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Top Tech Tools for Formative Assessment

Through formative assessment, teachers check student understanding, get valuable data on student learning, and then use that data to modify instruction. When teachers know what students know (or don't know), they can adjust to meet students right at their level. The best formative assessment tools also help students self-reflect and assess, figuring out where they are and where they need to go as learners. Browse the tools below to find one that meets your needs. There are formative assessment apps for everything from discussion to quizzing, polling, and student responses to interactive lessons and videos.

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Interactive Lessons and Video

Edulastic

Powerful formative assessment tool tracks achievement of standards

Bottom line: Efficient platform supports teachers who are expected to assess and track student progress on meeting standards.

Nearpod

Interactive slide show tool engages students and promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and brings slide shows into the 21st century.

PlayPosit

Simple design makes it easy to jump into interactive video

Bottom line: With features that are both basic and useful, it's an easy tool to learn; adding interactivity to video is a snap.

Spiral

Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

EdPuzzle

Crop, customize, and remix online videos for your classroom

Bottom line: If you're using online video in your classroom, you'll want to look into EDpuzzle as a way to layer in more learning opportunities while students watch.

ClassFlow

Robust lesson-creation, presentation tool offers built-in assessment

Bottom line: This powerful tool supports connected and blended learning from instruction to assessment, though it's best used to enhance already great instruction.

Pear Deck

Go beyond the basics with interactive slide shows to assess and engage

Bottom line: While it has some limits, this engaging, useful presentation platform is a great option for formative assessment in one-to-one or BYOD classrooms.

Flipgrid

Pose questions, spark thoughtful video responses with stellar tool

Bottom line: A simple way for students and teachers to create online discussion, as long as your classroom culture is mature enough to use it wisely.

GoClass

Deliver interactive lessons right to kids' mobile devices and tablets

Bottom line: Support learning in and out of the classroom with this multi-faceted content-delivery tool.

Quizzing, Polling, and Student Response

Classkick

Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring of student work for 1-to-1

Bottom line: Paperless workflow management is a crowded category, but Classkick's real-time monitoring and ease of use make it a neat tool for 1-to-1 iPad classrooms.

Recap: Video Response and Reflection for Education

Multimedia reflection app puts a new spin on class discussion

Bottom line: By promoting regular self-reflection and inquiry through Recap, teachers can support more authentic learning and self-assessment among their students.

Formative

Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for BYOD, 1-to-1

Bottom line: Cleverly designed for teachers, Formative offers a flexible and attractive solution for gathering a variety of student response types and offering individualized feedback.

Socrative

Snapshot quizzes and questions measure student learning

Bottom line: Powerful and easy-to-use student-response system has the potential to support responsive teaching.

Kahoot!

Gamelike student-response tool can spark competitive fun

Bottom line: Effortlessly fun quizzing that can lead to productive formative assessment and student reflection if implemented effectively.

Quizalize

Familiar game show-like quizzes with a few new features

Bottom line: Easy-to-set-up and mostly free way to assign quizzes and check for understanding with a handy but paid option for progress tracking.

Plickers

Useful rapid-response tool for tech-limited classrooms

Bottom line: This can be a useful tool for low-tech classes looking to do basic student responses.

GoSoapBox

Solid web-based clicker tool gives instant feedback

Bottom line: The workable tool for online formative assessment offers a variety of worthwhile features.

The Answer Pad

Simple, multipurpose assessment tool for the BYOD classroom

Bottom line: A simple but flexible tool for paperless testing and engaging student-response activities in the classroom.

Poll Everywhere

Straightforward student-response tool does its job well

Bottom line: Great if you're looking for simple polling, but more robust features that make Poll Everywhere competitive with other apps come with the $50/year version.

Discussion

Backchannel Chat

Real-time, moderated online discussions can engage and encourage

Bottom line: Backchannel Chat offers a fun and safe way to hold real-time online discussions that might just increase engagement, interest, and even learning.

TodaysMeet

Easy online conversations supplement and extend the classroom

Bottom line: TodaysMeet is super simple, highly functional, and can be a flipped-classroom stepping stone with the help of careful monitoring.

Piazza

Advanced Q&A tool compels collaboration, higher-order thinking

Bottom line: Encourage collaborative, student-centered learning with this useful platform, but make sure it's the right fit for your students.

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