Formative Assessment - 4 EdTech Tools to Try

It’s August, and students everywhere are returning to school. For educators, this means a brand new set of minds are available to inspire and help to mold. It also means a brand new set of learners that come with their own experiences and needs. Identifying student needs is best met through some type of formative assessment. Whether given initially to inform teachers on where to start and to identify differentiated needs, or given at the end of the period to see if learners met the intended objective or if instruction needs to change, formative assessment has never been easier than with the use of EdTech tools.

Using EdTech tools for formative assessment provides immediate feedback to both students and teachers, makes collecting and reflecting on data a snap, and streamlines the process of replicating assessment to be used in multiple classes or across multiple days. Below are a few of my favorite EdTech tools to use for formative assessment.

1. Quizlet - Quizlet is a seasoned EdTech tool that has been around for a long time. Each year Quizlet is updated to provide new functionality to users. So what’s new with Quizlet? Recently a “Diagram” feature was added which provides teachers and students the ability to upload images, add locations, terms, extra study material, and even audio. Think of it as an interactive image. Using one of Quizlet’s study games will allow students choice of how they learn material, and since Quizlet is in the cloud, access is easy.

2. TodaysMeet - TodaysMeet continues to be one of my very favorite EdTech tools for backchanneling and providing all students a space to participate in learning. TodaysMeet is free and easy to use. Teachers can “Open” a room in which students easily join and contribute. There are no student accounts or registrations needed. Messages are limited to 140 characters, and there is a “Transcript” tool which allows you and the kids to save collaborative notes.

3. Padlet - Padlet is similar to a bulletin board, but it is digital, collaborative, and interactive. Padlet was recently updated this past summer with added colors for notes, more themes to choose from, and the ability to make a template copy from other users. Padlet is collaborative in nature, and now has the option to connect and group ideas, and doesn’t require students to create an account to post.

4. Nearpod - Nearpod brings interactivity to lessons. Questions or prompts are created and controlled by the teacher, and students have multiple ways to answer via their own screens. I love Nearpod because of its option to draw, which is great for our youngest learners. Most recently a collaborative, real-time feature called “collaborate” was added and is great for brainstorming in the classroom. Nearpod also helps to spark inquiry with their Virtual Reality lessons where students can explore anywhere from Mars to monuments.

Looking for more EdTech Tools for Formative Assessment? No problem, check out my list Here!

Shaelynn Farnsworth, Education Service Consultant, Iowa
Twitter: @shfarnsworth Blog: Shaelynnfarnsworth.com