11 Tech Tools to Teach the Common Core Standards by @CTuckerEnglish

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).

10. 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).

11. 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!

About @CTuckerEnglish

@CTuckerEnglish I am a Google Certified Teacher and CUE Lead Learner. I teach 9th and 10th grade English language arts at Windsor High School in Sonoma County. I spent the 2011-2012 school year on leave from teaching while I finished writing my first book titled Blended Learning for Grades 4-12: Leveraging the Power of Technology to Create a Student-Centered Classroom (Corwin Publishing). I am an advocate for a teacher-designed blended learning model that encourages educators to engage students in active learning online using a range of Web 2.0 tools to complement traditional instruction.


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