Two Great FREE Apps from Mastery Connect

I have a TON to say about Mastery Connect — a tool that I started tinkering with last year that actually might make formative assessment and giving timely, directive feedback to both students and teachers possible — but I DON’T have a ton of time to write tonight!

So let me point all y’all to two free and functional apps that Mastery Connect offers that I BET you’re going to be interested in loading on your favorite iGadgets and Android devices:

 Mastery Connect Common Core Standards App (androidiTunes) – One of my first interactions with Mastery Connect came a few years back when I was poking through the digital universe trying to figure out just what those Common Core standard-thingies were.  Somehow, I stumbled across this app in the ol’ Appstore and it blew me away.

Designed to make it easy to learn more about the Common Core, this nugget of free digital goodness from Mastery Connect allows teachers to search for and explore the Common Core standards by subject areas, by grade levels and by domains.  It’s a simple tool that has been invaluable for me as I try to get my head wrapped around the changes that the Common Core has in store for both me AND my students.

Next Gen Science Standards App (androidiTunes) – In another flash of digital brilliance, the fellas over at Mastery Connect have JUST RELEASED a new app designed to introduce teachers to the Next Generation Science Standards.  Much like the Common Core app, this free tool is brilliant, allowing teachers to search the Next Gen standards by domain, by grade level or by “Conceptual Progressions.”

What I love the best about the app is that it (1). provides quick and easy access to the science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts for each Next Gen standard and (2). provides quick and easy access to the connections between Next Gen standards and Common Core standards.

Philosophically, I’m a believer in both the Common Core State Standards AND the Next Gen Science Standards because I’m convinced that both documents will increase the overall quality of instruction delivered in our nation’s classrooms.  Practically, though, I’m more than a bit overwhelmed by two sets of important new standards all being rolled out simultaneously.  Just trying to figure out WHAT I’m supposed to be teaching has gotten A LOT more challenging in the past few years!

That’s why I’m thankful for these Mastery Connect tools.  By pulling all the standards together into two easy to navigate apps, they are going to save me a TON of time — and allow me to get to the more important work of redesigning my lessons sooner rather than later.



  • Michael Paul Goldenberg

    Formative assessment. . . ?

    Would be interested in hearing about anything that makes providing real formative assessment more feasible. 


    Nonsense about the Common Core and the new science standards? Not so much. Disappointed to hear that you’ve bought into them. 

    • billferriter

      The Pushback Against Common Core Confuses Me

      Michael wrote:

      Nonsense about the Common Core and the new science standards? Not so much. Disappointed to hear that you’ve bought into them

      – – – – – – – – – – 

      Devastated to hear that I’ve “disappointed” you, Michael.  Hopefully I’ll recover.  

      To be honest, though, I don’t understand the pushback against sets of standards that actually emphasize meaningful skills over the low-level knowledge driven crap that we’re currently teaching in schools.

      Are you still in the classroom?  If so, do you not see any improvement in the types of tasks the Common Core asks of kids compared to the curriculum that you were teaching before the Common Core?  If not, have you read through the Common Core standards and compared them to the standards we were holding kids and schools accountable for before?  

      I get that the Common Core has become a political football — but at their core, they are an improvement.  




  • BillIvey

    Thanks, Bill

    As you know, independent schools aren’t required to use CCSS and few are – most of the private schools doing so are faith-based. Listening to Marsha, Wendi, David, you, and others, I’m increasingly intrigued at the possibilities they may offer for teachers – given that I don’t have to worry about the political and testing aspects. So I’m installing this app so I can begin to learn more about them, where my students are coming from, what their peers in public school are doing so, and how it might benefit my teaching.

    Thanks again!

  • marsharatzel

    Check out Concord Consortium’s NGGS stuff

    A little different from what you were mentioning but equally fantastic for decoding NGSS and figuring out how it works is the Concord Consortium’s website.  I think it’s called Find Your  Path…..gr8 name isn’t it?

  • Anna J.

    Collaboration across the Continent

    Thank you for sharing this resource. I find the Mastery Connect App. especially useful as a quick standards reference. From what I have seen on the free web version, there are a variety of common assessments that have been shared from teachers across the United States that I can use to asses my students mastery of certain standards. Additionally, I can upload my students names, and track and share their progress on the standards by using my computer.

    Have you had time to explore this app. more? I’m wondering if you could describe some of the other features that this program offers. Also, if you have access to the premium version, what are some of the features that are available through this upgrade? Do you consider it a worthwhile investment? Thanks!