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Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2013

AASL Top 25 Websites CommitteeHere in Chicago, AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Committee just released its standards-aligned 2013 list.

(Don’t miss AASL’s inaugural, Best Apps For Teaching and Learning list, also just released at ALA!)

Sites and tools are selected  because they engage users through innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. Honored websites, tools, and resources will provide exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning.

Using Edcavas as a platform for curation (see below), this year’s Committee described a fabulous array of tools in the categories of:

The team confirmed several of my personal favorites: Pinterest, Smore,, TED Ed, and DPLA, for instance. But I learned about so many truly useful new tools this morning, my mind was racing with plans for both personal use and serious fall implementation.

Here is a list of  some of those new-to-me discoveries:

  • Workflowy: for planning an organizing
  • FlipSnack: for digitally publishing professional looking flip books.  I’ll check this out as an alternative to Issuu.
  • LitPick:  a global network  that offers free books to preteen and teen book reviewers in exchange for book reviews 
  • Socrative: a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
  • QuadBlogging: allows four schools to blog together and share student writing
  • Biblionasium:, a Goodreads alternative for young readers (look for a full post on this one later this week)
  • Marqueed: a collaborative platform for annotating images and PDFs
  • Inklewriter: a platform for writing interactive, branching stories (ala choose your own adventures)  Stories can be published to Kindle.
  • myHistro: allows stories to be created and shared as mashed-up maps
  • 19 Pencils: a library/search tool for locating, sharing and using K-6 educational resources
  • iCivics: founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the site includes 18 educational video gamesteaching materials, and a comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum,
  • Wonderopolis: the National Center for Family Literacy celebrates the learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs.
  • Youngzine: child-centered zine by and for kids in grades 8 through 12 where they can learn about current events around and events shaping their world using fun trivia,  visuals and videos.
  • Seriously Amazing: The Smithsonian presents seven quirky characters who symbolize the questions the Smithsonian asks and answers every day.
  • Codecademy: teaches kids to code interactively in a variety of languages

There’s much more!

Study this list over the summer so you can plan a serious roll-out of what makes best sense for your teachers and kiddos in the fall.  The Committee noted that several of the sites are in Beta, and it is possible that they may change.

The 2012/2013 Committee included:

  • Donna Baratta, Chair
  • Kyle Harmon
  • Jessica Hinman
  • Debra Kay Logan
  • Floyd Pentlin
  • Elizabeth Dumas
  • Susan Hess
  • Catherine Nelson
  • John Schumacher
Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Elissa Malespina says

    Every year I look forward to this list. I always learn about so many websites! I can’t wait to start using them with my students! I love Flipsnack and use it to for our school’s newspaper. I did make a pinterest board with all of the website you can view it at


  1. […] Read the complete post… /* Filed Under: ALA Conferences and Meetings, K-12 Tagged With: AASL, Best websites, SLJ About Kathy IshizukaKathy Ishizuka (, @kishizuka on Twitter) is Executive Editor of School Library Journal. […]

  2. […] Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2013 — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch […]

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  6. […] for 21st Century Learning as a guide. And for the fifth year, the organization announced its Best Websites for Teaching and Learning in six categories, including media sharing, curriculum collaboration, and social […]

  7. […] tools for education.  Of course, the AASL just put out their list and Joyce Valenza wrote a nice article reflecting on their choices.  In MindShift, Katrina Schwartz had an article about some free […]

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