Student Voice Surveys


In the rush to transition to distance learning due to COVID-19, educators everywhere found themselves reading articles and emails with titles such as “The 92 Hottest EdTech Tools According to Education Experts”, or121 Tools for Distance Learning & Strategies for Student Engagement, or54 Online Teaching Tools To Make Your Life Easier.  And it’s because of the internet’s generous but unhelpful buffet of technology solutions that educators everywhere have collectively cried, sighed, and tried to instantly become experts at online teaching. 

In many ways, technology is one of the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I think we can all agree that sorting through 54 to 121 online education tools doesn’t make anyone’s life any easier. As schools in Ohio finish the year with distance learning and districts prepare for possible social-distancing restrictions affecting the 2020/2021 school year, here are three easy tools to help you reflect on this school year and to prepare for the future.

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 Student Voice Survey for Online Learning Feedback

 Student Voice Survey for Daily Student Check-ins


Use TomTod’s Student Voice Surveys to Improve Your Student-centered Approach. It is vital for our online classrooms to have feedback loops for student voices so that we can foster a sense of belonging and community with our students, make developmentally informed decisions about content, and focus on creating an environment where children can ask the questions that matter to them. Student surveys are a great way to quickly and easily stay connected to students and evaluate how students are feeling, using technology, and learning online. 

By utilizing TomTod’s Student Voice surveys and responding quickly to student feedback, you can build student motivation and eliminate learning stumbling blocks. We recommend using a mixture of open-ended questions and closed-ended questions like a Likert Scale or a multiple-choice questionnaire. Closed-ended questions can be automatically graphed using Google Forms to give you a snapshot of your entire class, while open-ended questions allow you to drill down into individual students’ feedback.  Use TomTod’s Student Voice surveys for Online Learning Feedback and Daily Student Check-ins, and feel free to add or eliminate questions to fit your students’ needs! 

TomTod’s Student Voice Survey for Online Learning Feedback

TomTod’s Student Voice Survey for Daily Student Check-ins


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The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines are a tool that can be used to design learning experiences that meet the needs of all students. UDL breaks down lesson planning into 3 core areas to ensure we are offering multiple means of Engagement (the why of learning), Representation (the what of learning), and Action and Expression (the how of learning).

The Universal Design for Learning guidelines can increase participation, understanding, and student mastery of skills by considering students’ needs in the planning process. 

Dig deeper into the Universal Design for Learning guidelines to learn how to apply them in your lesson planning.



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If you are like me, you quickly saw the SAMR model at a training and never thought about it again. And, if you are like me, the rush to distance learning has made you reevaluate all of your online teaching tools. As the school year ends, reflecting on the challenges and successes of distance learning by using the SAMR model is a great way to evaluate the technology you used and the technology you need for the future. The letters “SAMR” stand for Substitution, Augmentation Modification, and Redefinition.

Each level is a way to evaluate what technology is doing for your students. It is important to note that SAMR is not hierarchical (the goal is not to get to Redefinition). Sometimes a tool that Substitutes a physical tool–such as an email substitutes a handwritten note to a student’s parents–is the best option because it’s simple and effective. And sometimes the best tool Redefines student learning–much like a Google Doc allows students to edit, save, and collaborate together better than a blank piece of paper. As we prepare for possible distance learning in the future, SAMR can help us evaluate and select the best tools to help students learn. 

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