The tool that I wish to talk about this week is Nearpod, which I believe is great for having students participating in class. In order to work, Nearpod requires at least one mobile device or a computer that has access to Internet for both teachers and students. There is a free version, which has limited storage for presentation, but it is sufficient.
As it is mentioned on Edshelf, when teachers sign up and start using Nearpod, they first create a new presentation. At that point, teachers only need to add the desired content they wish to present to their students. Nearpod works just like PowerPoint, although it is presented on the students’ mobile devices. As they are creating their presentation, the teachers can also add interactive features, such as quizzes, polls, drawing tools, and more. When they are done creating their presentation, they only need to save it into their Nearpod library.
It is now time to show it to the students, the teachers only need to ask the latter to open their Nearpod application and write down the PIN of the presentation in order to get access to it. Once they are all connected on the presentation, the live session begins. As the teachers swipe to the welcome page, for example, the students see it at the same time. The students will have to write their name in order to allow the teachers to identify who is who. Then, the teachers tell the information on the present slide and if the next slide is a quiz, the students will see the question they have to answer, while the teachers will see the average of good or bad answers they are receiving. The teachers can always go back to these answers if they wish to grade their students.
Also, as mentioned by Craig, the fact that every students has an iPad (or any other mobile device) forces them to answer to each questions and provide the teacher with immediate feedback as to how they are following the class.
Moreover, Dan comments that Nearpod can also be use for giving homework. By doing so, the students would learn at their own pace and could fill in the questionnaires without any stress coming from their peers. The teachers would then see the results when they log on their accounts.
However, it can be a little time consuming as Jennifer says. Also, since I do not own an iPad to do a test, I do not know if the students would be able to go off the app and go on Facebook or any other website.
In the end, this tool is great when it comes to have an interactive lesson. I think it is useful as per the direct feedback and interactive approach. I believe it would make the learning process easier, since it would be simple to know which information needs clarification. It would also helps the students who are too shy to ask their questions. I also believe that older students, such as grade 10, could do their own Nearpod as a presentation tool. By doing so, the people presenting will be certain that everyone is following the presentation.