Three free digital ways to get instant feedback from students

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Padlet is a free collaborative bulletin board where the students can write and pin up digital post-it notes with text and/or images. You complete a free registration, which uses your Google account, and then create a bulletin board with your choice of theme, add a title, questions, resources, and/or a starting discussion question. It gives you a URL that you can provide to your students and they can place post-its with their own comments or resources without registering. Great way to start a discussion, follow up on a reading, or develop a collaborative list.

Poll Everywhere has  k-12 pricing that includes a free teacher account that allows for 40 responses per poll and an unlimited number of classes. Once you are registered, the process of creating polls and collecting data is quite simple. First, you select the type of poll question you wish to ask. The options include traditional multiple choice, free response, and true/false questions. In addition, Poll Everywhere offers a clickable image poll and a discourse poll that allows students to give an upvote or downvote to multiple selections. Students can respond by texting or tweeting or most commonly by visiting the custom teacher Poll Everywhere website, which you can set and then use every time you create a poll. Responses are tabulated in real time and displayed for the teacher to share in the form of a bar graph or word cloud.

Nearpod is an amazing tool for students of all ability levels, but it can be especially powerful for students with disabilities related to organization or attention. The basic idea of Nearpod is to create an interactive presentation and share it with students in your classroom. Students are able to follow along on an iPad or Chromebook. This includes a variety of assessment tools that will give immediate feedback to the student and teacher. It is a great way to allow students to have a device in their hands without the worry of being distracted.

As the teacher, you can create or download a Nearpod lesson that are arranged in a slide format like Powerpoint or Google presentations, but Nearpod includes built-in polls, live question and answer pages, quizzes, and a even a live drawing option. Students can be presented with a blank canvas where they create their own drawing, which is immediately available to the teacher. Nearpod has a bank of free and paid lessons created by other teachers and content providers that are also worth checking out.

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