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3 iPad-Friendly Formative Assessment Tools
Checking for understanding can happen in lots of different ways. When I first received a set of iPads in my classroom as a fifth-grade teacher, it completely changed the way I thought about formative assessment. In this quick post, I’d love to share three favorite iPad-friendly formative assessment tools.
These are ones I use all the time, with students of all ages – and educators, too!
Nearpod has been a regular in my EdTech tool belt since I first downloaded it from the App Store (maybe ten years ago?). I first used it to beam my slide deck presentations onto student iPads, but I quickly learned that you could do much more than that.
With Nearpod, you can add interactive activities to a presentation to check for understanding and boost student engagement. I love the Collaborate board, where students can post a response using audio, images, video, or text. The Draw It feature is also a favorite. With this option, students can draw on a blank canvas or annotate an image you’ve added to the background.
Quick Tip: Although it works on your Safari browser without having to download an app, I definitely recommend using the iPad and iPhone app if possible. The user experience is even better when working within the app.
One of my favorite tools for groups big and small is Mentimeter. With the free version of this tool, you can pose a question to a class, and they can quickly respond. It gives you a read of the room so you can decide what happens next in your lesson. Students can scan a QR code to respond or type the code into a web browser.
Mentimeter lets you set up polls, word clouds, short responses, and more. It’s perfect for a quick response from a group at the beginning, middle, or end of a lesson. I spent last week in New York working with middle school teachers and exploring this free resource together. Although it’s hard to choose a favorite, one of the features we looked at was the scale option, where students can share how much they like/dislike something.
Quick Tip: Since Mentimeter collects responses anonymously, you might want to start off with the ranking, poll, or scale option to get students comfortable with the platform. Then you can try word clouds and open-ended responses.
I’m a big fan of Adobe Express and have done some work with their team. If you’ve used Adobe Spark in the past, then you’re already familiar with some of the features of this tool. For example, for formative assessments, you might use the graphic feature to have students make collages for an exit slip. This is an excellent option for making a quick, creative product that also gives you a window into student understanding.
Each month this year, they’ve had creativity challenges, including this one for September. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for some seasonal inspiration or community-building activities for your students. Then you can layer in questions or prompts for a formative assessment routine with exit slips.
Quick Tip: Adobe Express is free for schools, and they have a fantastic iPad and iPhone app. On the app, you can make all sorts of graphics, including collages, flyers, infographics, and more!
I'd love to hear about some of your favorite ways to check for understanding, too!