I’ve recently started teaching in a BYOD environment and am always on the lookout for ways to take full advantage of the technology in the room. It’s the first time that I can rely on the devices being present in the room since the days I used to block-book the Apple laptop cart for entire terms for my English Media class!
One app that has me very excited and spreading the word is Nearpod (www.nearpod.com). Nearpod allows teachers to log in and create a slide presentation, including quizzes, polls, graphic tasks (e.g circle Verona and Mantua on the map of Italy), weblinks and multimedia. Students log in to the website or via app and are conducted on a synchronous trek through the lesson at the teacher’s pace. Student data on quizzes and graphic tasks and polls are streamed back to the teacher’s screen – all of which can be shared with the class by the teacher. The data from a classes’ session is then emailed to the teacher via PDF or data file for review by the teacher.
My Grade 10 English students were very excited by the synchronous teacher-directed path through the lesson. Nearpod made a pop quiz far more motivating and simplified the process for me! The presentations are very simple to create and sequence and link.
A paid subscription to the base free service adds the capability to send out Homework presentations, which differ in permitting asynchronous treks through the material. The paid level is also required to add audio and video to the presentations, and garners a more capacious library space.
My only frustration with the service was the limitation on word counts in questions and quiz answers; I had to rein in the verbiage. The only glitch I encountered in this cool app occurred when I shared quiz results as a few students were still completing the quiz, bumping them from the exercise and requiring them to start from square one on that quiz/poll item.
Give Nearpod a slide. It’s an ideal BYOD solution for class-based and distributed exercises! *****