Five FREE Tech Tools for Formative Assessment

Educators know that formative assessment is a driving force in instruction. It helps us figure out how effective our lessons are, what students know, and whether we need to adjust our methods or reteach a skill. In the age of technology, assessing students and gathering data is getting easier and faster than ever. Check out these 5 cool (free) tools to help you manage formative assessment in your classroom!

1. Zaption

Zaption is a really cool tool that allows you to create "tours". A tour is a video that pauses at certain points for questions. You can insert questions into any youtube video. Students don't need an account to use it- they simply enter their name when prompted at the beginning of the video. Questions can be multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or you can even have students draw a response. Student responses are saved in the video's analytics and can even be downloaded later. The basic version is free, or you can upgrade to premium features. I think the basic version is FANTASTIC! Check out this sample tour to see how it works!

2. Socrative
Socrative is a FREE student response system that allows you to collect formative data in real time. You can ask multiple choice, true/false and short answer questions. You can choose to have students simply answer the questions like a quiz, do a space race, or do a quick exit ticket. You can even embed images into the questions. The data shows up on your device in real time and can be downloaded later for record-keeping.

3. Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a fun, game-style student response system. Like the previous platforms, you can ask multiple choice or true false questions. Students respond using their devices. Students get points based on correct answers and how quickly they answer. The bright colors, fun sounds, and competitive nature keep students engaged. Teachers get real-time data than can also be accessed later.

Formative is a really neat tool created by former teachers. It allows you to do so much- you can pose questions and get real time results. Like the other tools, it allows you to do multiple choice and short answer questions, but it also allows students to draw and write their responses, making it great for math where they need to show their work. You can embed media like videos or images into questions or assignments. Perhaps even cooler though is the feature that allows you to transform traditional paper assessments (in pdf or word formats) into digital assessments. Check out this cool video to see what all it can do!

5. Today's Meet
Today's meet is a live chat tool that can be great for formative assessment. Teachers can ask a question or begin a discussion related to the lesson topic. Student responses appear in real time. Students can read one another's ideas and build upon them. A transcript of the chat session can be printed for later reference. You can use Today's Meet to scaffold and personalize learning by responding to or extending responses with further inquiry. You can also set up small reading groups or circles that engage in content related conversation outside of school time. Monitoring the chats can give teachers a good idea of what students know, what they're struggling with, and whether there are any misconceptions that need to be corrected.

I hope these cool tech tools will allow you in streamline formative assessment in your classroom while infusing a little tech into learning!

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