Old Topic, New Tool: Nearpod & Plagiarism

Last year prior to science fair one of our middle school science teachers asked me to come in and speak to the classes about plagiarism. We had a great talk and the students were engaged with the Prezi and study guide (see the original post here).  This year, another teacher asked me to come in and  do a refresher.  Being that I was going to be addressing the same topic with the same kids and the same content I thought it might be time to try out a new tool (even coaches are still learning how to use new tools!).  My tool of choice was Nearpod.

Near-what?

Nearpod allows for interactive presentations that are sent directly to student devices; instead of students watching you in front of the classroom in front of a screen this is the one time you won't have to yell at your students for looking at their Chromebooks/iPads/laptops instead of at you! This also gave me the ability to control the presentation from my iPad while walking around weaving in and out of student groups.

I created my content in PowerPoint and uploaded it to Nearpod.  From here I was able to add four interactive elements (using the FREE account- as with everything, you get more options in the paid version):

  • Polls for quick yes/no, true/false, this-or-that questions
  • Quizzes (you can have multiple questions- I went with four questions near the end of the lesson)
  • A drawing tool (in my case I simply asked the kids to draw the word 'yes' or the word 'no')
  • Open Ended questions (these are always fun)....
By adding this interactivity the students were even more engaged, waiting to see what the next slide would bring.  Another bonus of the program is that as the students were answering I was able to share in real time how the class was answering as a whole by clicking the 'share' button (see pic).

What's Next?

When you are finished with your presentation Nearpod offers a wide variety of reports you can download.  There is a general summary (pictured) that shows each student and how many questions they were engaged in, as well as detailed information on each interactive slide you used.  




Things to Note

This was my first time using this program so there was a learning curve for me.  Here are some general observations I made, including additional features of Nearpod that I haven't fully explored yet.

  • Make sure your PowerPoint or Google Slide is perfect before importing into Nearpod.  I found that I left out the second half of a parenthesis set and I couldn't edit the PPT slide within Nearpod.  I ended up going back into the original PPT, making the correction and then saving each slide as a .jpeg and uploading the corrected one.
  • The free account allows up to 30 participants at one time.  Even when you close a session and go back to use it again with a different class the original students stay in the "room" which can cause some of the new students to not be allowed to participate.  I had to go in and delete each one individually which didn't take long but was still a nuisance.
  • Be sure to check out the "Explore" section of the website (but make sure you are searching for FREE content, as it is among paid pieces).  Nearpod Virtual Reality has some great "virtual field trip" presentations that worked fantastically with an iPad (again, make sure you are looking at FREE presentations).
  • Nearpod offers a "LIVE" version (that's what I used at the time I presented) that generates a PIN for students to enter your presentation (this PIN can be written on the board, shared via link, email or even Google Classroom).  They also have a "Student-Paced" version that allows you to create presentations for students to complete on their own (think 'flipped classroom') but still collects analytics on their responses.

Resources

Once you sign up for a free account Nearpod will place a "Getting Started" presentation in your library.  Follow it along (note: it will expect you have one device to direct the presentation and a second one to experience it as a student would).  Here are some other places to get information:

https://nearpod.com/how-it-works
https://blog.nearpod.com
https://twitter.com/nearpod
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nearpodize/obaclhgeioenpfkcekijanhfbfhhbkig?hl=en-US

Here's my Nearpod presentation (PIN UZQPG if needed). Below that is a PDF of the presentation as well.


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