Friday, August 8, 2014

Have you tried Nearpod?

I had the opportunity today to present at the excellent (and free!) SPARCC education conference.  My first of two presentations was about Nearpod.  Nearpod is one of my favorite apps and web tools, so I always welcome to opportunity to share it with other educators.  

Nearpod is one part presentation platform and one part student response system.  You can add interactive tasks to a presentation -- polls, quizzes, drawings, open-ended questions, videos, websites, and more -- and collect the data of their responses.  It's very easy to use, both from the creation side and the carry it out in the classroom side.  

Here are my slides from the presentation:

One of the slides lists a few of the things I love about Nearpod.  Here are those things and a few more:
  • It's so easy to use.  If you're looking for an easy way to bring some tech into your classes this year, this might be it.
  • Students enjoy using it.  They like the interactive options a lot.
  • They have free and paid versions of Nearpod so you can test drive to see if you need the full service.
  • You can quickly generate data to use to guide your instruction. 
  • There is a store where you can find content.  Sometimes it is free; sometimes for a fee.
  • You can share presentations with others - Connect with other people and share the workload!
  • You can tell if students (and which ones) have ditched your presentation in serach of something better.
  • You can use Nearpod in a teacher-directed or student-directed way.  
  • People can participate remotely -- from home, from the detention room, from study hall if they missed class on picture day -- using a wireless connection
  • They have great support.  Check out the webiNears (heh heh) to get started.
If you're ready to try something this year, but you're worried about attempting a massive overhaul.  Start small.  Maybe Nearpod, with its ease of use, is a good first step.  Once you get good at it, you can attempt your massive overhaul with it down the road.

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