20 Technology Tools To Engage Students In The Classroom

What Are The Best Learning Technology Tools To Engage Students?

contributed by Sara McGuire, venngage.com

Technology distracts students, right? Keeps them from focusing?

One solution is to ban phones and computers from the classroom. Another is to harness students’ tech-savvy and engage them with online tools to help them complete assignments while still engaging them electronically. Whether they’re working on a research essay, a presentation, a science project, or a math report, ample tools are available to make the process more engaging for students.

If students grow up in a world that requires them to be tech-savvy, shouldn’t technology play a big role in their classroom experience? Here are ten picks for tools to engage students in the classroom.

First, what type of tools can make learning more interesting for students?

Many learning technology tools can be used to improve student engagement.

Technology Tools And Apps For Student Engagement

1. Gamification tools

Gamification tools like Kahoot!, Quizlet, and Gimkit can make learning more engaging and interactive by adding game elements like points, rewards, and competition. These tools can be used to create quizzes, flashcards, and other activities that students can complete individually or in groups.

2. Video Content

Video-based tools, such as Edpuzzle and PlayPosit, can make learning more engaging by incorporating videos into lessons. These tools allow teachers to add interactive elements, such as quizzes or discussion questions, to videos and track student progress.

YouTube is an obvious choice here as well.

3. Tools For Student Collaboration

Collaborative tools, such as Google Docs and Padlet, can make learning more engaging by allowing students to collaborate and share ideas. These tools can be used for group projects, brainstorming sessions, and peer review activities.

4. Adaptive learning apps and platforms

Adaptive learning tools, such as DreamBox and Aleks, can make learning more engaging by providing personalized learning experiences for each student. These tools use algorithms to adjust the difficulty of the content based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

5. Virtual and augmented reality tools

Virtual and augmented reality tools like Nearpod VR and Merge Cube can make learning more engaging by providing immersive experiences. These tools can explore historical sites, conduct science experiments, and visualize complex concepts.

You can see some examples of these kinds of tools below.

20 Learning Technology Tools For Student Engagement

1. Augmented Reality Apps

Here are some augmented reality apps to get started.

2. Flip

Video is a wonderful engagement tool. Add a social dynamic in a school-friendly architecture and you’ve got Flip. See some ideas on ideas for using Flip in the classroom.

3. Video Games

I know this is general–merely saying ‘video games’ isn’t a ‘student engagement tool.’ However, video games don’t work without player input–and thus student engagement. The right game could change your classroom. Here are some examples of video games you can teach with.

See also Why People Play Video Games

4. Google Forms

Google Forms is likely the simplest app on the list (well–aside from the background noise strategy): Google Forms

One of the best ways to engage all students in your classroom is to give students an easy (and even anonymous) way to ask questions, receive feedback, or reach out to the teacher. While there are many ways to do this, one of the most universally accessible (and free) methods is Google Forms.

Whether you provide specific questions and prompts for students to respond to as an exit slip (e.g. (Was there any point during today’s lesson where you were confused?) or you leave it as a way for students to post questions anonymously (which can be useful for some struggling students who might otherwise be hesitant to reach out), a simple messaging system or basic form can help improve student engagement.

5. Socrative

Like a few others on this list, you’ve likely heard of Socrative, a tool to “assess student understanding with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions, then adjust your teaching based on the results.”

6. Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a handy tool for creating in-class questionnaires and quizzes. This is useful for obtaining data for graphing assignments, data for research essays, and feedback from classmates. Kahoot! is compatible with multiple devices and has a game-like feel that will help keep students interested.

7. Class Dojo

This is a fun tool to gamify the classroom. Students make their own avatars and gain and lose points based on classroom behavior, discussion approaches, and other soft skills agreed upon by the teacher and the class. Teachers can also use Class Dojo to take attendance and create graphs that break down the information for them. Not only will this tool encourage students to uphold class values, but it will also provide key metrics to help teachers adjust their teaching tactics accordingly.

8. Clickers

Classroom clickers may not be the higher-water mark for innovation in education, but as a simple and useful tool that you can use almost every day, it’s a no-brainer for many classrooms.

This is a tool for teachers, to help assess students’ understanding of concepts and their engagement with the material. With some tools, teachers can project questions onto their screens while students answer them in real time. Students’ answers appear on the teacher’s phone screen, and teachers can see which students got answers right and which didn’t. This gives teachers an accurate picture of how students follow the information and adjust their lessons accordingly.

Note, this is more of a general recommendation than an endorsement of a specific clicker tool or app. The problem with this otherwise ‘no-doubter’ recommendation is that many clicker tools are expensive–at least the ones we know of. Plickers, iClicker, Top Hat, and other tools are not only not free but often have monthly subscription-level pricing. If your school has the budget and you put it to good use, it’s likely worth the investment.

Immediate responses from every single student instantly? That’s a great strategy for engaging students.

9. Edvoice

Edvoice is a feature-rich communication tool that offers everything from lesson planning and rubrics to messaging, announcements, notifications, and even tools to help prevent (or respond to) bullying in the classroom.

10. Background Noise

Depending on what you want the students engage in–you, one another, content, an assignment, etc.–they need to be able to focus, and classroom aren’t always the easiest places to do that. Background noise can not only drown out excess noise, but more helpfully as students concentrate, there is less noise because they’re concentrating. Neat trick, huh?

11. Venngage

Create interactive lessons, assess students on the fly, and see data and student responses in real time. Students who can ask questions and receive feedback at any time are more likely to be engaged.

With so much focus on data analytics, data literacy is a useful skill for students to learn. Visualizing their data in an infographic is a highly useful skill, whether your students have collected or collected it from other sources. Infographics appeal to both visual learners and textual learners. Venngage offers a selection of infographic templates that students can customize.

12. Prezi

Presentations are a core part of the curriculum, but let’s face it, PowerPoint isn’t terribly engaging. Prezi allows students to create presentations that are more creative and exciting than what PP has to offer. Not only will this make the presentation creation process more interesting for students, but it will also make watching presentations more interesting. Prezi presentations are published publicly on students’ accounts, so their classmates can access them later to check their notes.

13. Trello

Because so many students are in the habit of multitasking, a good skill to teach them is how to organize and streamline their assignments. Trello is a free and super easy-to-use tool students can use to create workflow charts. Multiple students can be added to the same board, which is great for project collaboration. (See also a better list of ideas for project-based learning.)

14. Virtual Reality

For most classrooms, virtual reality still isn’t viable. Even if you do have a headset, you likely don’t have 30. But in terms of ‘student engagement,’ it’s difficult to improve on virtual reality. We use a Pico virtual reality headset for learning, for example.


15. Cold Turkey

Students probably won’t love this one, but it’s a useful tool for mitigating the multitasking students can do on their computers. Cold Turkey is a tool that allows you to block certain websites or the internet in general so that students can focus on their tasks. Even having students turn it on for half a period for some focused in-class writing time will make a difference in their productivity.

Pear Deck is an interactive presentation platform that allows teachers to create engaging slide decks with interactive questions, polls, and activities. Students can respond to prompts in real time, providing instant feedback to the teacher and promoting active participation.

Genially is a multimedia creation tool that allows teachers to design interactive presentations, infographics, timelines, and more. It offers a wide range of templates and customization options, making it easy to create visually engaging content to enhance classroom instruction.

Mentimeter is a polling and interactive tool allowing teachers to create engaging presentations with live polls, quizzes, word clouds, and more. Students can respond to prompts using their smartphones or computers, and results are displayed in real time, fostering active participation and engagement.

Classcraft is a gamification platform that allows teachers to turn their classroom into a collaborative game environment. Students create characters, earn points, and work together to complete quests and challenges, promoting teamwork, motivation, and positive behavior.

Book Creator is a digital publishing platform allowing students to create and publish multimedia eBooks. With features like text, images, audio, video, and drawings, students can express their creativity while developing literacy and digital storytelling skills.

Technology Tools To Improve Student Engagement In The Classroom