Student Engagement

8 cost-effective tools to keep your students engaged

Educational institutions are constantly looking for innovative ways to engage students. While there are several costly tools and programs available for the same, there are also a number of affordable options that can be just as efficacious. This blog covers 8 such cost-effective tools in detail.

Several universities globally are employing cutting-edge technology to reduce costs and enhance student engagement. As per studies, 86% of education professionals believe that EdTech in the classroom is necessary today[1]today^{[1]}. Additionally, 96% think using tech in education enhances student engagement[2]engagement^{[2]}.

Easy-to-use inexpensive tools, like social media and online learning platforms, can help make education more affordable and accessible while also providing functionalities that help students learn better. With these tools, institutions can create an engaging classroom environment that meets the needs of the students today.

If your institution has been contemplating channeling the new-age technology to boost student engagement, these 8 tools should be on your list.


OECD (2014) - Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research, and Innovation.

What is Student Engagement?

Student Engagement is the passion, curiosity, and attention students show while learning.

As per the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), it is the relationship between students and various elements of a learning environment. The association has also laid out that there are three dimensions to student engagement, including-

  1. Behavioral engagement
  2. Emotional engagement
  3. Cognitive engagement

The education sector is growing rapidly, and teachers often find themselves working in highly innovative workplaces. One of the essential aspects of their work is now keeping up with and sifting through the emerging educational technologies and digital tools.

Cost-effective tools to engage students in today’s age

Now that technology has penetrated the classroom environment, various gizmos are vying for educators’ attention. Here are some affordable tools that can help teachers simplify learning-

1. Quiz tools

As learning became remote during COVID-19, various tools emerged to provide icebreaker activities in the virtual classroom, such as games, quizzes, polls, etc. These group activities helped and continue to assist teachers in turning tedious Zoom calls into engaging interactive sessions.

Besides, these easy-to-use tools help teachers assess their students based on their performance during these activities. This way, it becomes easy for them to keep track of a student’s overall progress.

2. Video creation tools

While the use of video in teaching is not new, advanced technology-powered video tools are the new wave. These short video clips help students process information in a bite-sized manner. Evidence shows that explainer videos increase information retention in students by around 15%. Besides, institutions can reach a large number of students at once by sharing these videos, compelling the current students to engage and attracting more students to learn things in an interactive way. Also, students with special educational needs can benefit a lot from such video tools.

Video creation platforms like Flipgrid and Edpuzzle are already popular among students and teachers. These tools allow them to create engaging short videos using emoticons and other visual effects.

3. AI chatbots

According to a recent survey, education falls among the top 5 industries profiting from the incorporation of chatbots, ranking 3rd at 14%, and making it clear that chatbots have immense potential to offer engagement growth to educational institutions and organizations.

24x7 conversational AI-powered chatbots help institutions resolve students' queries at an exponentially faster pace. Besides, these chatbots can be easily integrated into systems, enabling teachers to provide smart feedback post assessing students' learning behaviors. This helps them modify their teaching processes and work on any shortcomings. Furthermore, education chatbots are excellent at assessing students' strengths and weaknesses and personalizing learning tips based on their performance reports.

4. Digital whiteboards

Gone are the days when traditional blackboards were an integral part of the classroom. The emergence of digital whiteboards backed with software solutions has helped enhance the learning experience. Features such as digital augmentation, annotation, and flexibility in learning, allow students to be active in a classroom and collaborate with peers.

Besides providing the basic options for writing and drawing, these whiteboards offer features such as undoing and redoing the work or sending information to various devices. This modern classroom setting helps enhance the interactions between students and teachers, making digital boards a must-have tool today.

5. Community-building tools

Community building is one of the most crucial aspects of student engagement. It is vital for students to feel that they belong to an academic environment where they are not just gaining knowledge but are also growing socially and emotionally.

In remote learning, communication tools like Slack and Discourse enable teachers to create an environment of belongingness by allowing students to access interactive slides and respond to prompts. This, in turn, helps teachers keep students engaged in conversations around a course topic or other class discussions while also encouraging students to learn more about their peers.

6. Note-taking tools

We are noticing a drastic shift in the role of teachers today. Besides being educators, they also play the role of facilitators, doing everything possible to make their students’ learning experiences worthwhile.

One way they are empowering students to be active in the virtual classroom setting is through note-taking tools. These tools allow teachers and students to generate co-created notes and save the content forever.


Digitization has made note-taking quicker and easier to store, and share.

Easy-to-use platforms like Notion are ruling the note-taking technology by inculcating many exciting features. These elements are not just limited to adding plain text but also include interactive features like built-in templates, website building tools, teamwork functionality, charts, graphs, etc. Besides creating a syllabus and taking notes, students can find tools for making grade calculators, drafting job applications, etc. Moreover, such platforms are efficient enough to run on all operating systems and devices, making them easily accessible and shareable.

7. Document cameras

With GenZ swiftly adapting to environment-friendly practices, the Document Camera technology is a perfect fit for the education industry. It helps teachers reduce the carbon footprint by allowing them to share a document with the entire class without making multiple copies of the same.

Besides, this affordable tool offers functionally to add various visual effects and can provide a hands-on learning experience to students.

8. Virtual walls

Content curation is at the core of learning; tools that allow students and teachers to create content together are essential to better engagement. With this tool, users can create virtual bulletin boards (walls), pin relevant information onto them, and share their thoughts with everyone else. It is like having a digital wall with sticky notes stating important points. Virtual walls also allow users to add links, videos, audio files, images, etc.

Educators can use these walls for class introductions, icebreaker questions, vocabulary development, sharing knowledge, giving context clues, and more, while students can utilize them for collaboration with peers.

How do these tools help students?

The increasing use of technology in education is helping students and teachers alike. With these tools, educators can now simplify their teaching methods so that students can grasp complex concepts more easily.

Here are some ways in which these tools are helping students engage better-

1. Increased learning opportunities

Interactive tools have helped students broaden their horizons of learning, allowing teachers to engage students in group and individual learning processes. With the advent of simulation and gamification, students can easily understand complex concepts. Besides, these tools enable increased student-teacher interaction by allowing students to respond to the questions prompted on their screens and giving educators more time to assess and refine student progress.

2. Easy information sharing

Digital tools make it easy for students to store, share, and receive information. They also allow them to organize content on a platform and make it easily accessible to all. Consequently, students can add their learnings in the same document and let others take notes. This helps students not miss out on the crucial aspects of the topics being discussed in the classroom.

3. Increased student accountability

AI-powered apps and tools enhance transparency and help students track their progress. This, in turn, makes them accountable for their growth. By tracking their classroom interactions and assignments, these tools help students gauge their strengths and weaknesses and work on them effectively.

AI-powered tools — The future of student engagement

The amalgamation of education and tech is expanding and simplifying learning in various ways. With technology adapting to students’ varying needs, learning will become more personalized. Disabled students will also benefit from these transformative technologies. More and more educators will employ technology to make learning more effective, and reduce their focus on mundane tasks. Having said that, it is crucial for institutions to help these educators explore all the available options and find tools that will work best for students.


[1] EdTech 101: What is EdTech and How Is It Impacting Education?, 100 mentors

[2] 96% of teachers say tech has a positive impact on education, Education Technology


Yogita Lalwani

Content Specialist

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