Tech Tip #4

Blogging Challenge for School Librarians, Day 16 

Share a tech tip for your fellow librarians or teachers. How do you use this resource? How does it simplify your life?

For my last Tech Tip, I wanted to share about a new software that I have just begun to learn about and use in my school library. Nearpod is an app-based software that educators can use to promote student engagement and collective valuable formative/summative assessment data from each lesson. 

Though there are free trials available, you don't have access to all Nearpod's bells and whistles unless you pay for a subscription to the service. In it, teachers can upload and integrate all kinds of content...pictures, PPT slides, surveys, quick polls, quizzes, videos, open-ended questioning, etc.  in order to involve students in the instruction. 

iPhone screenshot of what students would see when launching the Nearpod device

iPhone screenshot of what students would see when launching the Nearpod device

Once they create the presentation (or upload something already created to their Nearpod library), teachers will get an ID number for that lesson. Students open the Nearpod app, type in the ID number, and suddenly the teacher can control their device. He or she can send out quiz questions, have students respond to a math problem or label parts of an animal cell and submit that back to the teacher. I am talking mind-blowingly cool stuff here. There is a teacher-directed option which is to be used when the teacher wants to control the student's pace as well as a homework-type option that teachers can send out for students to complete at their own pace...excellent for flipped instruction! 

The best part is that even though we aren't set for school-wide BYOD quite yet, Nearpod can be used on our library's set of 30 Nooks. 

We're flat broke, so I wrote a grant for 5 teachers accounts for my school. I recently demonstrated it during a PD session on another topic (VAL-Ed assessment for instructional leaders), and had-with one exception- really positive feedback from teachers on how much they liked being able to use the software. Implementing that first with teachers gave me some solid feedback on how to best use it with kids. My next goal, of course, beyond using this in my own lessons with students, is to see it used in classrooms throughout the building. 

So if you have money to burn (hysterical, I know) or if you're looking for an idea for a tech-based grant, give Nearpod a look! Contact me here if you'd like to hear more about using this with your students and teachers. 

*Not a sponsored post, by the way. I'm not into that sort of thing.