Apps and Web Tools to Increase Participation

By Monica Burns 11.29.2015 blog

Teachers of all subject areas want to make sure students have an opportunity to participate in class discussions. There are a variety of mobile apps and web tools that can increase participation in your classroom. Some of these tools can promote participation in discussion in virtual settings while others can be used by teachers to make sure students have a chance to chime in during whole class instruction.

There are plenty of call-and-response technology tools that give a teacher a quick read of the room and require every student to participate by submitting an answer. Although these tools have a place in classrooms, they do not always offer the same depth as technology tools that promote collaboration and conversation. This list includes technology tools that require students to participate in discussions by adding their perspective and comments to online forums. Each one is managed by teachers and requires students to have a login in order to participate.


This learning management system has a web interface, iOS, Android, and Amazon app. Teachers can organize their classes and provide a forum for students to participate online. Teachers can act as moderators to create an online classroom that gives students space to post comments and respond to their peers.


ChalkUp is an online closed forum for students that promotes discussion and collaboration. Students can participate in discussions led by their teachers or post feedback on the comments of their peers. ChalkUp works with Google Apps for Education and also has an iOS app.


Edmodo is a learning platform available on the web and iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. With an interface similar to Facebook, teachers can post questions to their class or groups of students. Students can respond by posting in different threads.

iTunes U

The discussion features in iTunes U are perfect for increasing participation in iPad classrooms. iTunes U lets teachers create private courses for their students that provide access to assignments and learning materials. Within iTunes U students can participate in discussions and post questions to their classmates.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a popular choice for Chromebook classrooms. It lets teachers post and collect assignments in addition to sharing course content. Students who may be hesitant to speak up in class or share ideas with classmates can use this online platform to participate in group work.

Teachers can leverage the power of virtual spaces to increase participation in their classroom, engaging students who might not normally raise their hand in class. With mobile apps and interactive websites, students can participate in completely new way.

Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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  1. Alexa Willima

    Kids are on there phones way to much they should be outside playing!!!

  2. Alexa Willima

    Kids are on there phone way to much they need to go outside and play!!!!

  3. Cody Blonde

    I think i would be nice

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