I first learned about NearPod at an Area Education Agency (AEA) workshop last year. NearPod is an interactive presentation tool that teachers can use to engage learners in content on mobile and web-based platforms. Throughout the presentation teachers/presenters control the viewers device, and when they see each slide. Within each presentation, teachers can embed interactives/formative assessments to monitor student understanding. Available interactives include polls, quizzes, drawings, and videos!
I have used NearPod to introduce math concepts like reading a graph, decomposing fractions, and introducing division. I even did an entire session on iPads in Elementary Mathematics for iPadU using NearPod!
Getting started with NearPod is quite easy thanks to their "Meet Nearpod" presentation that will walk users through the process! Simply create an account on NearPod.com, and you are ready to begin! I have found it is easiest to create the presentation in PowerPoint or GooglePresentation, save the document as a PDF, and upload this to the NearPod website. From there, I can add in any interactives, change the order of my slides, and customize the presentation. Once finished, users must publish the presentation, and the presentation is ready to be activated by a click of a button. During the live session, a unique code will be generated, which students will enter. Once students are logged into the presentation, the teacher is now in control, and can guide students through the presentation. The first time students have their slide change before their eyes they are amazed! A series of "woahs!" and "wows!" can be heard echoing through the classroom. As a teacher, I like being able to have real-time data showing me what students do and do not understand. If needed, I can also return to the data later by accessing the "Assess" section on the website.
I am a huge proponent of NearPod, and I encourage you to download the free app, or create an account on the website, and explore how you can use NearPod in your classroom!
I love, love, love GoogleDrive, but haven't been impressed with the templates available. For years I made do by creating templates for students to use, but was thrilled to learn about LucidPress at a recent technology conference. LucidPress is a web based publisher with a variety of artistic, user friendly templates, and best of all your work can be saved to GoogleDrive! Recently, I had my students use the book template to compile their original poetry created during our English Language Arts poetry unit. The website and templates did take students some getting used to, but overall they caught on fast. In order to make the poetry books more "book like" I had students import the document into FlipSnack, and finally uploaded the flippable eBook in their GoogleSites portfolio.
Whether you are looking for templates, or just want a web based publisher that connects to GoogleDrive, I highly recommend you check out LucidPress!
Sample poetry books created by 5th grade students in LucidPress using the Photobook Template.