Growing the List: 50 Digital Education Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success

50 Digital Education Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment SuccessThe beauty of formative assessment is that there is no shortage of strategies and techniques available to teachers to use in their classroom. They provide teachers the valuable feedback they need to adjust their teaching so student learning moves forward. Today, digital tools available in smartphones and tablets make implementing formative assessment as easy and effective as ever.

Back in April, we updated our growing list of digital formative assessment tools and it’s time to update that list again. We’re now at 50 digital education tools and apps that can help teachers implement formative assessment in the classroom, and this list can surely continue to grow.

  • AnswerGarden – A tool for online brainstorming or polling, educators can use this real time tool to see student feedback on questions.
  • Ask3 – This app for the iPad allows students and teachers to collaborate on lessons both in and outside of the classroom. Questions can be posted to specific classrooms set up in the app, and students can add their thoughts, answers, and thinking to the whiteboard.
  • Animoto – Gives students the ability to make a short, 30-second share video of what they learned in a given lesson.
  • AudioNote – A combination of a voice recorder and notepad that captures both audio and notes for student collaboration.
  • Backchannel Chat – Similar to TodaysMeet, this site offers a teacher-moderated version of Twitter. An extension of the in-the-moment conversation might be to capture the chat, create a tag cloud and see what surfaces as a focus of the conversation.
  • BubbleSheet – An app that allows students to complete assignments and common assessments using an iPhone or iPad Quizzes up to 10 questions are free.
  • Coggle – A mind mapping tool designed to understand student thinking.
  • Conceptboard – This software facilitates team collaboration in a visual format – similar to mind mapping, but using visual and textual inputs. Compatible on tablets and PCs, Conceptboard can work from multiple devices.
  • Educreations Interactive Whiteboard – A whiteboard app that provides students the tool to share understanding and comprehension.
  • Evernote Skitch – Allows you to get your point across easily by using images and annotations. Works with a desktop, tablet, or phone and allows you to bring alive your thoughts and ideas using shapes, sketches and annotations.
  • Five Card Flickr – Designed to foster visual thinking, this tool uses the tag feature from photos in Flickr.
  • ForAllRubrics – This software is free for all teachers and allows you to import, create and score rubrics on your iPad, tablet or smartphone. You can collect data offline with no internet access, compute scores automatically and print or save the rubrics as a PDF or spreadsheet.
  • Formative Feedback for Learning – An iPad app that is designed to foster and encourage communication between students and teachers. Through a conference setting it uses icons to prompt discussions.
  • Geddit – Allows students to give instant feedback about their understanding of questions and assignments in real-time and privately.
  • Google Forms – A Google Drive app that allows you to create documents that students can collaborate on in real time using smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • GoSoapBox – Free for less than 30 students, this all student response system works with the BYOD model, so no charge for a clicker. One of the most intriguing features for me is the Confusion Meter.
  • iBrainstorm – An iPad app that allows students to collaborate on projects using a stylus or their finger on screen.
  • I>Clicker – A device that helps facilitate all student response to polls, questions and other teacher-led discussions.
  • iLEAP Pick a Student – Helps the teacher pick a student from the class, and uses turn-based selection so every student is selected before a student is picked again. Supports multiple classes and has a number of selection options.
  • InfuseLearning – A platform by which teachers can engage all students on any device, getting valuable formative feedback along the way.
  • iThoughts – This mind mapping app for Apple’s iFamily® is a great visual tool to help you brainstorm ideas, plan projects and themes, and set goals. As students discuss ideas and possible answers to discussions, educators can visually see the path that their thinking takes, helping to understand how students are learning.
  • Jot – Use like individual whiteboards to express ideas and understanding.
  • Kahoot – A game-based classroom response system, where teachers can create quizzes using Internet content.
  • Lino – A virtual corkboard of sticky-notes so students can provide questions or comments on their learning. These can be used like exit tickets or during the course of a lesson.
  • Mentimeter – Allows you to use mobile phones or tablets to vote on any question a teacher asks, increasing student engagement.
  • Nearpod – This tool is nice in that you can not only gather evidence of student learning like an all student response system but you can also create differentiated lessons based on the data you collected. The basic version (30 students or less) is free.
  • Obsurvey – Create surveys, polls and questionnaires quickly and easily.
  • Padlet – Provides an essentially blank canvas for students to create and design collaborative projects. Great for brainstorming.
  • Pear Deck – Plan and build interactive presentations that students can participate via their smart device. Limited free usage and it offers unique question types.
  • Pick Me! – An easy to use app for the iPod, iPad and iPhone that facilitates random student selection. Can be organized by class for convenience.
  • Plickers – Allows teachers to collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Perfect for the one-device classroom.
  • PollDaddy – Quick and easy way to create online polls, quizzes and questions. Students can use smartphones, tablets, and computers to provide their answers and information can be culled for reports.
  • Poll Everywhere – Teachers can create a feedback poll or ask questions. Students respond in various ways and teachers see the results in real-time. As Steven indicates, with open-ended questions you can capture data and spin up tag clouds to aggregate response. You should note that Poll Everywhere has a limit to the number of users. Mentimeter (which we’ve listed below) does not which makes it a little more functional.
  • RabbleBrowser – An iPad app that allows a leader to facilitate a collaborative browsing experience.
  • Remind – A free tool that allows teachers to text students and stay in touch with parents. A great ‘check for understanding’ tool that’s easy to use.
  • QuickVoice Recorder – Another free voice recording app for the iPhone or iPad that allows you to record classes, discussions or other project audio files. You can sync your recordings to your computer easily for use in presentations.
  • Random Name/Word Picker – This tool allows the teacher to input a class list and facilitates random name picking. You can also add a list of keywords and use the tool to have the class prompt a student to guess the word by providing definitions.
  • Scattervox – Unique polling tool that makes each question 2-dimensional by having respondents use quadrants for their response, thus creating a scatter plot.
  • ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard – Another whiteboard tool students and teachers can use to check understanding.
  • SMART Response VE (for SMARTboards) – A cloud-based software that enables students to respond to planned and spontaneous questions and take quizzes using any of their favorite Internet-enabled devices, from anywhere.
  • Socrative – Engaging exercises and games that engage students using smartphones, laptops and tablets.
  • Tagxedo – A tag cloud generator that allows you to examine student consensus and facilitate dialogue.
  • ThinkBinder – A collaboration tool that allows students to ask questions and discuss topics in a group, share, create and work together on almost any project.
  • TitanPad – This unique tool for collaborative work offers 8 colors to choose from so that each contributor may use a different color. You can easily imagine group work, be it peer review or peer editing for starters, can be made interactive.
  • TodaysMeet – This online collaboration tool allows educators to create a “room” in which students can share ideas, answers and thoughts to lectures and lessons. Educators can view student responses in real time for evidence of learning.
  • Verso – Described as a feedback tool, this app allows teachers to set up learning using a URL. Space is provided for directions. Students download the app and input their responses to the assignment. They can then post their comments and respond to the comments of others. The teacher can group responses and check engagement levels.
  • VoiceThread – Allows you to create and share conversations on documents, diagrams, videos, pictures or almost anything. This facilitates collaborative student discussion and work.
  • Vocaroo – A free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need for software. You can easily embed the recording into slide shows, presentations, or websites. Great for collaborative group work and presentations.
  • Wordle – Generates tag clouds from any entered text to help aggregate responses and facilitate discussion.
  • XMind – A mind mapping software for use on computers and laptops.

With so many tools available, teachers should easily be able to find one (or many) that work for them and their style of teaching. If you use any of these tools tell us what you think of them and how they are working for you. If you have other tools or apps that you use that are not on this list, share them in the comments section below.