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6 AI Tools for Teachers’ Formative Assessment Practice

There is so much happening in the world of digital tools for educators. It’s a topic that has interested me for over 20 years. You may have read my 75 digital tools and apps teachers can use to support formative assessment in the classroom or Building Your Formative Practice Toolkit - 15 tools to add to the 75. Here I want to focus on AI (artificial intelligence) tools for educators using the same parameters I have in the past. For a tool to make my list, it must . . .

- support formative assessment/formative instructional strategies

- activate learners to be resources for themselves and peers (learner-centered)

- be free or awfully close to it (under $10 per year, where possible), and

- ideally, both students and teachers can take the lead in using the tools

    AI tools for educators have been around for a while. Finding those that match the criteria above has been challenging. I am eager to share what I’ve found, see what you’ve discovered and hear how these tools work for you.

    1. Diffit helps teachers instantly create leveled resources for any topic, lesson or student. The interface is easy to use. You can be pretty specific in the topic and pick the grade level you are looking for. Processing time is a couple of minutes. The output is a reading (good for building background knowledge), summary and vocabulary words with definitions. In addition, three types of assessment questions are provided. It is important that you review the content to make sure it is what you want to use with your learners.

    2. gotFeedback provides teachers suggested feedback on student work. For me, the best feature is that teachers, learners and peers can provide feedback, and do it via text, audio or video.
    3. Movie Bot intrigues me and provides lots of ideas for engaging learners and their phones. This AI-powered app generates 3D animation videos from text descriptions. Think flipped lessons with animated explainer videos. Consider this a unique option for learners to demonstrate what they know. Oh, and learners can work in teams. 
    4. PanQuiz! allows teachers to create quizzes and assessments. It even generates questions to provide teachers with ideas. Quizzes can include an element of gamification, which helps engage learners. 
    5. Pressto claims it is a generative AI to develop writing skills and media literacy in students. Teachers can generate writing prompts, pick the type of response (opinion, compare/contrast, etc.) and suggest writing plans for students. Student resources include feedback on grammar, spelling and style among other tools.
    6. MagicSchool.ai – Provides a rubric generator tool and an informational text generator. To help differentiate instruction, check out the Text Leveler and Text Scaffolder tools.

    AI tools for teachers are becoming increasingly popular and accessible. Here are a few tips to consider as you integrate AI tools into your digital toolkit.

    1. What are your goals? Start by identifying where you want support, or how you want to support learners.
    2. What tools are available that align with your goals? This article plus the two linked above provides a starting point for your research. You may also want to visit EdTech Blog - Class Tech Tips by Monica Burns and The AI Educator.
    3. Which tool do you want to start with? Pick one tool and become proficient with it. Evaluate the benefits yourself and check in with your learners.

    There are so many more AI tools out there than listed above. Many focus on creating lesson plans, videos, slide decks, and administrative support for educators. My focus is formative assessment practices, which narrows the list. With the use of AI, teachers can learn new technology, engage their learners and make the most of their classroom time and resources. As I finished this article, Adam Geller published a new piece, Three Ways AI Can Help Teachers Save Time Now, which you may want to check out.

    I’m curious. Which AI or other digital tools have you found useful in supporting your formative assessment practice? What tool(s) do you want to use next year? We’d love to hear from you!

    As Geller says, teach your learners how to use AI tools and use these tools for your benefit as well. Navigate in today’s world as you prepare yourself and your learners for the future.

    Image: 112978356 © Tul Chalothonrangsee | Dreamstime.com