Using technology to create an engaging classroom is easier with the right tools. Look for resources that provide students an outlet for giving feedback about their own learning. Check out the four platforms outlined below for some innovative applications.

Flipgrid: This website or app allows teachers to create “grids” of short discussion questions. Students respond by video, utilizing a tablet or laptop camera. A student’s 90 second video “answer” is displayed on the grid. Watch this video to learn more about Flipgrid.

Google Forms: Users create their own surveys. These can include a variety of question types with customized photos and colors. Responses can be gathered within forms, saved within a new Google spreadsheet, and/or downloaded to Excel. Here is a short tutorial to help you get started.

Answer Garden: This simple web tool or app is great for gathering feedback from a group and determining their level of knowledge on a given topic. Students read provided questions. To answer them, they click on provided choices, type in responses, or use the voice-to-type option. Data is then compiled to show a word cloud of answers submitted. Learn more about how to set up an answer garden via this video.

Pear Deck Add-on for Google Slides: The site Pear Deck released an amazing Add-On for Google Slides. Once activated, it allows teachers to select interactive slides and add them directly into their presentations. Students are first given a code to enter at Then they wait for further instructions. Teachers control the presentation, releasing slides without students scrolling ahead. As an interactive component appears, students may be asked to type, draw, or drag and drop their feedback on any given slide. Watch this video to get started!

Regardless of the time of year, it’s important to gather authentic feedback from students. Not only does this drive future instruction, but it cultivates a classroom climate of active engagement.

For more technology tools and resources follow Nadine Gilkison (Smekens Education Digital Resource Designer) on or @nadinegilkison on Twitter.

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