Teachers use data on a daily basis to inform instruction, measure student performance, and determine the next day’s lesson. Check out our list of 10 apps that help educators work smarter not harder when it comes to tracking and analyzing data.
Completely free for students and teachers, GoFormative is an assessment tool that goes beyond multiple-choice responses (though that is an option). Students are able to respond to questions and assignments by typing, drawing, or submitting images to show their answers. The great thing about GoFormative is that it offers real-time intervention so teachers know exactly what their students need and can take immediate action. Assignments can be aligned to any standard for easy tracking of student progress.
MasteryConnect helps teachers identify student levels of understanding to target interventions and inform instruction. The Mastery Tracker disaggregates data by student performance and standard mastery, making formative assessments easy and efficient. Teachers can quickly score bubble sheets using any webcam, upload their own rubrics for easy scoring, and determine mastery standards for any performance-based assessment, so any teacher of any subject can use this tool! My favorite part of MasterConnect is the common assessment sharing and teacher comparison analysis—perfect when comparing data during PLC meetings. This app has free and paid versions available.
Plickers, short for “paper clickers,” is a great free formative assessment tool for classrooms that are not one-to-one or when teachers want to avoid pesky log-ins. Using paper responses, plickers provides quick checks for understanding to determine whether students are grasping big concepts and mastering key skills. Teachers can import student names into classes, quickly scan the room for responses, and voila! Plickers provides an instant graph view of answers and allows teachers to view individual student and question reports.
4. PBS LearningMedia
Offering over 200,000 free digital resources for all subjects and grades, this website is an educator’s treasure trove. But PBS LearningMedia also provides free tools, allowing teachers to create their own lessons, storyboards, puzzles, and quizzes. All resources created under the tool page can be assigned to students via web link, email, or Google Classroom. The quiz maker tool offers the ability to pose constructed responses, true or false, or multiple choice questions. To get started and learn the basics of PBS LearningMedia, check out our self-paced webinar below.
Similar to Kahoot, Quizalize—a gamified learning approach—is user-friendly and allows teachers to easily identify students who need help and with what they need help. Teachers can see live data as students play, allowing them to intervene immediately when there’s a struggling student. Additonally, Quizalize delivers in-depth results for students, including strengths and weaknesses by standard. Unlike Kahoot, however, students can compete as part of a team, engaging students of all abilities together. Options also include delivering quizzes to the whole class or specific students in order to differentiate their learning. Quizalize offers a basic package for free, or you can upgrade starting at $5.75 to track progress of individual students and your class as a whole to see clear improvement over time.
Quizizz is a “work smarter not harder” tool that keeps students engaged using avatars, leaderboards, themes, music, and memes. Teachers can choose to make their own quiz, which can include text and pictures, or use one of the thousands of premade quizzes available on Quizizz. And while your class is having a blast competing against each other, you’re provided with live detailed class and student-level data for immediate intervention. Quizizz can be assigned in class or for homework with a code to access the game, so no more forgetting login credentials! The best thing about Quizizz? It’s 100% FREE!
A completely free resource, ForAllRubrics gives teachers a paperless one-stop-shop for grading rubrics. ForAllRubrics offers three different scoring types: badges (great for elementary students), checklists, and rubrics. Simply create your class list with student names, select a rubric by either uploading your own or creating one within the platform using premade layouts, and start grading! In addition to the language of the rubric, teachers can also add comments for more specific feedback. The best part of ForAllRubrics is it offers a number of ways to look at data, including class reports, weekly progress reports, pre/post reports, student items analysis, and more. Results can be emailed, downloaded to Excel, or converted to a PDF. For the administrators out there, this is also a great tool for observations.
This free tool was one of my favorites when I was in the classroom. The three different assessment options within Socrative—space race, quiz, and exit ticket—are easy to use and provide excellent feedback for instruction and student comprehension. With space race, encourage friendly competition among students with an intergalactic quiz bowl. Teachers can turn any assessment into a crowd-pleasing activity as individuals or groups race across the screen with correct answers. The quiz option provides live results and thorough data (which is automatically saved to your account) that can be emailed, exported, or downloaded. One of my favorite features in Socrative quiz is that you can provide an explanation for a correct answer if the student gets it wrong. This was especially helpful for assessment reviews and practice. Another great feature of Socrative? Teachers can share assessments with others, allowing seamless data comparisons during meetings.
9. The Answer Pad
The Answer Pad, a free app with optional premium features, offers an assessment platform for students and immediate response feedback for teachers. With options like aligning questions to standards, a space for instructions, formula charts, and proficiency level settings, teachers can easily create detailed assessments. The Answer Pad also allows teachers to view live student results and the option to share responses with the rest of the class—a great way to show off the correct answers of shy or self-conscious students. The best thing about The Answer Pad is that teachers can break down data in a number of ways, including individual student, standards/skills, and group results.
With Nearpod, teachers can create their own or enjoy free premade interactive lessons for all K-12 subjects and grades. Nearpod does away with the mundaneness of traditional PowerPoints, allowing each student to go at his own pace or follow along with a synchronized teacher presentation on his own device. As an educator, I loved using Nearpod in my 1:1 classroom because students didn’t have to worry about not being able to see the board or asking me to go back to a previous slide. Teachers have several options within the Nearpod platform, including slides, virtual field trips, quizzes, polls, short answer or drawn responses, and so much more. Teachers receive real-time feedback and post-session reports on student comprehension. Nearpod is perfect for any lesson: introductory, enrichment, and remediation.
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Don't see your favorite digital data collection tool? Tell us about it in the comment section!
No doubt all our readers in the education field are well aware of the explosion of iPads and tablets in the classroom and their ability to make learning easier and more interactive. But we suspect at least some of you are still reluctant to turn the new tech loose on grading, an area where you could be needlessly wasting hours assessing students with an antiquated system. We know change can be daunting, but we promise that within this list of apps teachers love, you’ll find something you love, too.
If you’re a teacher who’s been hanging on to a hard-copy gradebook, this app is your invitation to see what all the fuss over grading apps is about. For $10 the app comes packed with features like automatic grade calculation, status report notification emails for students or parents, attendance reports on PDF, and more.
Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Track Student Behavior:
For elementary teachers, this app is a great option for recording behavior infractions and easily contacting parents and administrators with all the details if need be. Tardiness, forgetting books, being disruptive, all this and more will never go unrecorded or unpunished again.
Ah, the dreaded essay. We’re not teachers, but we have to assume the joy you get out of torturing kids with essay assignments has to be somewhat tampered by having to grade them. iAnnotate takes the pain out of it, letting you ink, highlight, underline, stamp, make notes, and more on a PDF version of your kids’ essays via your iPad.
For an app specifically designed for grading essays, try … Essay Grader. The standout feature is the wide variety of stock comments, including praise, grammar and style critiques, and organization and documentation notes it comes loaded with. Or you can import your own customized database of your own patented phrases, so you can pick one and go.
Not every assignment is as easily graded as making a check or X mark on each number. Tasks like oral presentations have to be graded on the fly, and that’s where this app shines. Use sliders to add or subtract points during a speech on things like delivery and tone, then let the app add the scores. It even lets you record video for playback later if you want to review the performance before assigning a grade.
Like A+ Grade Calculator for Android (see below), Groovy Grader is a simple, no-charge app for inputting the number of quiz or test questions and getting back a chart of scores based on the number missed. The iPhone version can handle 150 questions and the iPad 300, but both get the helpful ability to either round off numbers or display them with either one or two decimal places.
Grades are just a part of this app that’s like a social network for teachers and students. If it would save you time to have an easy way to communicate with students about their grades, send them assignments, and hear back from them on what they need help on, this free app is worth a look.
We have to dock some points for the high cost ($31), but if you’re serious about a grading app this is one to consider. It will give you suggestions for mid-term and final grades, know based on your calendar what you’re teaching when and adapt accordingly, and of course keep copious grade and attendance records.
Anything you used to do with your grades on a spreadsheet program — compiling averages, producing class reports for the principal, using weighted formulas to determine grades — you can now do quickly and easily on your iDevice, be it an iPhone or iPad.
It’s got a downright iClunky title, but iTeacherBook is a scheduling, attendance tracker, assignment allocator, and grade recorder and reporter all rolled into one. For $5 and compatibility with both iPhone and iPad, you can’t go wrong.
Teacher Aide Pro:
Winner of 2011’s Best App Ever award in the teacher category, Teacher Aide Pro can handle 90 students per class and makes communicating with students a cinch via text, mass emailing, and CSV compatibility. This version runs $8 but the lite version is free.
The self-proclaimed “smart app for busy teachers” (redundant, are we right?), Teacher’s Pet has a solid if somewhat quirky array of features, like the ability to record a student’s attitude with just the right emoticon. But with a clean interface, calendar integration, and add-ons like student photo uploading for easy recognition, this app’s well worth the $1.99.
The developer claims a Boston high school math teacher said (s)he saves 80 minutes a week in grading time thanks to this free app. That alone is reason enough to take a flyer on it. Socrative Learner requires each student has the tech to run the app, but it turns multiple choice, true false, and “quick quiz” answers digital for instantaneous grading.
On multi-page exams, many teachers find it necessary to write the number of points deducted per page at the bottom of each page, then they have to go back through at the end to add it all up. Streamline that process with Grade Ticker, which lets you see what you’ve deducted as you go and adds it all up for you at the end.
There may be a bit of a learning curve before you get the hang of this app, but once you do you’ll appreciate its customizability and intuitiveness. Break grades down into homework, classwork, test, participation, or other divisions, track attendance, and even get reminders of students’ birthdays.
A+ Grade Calculator:
We’re sure you know that shaving just seconds off the grade time per test adds up to hours by the end of the school year, hours of your life you’ll never get back. Protect the time you have left with this app that lets you input the number of questions and see percentage and letter grades.
The developer obviously didn’t sink too much time into naming this bad boy, or into creating this hilariously brief user guide. No matter. Here’s what you need to know: you can use it to create grade point systems, it works, and it’s free.
It’s not strictly a grading app, but if you’re going to be saving a lot of graded papers and tests it will be nice to be able to access them from anywhere. Also available on iTunes, Dropbox for Android is a free service that lets you upload 2 GBs worth of data for retrieval from any device with the app.
For a standalone attendance tracker, this app is a clean solution. Present, late, and absent students can be seen at a glance with color-coded labels for each. And if you make the list a Google Spreadsheet at the start of the semester, at the end of the year just check it through Google Docs and Attendance will have calculated all tardies and absences for you automatically.
It requires a free blog with UK site PrimaryBlogger, but teachers ‘cross the pond are loving Classdroid. It lets them take a picture of a student’s work, grade it, and upload it to the web for the students and their parents to view. It may not save time in the actual process of grading, but it could prevent many of your time-sucking parent-teacher conferences by improving kids’ grades.