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.



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