Formative Assessment Tools
Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that can be used for formative assessment. Create your own Kahoot or use/modify what’s already there! Test Review Day has never been so fun! Kahoot is compatible with nearly all internet connected devices.
Socrative is a great formative tool that can be used with prepared questions or for on-the-fly polling. I love to use it to informally poll my students. Socrative is compatible with nearly all internet connected devices. Note: There are separate student and teacher apps.
Use Formative to create (or upload) a formative assessment. My favorite feature is that students can draw their responses. See responses live and give instant feedback. Can even post to Google Classroom. Runs on nearly any internet connected device.
Use Google Forms quiz feature for your assessment. Some of my favorite features include automatic grading, being able to grade short answers question by question (rather than quiz by quiz), and results that include frequently missed questions and a breakdown of each multiple choice option selected. Seamlessly integrates with student Google accounts.
Use Flipgrid to give all your students a voice. It may not be possible to talk with each student in person but now you can watch their video response and then respond with a video of your own! Or use Flipgrid instead of an asynchronous chat. Students can post their response and classmates can respond. The free version allows one grid with unlimited topics and 15- or 90-second recordings. Videos can be recorded using a computer or an app can be downloaded.
Recap is similar to Flipgrid but there is no video reply option. A teacher can leave text comments on each video and can set videos as public or private. Videos can be up to 5 min. long (significantly longer than Flipgrid). Share a pin rather than creating more logins! Videos can be recorded via computer or an app can be downloaded.
Visual Presentation Tools
Infographics are a great way for students to organize and present their findings. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Some common free sites are Easel.ly, Piktochart, and Canva. While they all have many things in common, they have their differences as well. I suggest you play around with each one to get an idea of what it offers. Also pay attention to what you can do in the free version and how your students’ final projects can be saved, shared and displayed.
Prezi is a great way to create an engaging presentation. While there isn’t anything wrong with Google Slides, Prezi takes your presentation to another level. In addition, Prezi can be a great tool to help your students organize their material in order to best present it. While Prezi now offers many paid versions, you can still use it for free with their Basic or EDU Standard plans.
Popplet is a great mind mapping tool that can help students to organize their knowledge as they attempt to create relationships between ideas or concepts. It is also a great tool for brainstorming and seeing what the students already know. Popplet can be used on the web or on an iPad.
Google Drawings seems like a hidden gem! Use this collaborative drawing tool to create and share posters, flyers or anything you can think of! Embedded drawings will automatically update if you make changes. To access, go to your Google Drive, click New and select Google Drawings. Now play around!
Are you looking to have your students display their research in a visual way? Are they collaborating with other students? Consider having them create a Google Site to showcase their work! If you want to speed this process along, get them started by sharing a template. Now they just have to add their content.
Padlet is an amazing collaborative tool that “works like a sheet of paper where you can put anything (images, videos, documents, text) anywhere, from any device (pcs, tablets, phones), together with anyone.” It can even be embedded! Many templates are available to get you started. Check out (and add to) my Ed Tech Resources Padlet here!
You are probably already aware of all the great Google products but since they are so easy to use, I had to include them! Advantages of using these are that students already are familiar with them. They can “Log in with Google” and you can help to organize them with Google Classroom.
Trello is a collaborative tool that allows you and your group to organize your project by creating boards, lists, and cards. Collaborators can add comments, attach documents and all the work is automatically synced across devices. Students can even “Log in with Google!” Note: I would recommend this tool for high school on up.
Learning Management Systems
Moodle is a great, simple way to make your classroom content (worksheets, notes, videos, links) accessible 24/7. You can also use it as an asynchronous chat room and as a place to give your formative and/or summative tests. Even better, most schools are able to use Moodle for free.
Due to ease of use, Google Classroom has become one of the most popular ways for teachers to share assignments with their students. While it lacks many of the features of a traditional LMS, Google Classroom makes it very easy to share Google Doc, etc. with students. Google classroom now also lets teacher share resources with specific groups of students rather than with the whole class.
Creating a Google Site might be the perfect way to extend your classroom into the online world. There are many templates available to get you started and it plays really nice with the Google products you are already using! While Google Sites is not quite as customizable as other website builders, it has enough features to allow you to build a great course.
Kickstand is an amazing LMS that allows both a place to create your course as well as a way to assess your students. Kickstand allows assessment questions to be linked with standards and thus provides personalized feedback to the teacher and student. This data can also be used to automatically direct students to personalized lessons based on their performance. You can see an example of Kickstand in my Showcase.
Other Cool Things
If you like to have your students watch videos but you are pretty sure that they don’t watch the entire thing, Edpuzzle is for you! See how much they watch, prevent them from fast-forwarding and require them to answer questions along the way! Videos from YouTube, Khan, Crash Course, etc can all be uploaded. You can even add your own voice into the videos! Want to know more, read this blog post.
Screencastify is a Chrome extension that can be used to capture your entire desktop, a single application or use as a webcam with a few clicks of a button. Your screencast is then automatically available as a Google Drive link or you can download it. Sharing thoughts, ideas or instructions has never been easier!
Bookmarking websites is good but organizing websites is better! Toby allows you to save all open tabs into a session that can be easily restored later. This helps to prevent piling up 30+ tabs! This feature also allows you to organize your tabs into related groups rather than having them randomly line up in your browser. Interested in learning more? Watch this video.
Evernote is a great way to stay organized! It will allow you to organize notes, pictures, websites, documents, and even audio all in one place. Since it syncs across devices and then items can be searched for and retrieved from any other web-based device. (Note: number of devices allowed to sync depends on your plan.)