Take Three! 55 Digital Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success

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Kathy Dyer |

Take Three! 55 Digital Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment SuccessThere is no shortage of strategies, techniques, and tools available to teachers who use formative assessment in their classrooms. It’s been over a year since we published our blog on digital tools and apps for formative assessment success and some of them we listed are no longer around. The good news is that there are new tools and apps that are available today that can help facilitate evidence of student learning.

Here is an updated version of our list of digital tools and apps for formative assessment success. Share your tools, ideas, and thoughts with us so we can continue to keep this list growing and current.

  • AnswerGarden– A tool for online brainstorming or polling, educators can use this real time tool to see student feedback on questions.
  • 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.
  • Chatzy (NEW) – Use Chatzy like you would TodaysMeet, to support backchannel conversations in a private setting. These live chats make great companions to classroom discussion, provide exit tickets, or keep a discussion going after the class is over.
  • ClassKick (NEW) – This app allows teachers to post assignments for students so both the teacher and peers can provide feedback on the assignment. Students can monitor their progress and work.
  • 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.
  • ExitTicket (NEW) – This app offers teachers the opportunity to poll, test, or survey what students know in quizzes called tickets. This tool is best for gathering simple feedback about what students know and don’t know, and is useful for pre-assessment as well as an exit ticket.
  • 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.
  • GoFormative (NEW) – This online, all-student response system provides teachers the opportunity to assign activities to students, receive the results in real time, and then provide immediate feedback to students.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Naiku (NEW) – Teachers can easily and quickly create quizzes that students can answer using their mobile device. Great for checking for understanding before and after a lesson.
  • 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.
  • PingPong (NEW) – Another backchannel tool that helps maintain student interest by providing a place where students can pose questions, take notes, make comments about instructional content, and share resources during and outside of class.
  • 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.
  • ProProfs (NEW) – Build and test knowledge with quick quizzes, polls and surveys.
  • 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.
  • Quia (NEW) – Teachers can create games, quizzes, surveys and more, and access a database of existing quizzes from other educators.
  • 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.
  • Quizlet (NEW) – Create flashcards, tests, quizzes and study games that are engaging and accessible online and via a mobile device.
  • 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.
  • Tagul (NEW) – This word cloud generator has an added feature that allows the user to make each word an active link to connect to a website you determine.
  • 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.
  • Wordables (NEW) – The Word Cloud Guessing Game. This app allows you to elicit evidence of learning or determine background knowledge about a topic. These word clouds are pictures composed of a cloud of smaller words that form a clue to the topic.
  • Wordle – Generates tag clouds from any entered text to help aggregate responses and facilitate discussion.
  • WordSalad (NEW) – This app generates word clouds from the text you provide, and they can be exported and shared.
  • XMind– A mind mapping software for use on computers and laptops.
  • Yacapaca! (NEW) – Allows teachers to create and assign quizzes with ease.

These 55 tools and apps for formative assessment success give teachers (and students) many options and opportunities for classroom success. If you use any of these tools tell us what you think of them and how they’re working for you. If you have other tools or apps that you use that aren’t on this list, share them with us.

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