Introduction to Nearpod

What are your “Catchphrases”?

One of my 7th Graders does a fantastic impression of me. Apparently, my three catch phrases are, “Class, class!” “Right now, we are going to…” and “Nearpod”.

So today, in the EduTech blog I want to share with you one of my favorite tech tools: Nearpod!

 

This week I will introduce you to what it is, key features, and how to sign up. Next week I will go into more detail on how to use it to collect and analyze data.

 

What is it?

Nearpod is a presentation tool like Powerpoint, but so much more. You can upload or create slides on Nearpod.com. Then you can add interactive elements, like polls, quizzes, short-answer questions, drawings, or even review games. Students go to Nearpod.com and enter in a code. This allows them to see the information on their own screen.  It allows you to share information and embed formative assessment. It also collects and stores data from all activities, so you can look back at it at any time.

 

Try it out! Go to Nearpod.com

Enter in the Code WZYMH to see a sample I made for MS teachers last year and try out some of the features.

Benefits of Nearpod:

Engagement-

Nearpod allows you to quickly and easily assess student understanding. If you just presented a few slides of information, put in a quiz to see how much they understood. Add a “Draw It” to ask them to draw their take-away from the information.  Use the “Time to Climb” game to engage students in a review of material. Students become involved in their learning, and you get immediate feedback on what they understand.

 

Proximity-

Since the information is on their own computer, iPad, or cell phone screen it allows everyone to see it clearly. When using a projector or tv screen, some students may have trouble seeing from around the room. With Nearpod, every student has easy access to the information. I have seen students take screenshots of key information or diagrams to save it for later as well.

If we are taking notes in class to introduce new vocabulary, I will put it on Nearpod. This allows all students to see the words more clearly.

 

Features in Nearpod:

With a free account:

Slides- Upload a PPT or make slides in Nearpod

Draw It- Students can draw pictures or annotate photographs to respond to a question

Quiz- Give questions with immediate feedback of score

Poll – Give questions to see overall class answers (great for pre- and post- assessment!)

Open-Ended Questions – Students type longer answers to respond to a question

Collaboration Board– Students can post ideas to brainstorm, just like a Padlet

3D Simulations- Explore 3D models, can take a screenshot and label in Draw It

 

With Gold Account:

Matching – Match words to picture or definition

Embed Web Links – Take students directly to a website, as if it were a slide in presentation

PhET Simulations – Embedded simulations in the lesson

Student Paced Lessons- Give students a code, and let them go through the Nearpod at their own pace. This works as homework, notes, review, or just in class to let students go through as they need to.

How to Sign Up:

Go to Nearpod.com and click on create an account.

 

Seeing your Parent-Teacher Schedule

Until recently we haven’t had teachers log into SchoolsBuddy, the platform we use for ASA registration. However, we’re using SchoolsBuddy now to facilitate parent-teacher conference signups in the high school. HS Teachers, see the information below:

  1. How to see your parent-teacher schedule in SchoolsBuddy
  2. Make your parent-teacher conference schedule show in your Outlook calendar (note: the instructions use the URL “outlook.com” for your email in step 6, but you should use “mail.office365.com” as the URL.

Teacher apps for classrooms with 1 iPad

If you only have one iPad in the classroom don’t worry here are a few apps that you can use with all of your students.

Ibrainstorm
Use this app to create an interactive whiteboard, suited for brainstorming.


Wheeldecide
Sometimes it’s very quiet in the classroom when you ask a question. Try
using wheel decide to randomly pick out students. Change the words on the wheel into names, questions, calculation, terms or translations. Spin the wheel and let students solve the question or calculation.This one can be used on your computer as well as the iPad.

Pick teams
If you would like an app to randomly select teams, groups, or presenters this is the app for you. As a teacher it can be hard to evenly distributed groups of students for classroom exercises this app will help randomly select students and pair them up. With the pick teams app you can categorize your students on a scale of 1 to 8 and then quickly divide those students into any number of balanced groups or teams with the push of a button.

NCPA has a Schoolwide Padlet Subscription

NCPA now has a subscription to Padlet. Padlet is an “interactive multimedia bulletin board.” Teachers can use it for icebreaker activities, to collect student ideas or responses to a prompt, and collate student questions. Under the free version, teachers could only create a limited number of boards, but with our paid subscription you can now create as many as you want!

To get started, visit https://ncpa.padlet.org. Then, you’ll need to use the “Forgot Password?” link to set a new password for your account – Padlet will send an activation email to your school e-mail address.

Video Production Services Available

If you need help producing a polished video for an internal or external audience, the IT department can now provide official assistance in video production. This can range from checking out equipment for do-it-yourself projects to full filming and editing services for school events.

Video projects typically require a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice in order to schedule filming; more lead time may be necessary when editing services are requested. Make a request by filling out this form from the staff portal.

Classroom Phones Installed: Get Help Faster

Classroom phones have been installed in all AQ1, AQ2 and AQ4 classrooms!

This means that when you’re having a problem with your projector at the beginning of class, or it’s raining and water starts leaking into your classroom, you can pick up a phone and call the IT or facilities helpdesks directly. You can also reach the nurse or counselors in the event of a medical or counseling emergency. Each phone has a contact list posted next to it with the numbers of every classroom and main hall office.

By January, performing arts and fine arts classrooms will also have phones installed.

Cisco Anyconnect lets you log in with NetID!

If you use Cisco Anyconnect, you’ve probably been annoyed by having to remember a separate password from your NetID to log in. We’ve been annoyed by it too, so we’re making an update to Cisco Anyconnect that will allow you to log in with your NetID and NetID password. Your NetID is the login you use for PowerSchool.

This update will happen on Tuesday, October 8 at 3pm. There may be about 10 minutes of downtime during the update. After the update, you will be able to use your NetID and NetID password to log in to Cisco Anyconnect:

Additionally, your old password (which was probably something like JSm1th@SDF324) will no longer work.