possible to teach students how to effectively manage digital resources and meet reading standards. 

Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective(Common Core Standards).

*Note: Educators can upgrade to an education account that has special premium account features provided specifically to K-12 & higher-ed educators. Once your Diigo Educator application is approved, your account will be upgraded to have these additional features: 

2. Collaborize Classroom– structured online discussion platform with question types that make it easy to teach argument writing, which is prioritized in the standards. 

“The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades” (Common Core Standards).

3. Google “Advanced Search” – Teach students how to refine their online searches to find more relevant and reliable information. For 10 Tips to help your students search smarter, CLICK HERE.

“Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism” (Common Core Standards).

4. Study Blue  an online tool for making flashcards with video and audio elements, taking notes, and preparing for exams.

“The standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading. The standards will help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases” (Common Core Standards).

5. Google Docs  and Forms – Shared documents are perfect for group collaboration on a piece of writing. Forms can be used to create specific forms and rubrics to help students provide each other with quality feedback. 

“Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.”



6. Survey Monkey – free online survey tool. Teach students how to design a survey, collect information, analyze data, and draw conclusions. 

“Understand and evaluate random processes underlying statistical experiments. Make inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments and observational studies” (Common Core Standards).

 7.  Creately is an online tool that makes it easy for you to create, share, and collaborate with data-rich diagrams.

“Diagrams of various kinds, spreadsheets and other technology, and algebra are powerful tools for understanding and solving problems drawn from different types of real-world situations” (Common Core Standards).

8. Gliffy – design, collaborate and share floor plans (great for geometry!), flowcharts, technical drawings and diagrams.

“Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas” (Common Core Standards).

9. YouTube.com/Teachers – was created to help teachers use YouTube videos to educate, engage and inspire their students. “Teachers can also sign up to become part of the YouTube Teachers Community, a mailing list that allows them to share ideas and best practices.” There is a growing collection of teacher-produced videos on math topics. 

The math “standards define what students should understand and be able to do in their study of mathematics. Asking a student to understand something means asking a teacher to assess whether the student has understood it” (Common Core Standards).

10. Khan Academy  Thousands of video tutorials explaining mathematical concepts and practice problems available to support students in developing their understanding of math.

“Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem… They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts” (Common Core Standards).


Please post any questions and/or share any of your favorite online tools that you use to help you teach the Common Core! 

*ISTE Workshop: Transitioning to the Common Core with Google Apps – Join me!

18 Responses

  1. I live in Maine and the high school my children attend uses this website both in class and for homework in English– specifically for writing and reading. My kids are getting more and more assignments with notes to parents about these new standards. One letter home explained how the Assessments21 software helps with “close reading and analysis for non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.” I am a former teacher, as is my wife (she has a Master’s in Education). We are really excited to see our kids (reluctant readers) engaged.

  2. I really appreciate this list of tools for teaching to the Common Core. I too chime in about Academicmerit.com . It is something that I have added to my toolkit as I work with students who are becoming independent learners. Not only are students using this interactive software, but several of my challenged learners are successful in their general education classes because of this supportive website and program.

    • Thank you, Cheryl. I will take a look at Academic Merit. I am always looking to add to my toolkit!


  3. My favorite tool for creativity and critical thinking (a huge component of the Common Core) is Pixie from Tech4Learning. They have an online version called Wixie https://www.wixie.com/wixie . My students love using the paint, text and clip art tools. There are also narration and background music tools within the progrem. In addition to all the creative possibilities, there is also an awesome collaboration tool built in. If anyone is going to ISTE this summer in San Diego, be sure to check out the many poster sessions featuring the CCSS (including mine-“Making The Common Core Uncommonly Exciting”).

    • Thank you, Jamie.

      I will check out Pixie and Wixie! I will be at ISTE so I will try to see your poster sessions. They sound great.


  4. Hello,
    Thanks for adding Creately to the list. We do have real-time collaboration now making it much more attractive for teachers to interact with students. Also the link just under Creately is giving a page not found error. Thanks again for featuring us.

    • You’re welcome! I have a Creately account. It is a great tool. I will be featuring it in future webinars, presentations and workshops.

      Thanks for the heads up on the dead link to the Common Core Standards. I have corrected it.


  5. I have checked Collaborize Classroom and it looks fantastic. I think students can learn a lot from each others’ feedback and also, it is very important to improve their writing skills (I can say it from practice since I get in touch with numerous students at superiorpapers.com and they talk about their issues in their writing abilities). If they start practising it early, I don’t think they will have so many problems later on in higher education.

    • Survey Monkey is super user friendly. I would not be surprised if they did really well with it. Google forms is a great alternative too for kids with Gmail accounts.


    • Hi Tanya,

      A tool that was originally on the list is no longer available. I removed it out without correcting the numbering. My apologies! I’ve corrected it.

      Thank you for the heads up.


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