My friend levelled up last night with macaroni inside her students’ shoes. Check out her brilliant idea here (I have totally recruited her to be a guest speaker for one of my classes when we explore navigating systems for older adults.)
I then realized that I too levelled up just hours earlier! Today I used the interactive technology Nearpod for the first time.
It all started on Monday at the Cambrian Teaching & Learning and Innovation Hub. A variety of stations were set up for faculty and staff to explore and learn about well, innovative methods! And let me tell you, the stations were most definitely innovation stations. Most notably: incorporating virtual reality in the classroom. Even more notably, it was more than just talking about it theoretically. Yeah, that’s right, they had the equipment too.
it was at another one of these stations where I learned about Nearpod. I had heard various faculty sharing the term in passing throughout the past few weeks. But I opted to steer clear of the mysterious term. I had created some strange association with it – that it was too fancy, too elite for me to try. Yet, Nearpod was the first station I gravitated towards. A bunch of iPads were scattered across a table for us to participate in a live demonstration of the elusive tool.
It wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. My name and contact information totally went on the Nearpod account sign up sheet. All it took was that brief orientation to give me the confidence boost I needed to try it out as soon as my account was activated.
And why the appeal? Classroom participation can be a tricky thing but Nearpod is a definite game changer. Not only can you use polls and quizzes in real-time similar to Kahoot, but you can ask open-ended questions that allows real-time participation from students regardless of whether or not they are shy to participate otherwise.
All the features are embedded into the slideshow, making it seamless to move from content to activities and back to content. I asked the following question: share an example of a question you could ask a client to help facilitate rapport-building. Within a minute or two, multiple responses started appearing on the screen with the added bonus of anonymity. I was able to assess student comprehension in real time and I was also provided with instant material to further explain the intricacies of rapport building. Some of the content created dialogue about how the question could be perceived negatively by the client, dialogue that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.
I have yet to try the features such as the Virtual Field Trip but I have a feeling it won’t be too far from now, considering I’m working on creating a virtual reality assignment.