Teacher using a computer

Real-Time Data Options for Teachers

26 Mar 2015 by Scott Sterling

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the interaction between teacher and student can actually improve while both are staring at a digital device. It’s just a matter of using the right tools to utilize real-time data.

Every teacher knows he or she needs to use formative assessments early and often during lessons. Some instructors are masters of the concept, while others struggle. This list of online tools can help you keep the pulse of your class without interrupting learning.

Back-channeling

This is the use of a chat room or Twitter® hashtag to facilitate a digital conversation during a passive exercise, such as a lecture or video. With their devices, students can ask questions and share ideas without you having to pause the video every two minutes. This option also gives you a record of who said what.

Wordle

Once you’ve finished your back channel, plug the transcript into the Wordle™ online tool, and it will generate a word cloud based on the terms used most in the conversation. If you’re lucky enough to have a color printer, print the cloud and post it to create a word wall.

Poll Everywhere or Mentimeter

Both of these solutions let you pose questions to the class for students to contribute responses or votes. I listed both because they have different account types. One might work better for you than the other.

Nearpod

Combine interaction, polling, assessment and reporting with the ability to broadcast your presentation to students’ devices, and you get Nearpod. You can control what happens on a student’s device during a lesson, all from your own device.

Lino

Many teachers use exit tickets or a similar strategy to summarize the main points of a lesson after the fact. Lino offers a digital alternative to a whiteboard or Post-it® notes.

BubbleSheet

This app offers quick and easy quizzing over iPhone® or iPad® devices. Results are made available instantaneously. Quizzes made up of 10 questions or fewer are free.

Conceptboard

Similar to the boards a business would use to brainstorm — in fact, that’s the company’s target market — Conceptboard allows everyone to collaborate visually. Organize students into small groups and monitor their progress without having to interrupt them.

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