Christy Steffen Leave the Chalk Behind

Nearpod Presentation App

Through the wonderful world of Twitter, I stumbled upon a new app, Nearpod. The best part of this app is something I did not expect at all, but first let me explain a little about the powers of this app. This is a presentation app with the ability to spy on students (alerts you when they wander away from the app), use already created Power Points, embed videos, questions, polls, and allows the students SHOW THEIR WORK. I emphasize the last part because it is the unexpected result.

My audience is students with Special Needs that have not passed the Algebra High Stakes test. I have to keep my class interactive, hands on, and fun in order to hopefully have 100% engagement. I am not afraid to admit that even my most elaborate and time consuming (preparation wise) lessons don’t catch all my students. But this app has done that and not because there is a red alert when a student leaves the app. Since this is Algebra review, I need to see students’ work. With Nearpod I am able embed a question with written work required. When the students submit the work, I can immediately see it. When all students submit their work, I can choose to show a student’s work to all students and discuss the correctness, where mistakes were made, or praise the detail. This is done anonymously but my students are so excited (even if they made a mistake) when I choose to share theirs that they always let everyone know if they were chosen. They are working diligently on the problems in hopes of me choosing their work. I have to say that this has left me giddy that my students are taking such pride in their Algebra work!

The power of immediate feedback is amazing and this app captures it. If you want to use it in your classroom, visit the Nearpod website. They have podcasts, step-by-step instructions, and numerous webiNears that you can attend to learn more. The account is free but can be upgraded for a price for additional features. I often attend webiNears to learn more and maybe someday, I’ll win a free upgrade.

 

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