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‘New Skool’: Digital Learning Options You’ll Love

July 12, 2016

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Looking for what’s new, different and fun to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. Check out our teachers’ favorite collection digital options that teach AND engage. And we provide you with the unique perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner. Find non-digital options here.




iCivics Free Website, App

Why We Like It: These free well-designed games, developed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s foundation, are a fantastic option to teach students about legislative and judicial processes. Each game teaches students a significant amount about the branches of government through a combination of story-telling and gamification. There are nine different games on the site, so parents should be able to find one that will be of interest and a good fit for most children. Develops: Flexible ThinkingListening ComprehensionVerbal Reasoning

Considerations: Most games are long and require a significant amount of reading and analysis which may deter some students.  All of the games require a learning curve in understanding how to play and grasp the subject matter. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Attention, Processing Speed, Verbal Reasoning, Working Memory

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 11 to 17

Interests: History & Current Events, Role Playing GamesTeachers/Homeschoolers

Added 10/4/2016





Listen Edition Freemium Website

Why We Like It: This national public radio (NPR) affiliated site is designed specifically for middle and high school students. The stories are truly engaging and could easily ignite new interests in students. The format provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice their listening comprehension but also has written transcripts available if needed. For teachers or homeschoolers, a paid upgrade includes detailed lesson plans with study questions and activities for each story. Develops: Listening ComprehensionVerbal Reasoning

Considerations: The navigation is not straight-forward and users may have difficulty quickly finding what they want or returning to a particular place. The stories were created for an adult audience and could use unfamiliar vocabulary and contextual references. Adults may need to pre-screen topics for sensitive students who could be upset by some of the discussions. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker:  AnxietySelf-Regulation

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 12 to 17

Interests: Animals & NatureGifted LearnersGeography & TravelHistory & Current EventsHolidays (4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc.)Literature & Poetry, MusicSpace/Astronauts/AstronomyTeachers/Homeschoolers

Added 9/26/2016


blueprintBlueprint 3D Paid App

Why We Like It: This unique visual puzzle game can develop visual and spatial reasoning skills by having students rotate and manipulate the 3D images on the screen until they form the target object. It is appropriate for a range of ability levels and includes 11 different themes so most students could find a category of interest. Students are rewarded for speed, but can take as long as they want to be successful. Given the findings of the increased importance of spatial skills to creativity and career success, this can be a great choice to build those skills. Develops: Abstract ReasoningFlexible ThinkingSpatial PerceptionVisual DiscriminationVisual Motor Speed

Considerations: Requires a reasonable amount of coordination and precision which could cause frustration for some learners. Some students might not find the game sufficiently exciting. The military category uses pictures of weapons. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker:  Fine Motor/Visual Motor Skills, Self-Regulation

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 8 to Adult

Interests: Animals & NatureArt & Design, Gifted LearnersCompetitive GamesFire/Police/MilitaryGeography & TravelHolidays (4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc.)Visual PuzzlesSpace/Astronauts/Astronomy

Added 9/19/2016



Jump Numbers Paid App

Why We Like It: Jump Numbers is a fabulous math app that develops numeracy skills in an enjoyable, stress-free way. Rounds are relatively quick with fun graphics which will keep students motivated to play. If students do not overuse the hints, they will effectively strengthen numeracy skills. The game can either be played in the adaptive mode, which adjusts in difficulty based on the student’s performance, or users can customize the game to target specific number sequences. Develops: Abstract ReasoningSpatial PerceptionVisual DiscriminationWorking Memory

Considerations: Adults cannot track how many hints a student is using, and students could use hints whenever they choose. Students with weaker fine motor skills might have difficulty when they need to swipe two circles together. The game includes a lot of moving screens and scanning, which could be hard for students with visual weaknesses. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: AnxietyFine Motor/Visual Motor SkillsSpatial PerceptionVisual Discrimination

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 6 to 10

Interests: Comics, Math Puzzles, Make-BelieveTeachers/Homeschoolers

Added 9/12/2016


GreatGatsbyThe Great Gatsby: Classic Adventures Full Paid App

Why We Like It: This is a wonderful hidden picture app that effectively integrates the story line of The Great Gatsby with a combination of jazz music, authentic voices and beautiful illustrations. Students will want to read the book after playing this app. The hidden pictures are challenging yet achievable and hints are available when a student is stuck. Develops: Attention, Visual Discrimination

Considerations: In some instances the students will need to be precise when clicking on a hidden item which can cause frustration. Students might need help with identifying unfamiliar objects. Adult themes including references to alcohol and cigarettes consistent with the book’s plot. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Fine Motor/Visual Motor Skills  

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 11 to Adult

Interests: Literature & Poetry, MusicVisual Puzzles, Word Puzzles

Added 9/5/2016


PresidentsvsAliensPresidents vs. Aliens Paid App

Why We Like It: This is a truly fun app to help students remember the faces and facts about the US Presidents. Students answer multiple choice questions for the opportunity to knock out the aliens, giving a true game element. Parents can pre-select the appropriate question categories for each student (names, chronology, facts, quotes, presidential nicknames). The app includes a study section where students can read the facts about each president. Develops: Abstract ReasoningSpatial PerceptionVisual Memory

Considerations:  Students with weaker verbal skills may have difficulty with some of the vocabulary and there is no option to look up definitions. While the app provides the correct answer if a student answers incorrectly, there is no helpful explanation to enhance recall and increase the chances that students will remember the next time. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Visual Memory

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 7 to Adult

Interests: History & Current EventsMonsters/Mummies/AliensVisual PuzzlesVideo Games

Added 8/29/2016



Pixton for Fun Free Website

Why We Like It: Pixton is a wonderful website that easily enables students to easily create online comic strips and read those of others. It promotes open-ended creative writing that is likely to engage even your most reluctant writers. Develops: Flexible ThinkingOrganization, Writing

Considerations: Students will need to register to publish their comics and upgrade to access all the features. Adults might want to monitor what younger children are reading, as they might not feel all the content is appropriate. Parental Concerns: Advertisements, Age Inappropriate Language and References, Consumerism, Juvenile Humor

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 8 to Adult

Interests: Comics, WritingTeachers/Homeschoolers

Added 8/22/2016


brilliantlogoBrilliant Free Website

Why We Like It: This free website of unique and interesting math challenges provides a variety of problems effectively targeted for each student. The site will not discourage students when they answer incorrectly, giving multiple chances and adjusting the level of difficulty for subsequent problems. There is no timer so motivated students can take as long as they need. Develops: Abstract ReasoningFlexible Thinking, Working Memory

Considerations: Best for strong, independent thinkers. The quality of explanations is dependent on the user community. Although the problems are well-organized, they are not organized by school topics so teachers might have difficulty finding specific problems for classroom use. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Abstract Reasoning, Flexible Thinking, Numerical Fluency

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 12 to Adult

Interests: Challenges for advanced/gifted learnersCompetitive GamesComputers/ElectronicsPuzzles: Math,  Science,  Space/Astronauts/AstronomyTeachers/Homeschoolers

Added 8/15/2016


trading cardsTrading Cards Free App

Why We Like It: With the option to be used for fun or in school, this free app enables students to create, share and categorize their own virtual trading cards to make writing or memorizing far more engaging. Each card requires a manageable amount of writing with guiding questions to help the student include key information and details. Students can have fun including pictures and writing clever descriptions and share, email and “trade” with their friends. Develops: Organization, Verbal ReasoningMemory

Considerations: There are only seven categories of cards with no option to create your own template which could bother students who want to get really creative. Depending on the device the student’s text might come out very tiny and too small to read easily. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Reading

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 8 to 17

Interests: Collectibles (Stamps, Cards, Coins), Geography & TravelTeachers/Homeschoolers, Group WorkHistory & Current EventsMake-BelieveLiterature & Poetry, Sports, Writing

Added: 8/8/16


Wonderopolis Free Website

wonderopolisWhy We Like It:  Wonderopolis is a good, free website for curious students to learn about a broad variety of subjects in a child-friendly way. Each day a new wonder is explained covering topics such as tsunamis, sleep, taste buds, art and technology. The titles and images will interest and engage most students, even those not typically interested in science. Each wonder has multiple links to related wonders from other days to allow students to comfortably pursue their curiosities. Develops: Abstract ReasoningGeneral InformationReading ComprehensionVerbal Reasoning

Considerations: Students might need an adult to explain some of the complex vocabulary. The “try it out” section has many links to the web and suggestions to post on Facebook, which parents might not want. The wonders can be difficult to read on the busy page for students with visual processing weaknesses, and the audio alternative sounds robotic. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Abstract ReasoningVerbal Reasoning and Visual Discrimination.

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 7 to 14

Interests: Animals & NatureGeography & TravelHistory & Current EventsPuzzles: VisualScienceSpace/Astronauts/Astronomy, Good for Teachers/Homeschoolers, Challenges for Gifted Learners

Added: 7/25/16


Who Am I? Race Awareness Game Free App

race awareness

Why We Like It:  This free app provides a fun and helpful platform to discuss race with children of all ages. There is enough variety in the photos to hold a child’s interest for multiple rounds. Children can develop important skills in asking precise and descriptive questions which opens the door for discussing sensitive topics. Develops:  Expressive LanguageFlexible ThinkingSocial AwarenessVerbal ReasoningWorking Memory

Considerations: While the app offers helpful advice, there is no way to store the tips and refer to later. The app does not include an option to track questions and guesses for students to work on improving their questioning skills.

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 5 to 14

Interests: History & Current Events

Added: 7/18/16

Bloxels Builder Game + App

bloxelWhy We Like It: Students can effectively produce, play and share their own uniquely-designed video games. Design is through hands-on blocks on the board which will be preferable for students who sometimes need help with spatial perception or working memory. Develops: Abstract Reasoning, Flexible Thinking, OrganizationSpatial PerceptionWorking Memory 

Considerations: The app navigation is not intuitive, and not all students will be sufficiently motivated to watch the videos to learn what to do independently. Students with weaker fine motor skills might need help with the small blocks or correctly positioning the iPad camera to screenshot the board. Students who are not interested in video games might not choose to do this independently for very long. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Abstract ReasoningFine Motor SkillsOrganization, Spatial Perception, Visual Memory, Working Memory

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 8 to 13

Interests: Art & Design, Computers/Electronics, Good for teachers/homeschoolersPuzzles: Visual, Video Games

Added: 7/18/16


QuandaryQuandary Free Website

Why We Like It: The sites teaches important lessons about community and decision making through an immersive, engaging and interactive story. The game provides practical application of key reading concepts (fact vs opinion, drawing conclusions, etc.). The graphics and story lines should appeal to most students. Develops:  Abstract ReasoningFlexible ThinkingOrganizationReading ComprehensionSocial AwarenessVerbal Reasoning

Considerations: Students may not fully understand their mistakes, because there is no feedback about “less correct” answers. Students might skip some of the important reading if they have difficulty with comprehension, attention, or reading on screen. The accompanying audio does not always work properly or clearly. Extra adult support suggested for students with weaker: Reading ComprehensionVerbal ReasoningVisual Discrimination

Mindprint Recommended Age Range: 9 to 14

Interests:  Comics/AnimationsFairies, Princesses & Make BelieveRole Playing GamesScience

Added: 7/12/16


Of course, this is just a selection of the over 2,000 products our teachers have reviewed, so you are always welcome to sign up for your own FREE account and search for whatever you need.


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