Nearpod – “App”-tastic Way to Engage and Assess

Nearpod- Free App

Last month, I attended the Edscape conference held in New Milford, N.J., hosted by NMHS and principal Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal). I was delighted to be surrounded by fellow educators who shared a passion for technology and social media (seriously, I got to learn and tweet at the same time… amazing!). After an incredibly motivating and inspiring keynote speech by George Couros (@gcouros) we were off to break out sessions to learn more about specific ways to further integrate technology into our classrooms.

Not knowing what I was in for, I decided to visit a workshop on an app called Nearpod. About 3 minutes into the presentation, I was sold! Last year I relied heavily on the limited capabilities of the Socrative app to poll and assess my students. There is just no comparison between the two, and I am now a happy convert.

What is Nearpod?

Nearpod enables teachers to use their iPads to manage and send out content on students’ devices. This allows the teacher to set the pace and ultimately control what is on the students’ iPad. Nearpod is an interactive presentation that allows for engagement and the use of real-time assessment tools, all in one powerful app.

How Does Nearpod Work?

There are 3 basic components to the Nearpod experience : Create, Engage, and Assess

Create – Teachers login to the Nearpod site and create multimedia presentations with interactive features like quizzes, videos, polls, drawing tools, and more. For a fee, teachers can also access pre-made presentations from publishers and fellow educators.

Engage – In the classroom, teachers use the Nearpod iPad app, logged into Teacher end, to share content with their students and manage the flow of the lecture. Teachers simply provide the students with a short key, that allows the students to enter the session. Students use the Nearpod Student end of the app0 on their iOS devices to download and receive the curricular content, participate in activities and ultimately submit their individual responses.

Assess – The coolest part about this app is  that teachers can see students’ answers in real-time on the Nearpod Teacher app. In addition, to access post-session data, teachers can log in to http://www.nearpod.com and view detailed activity reports!

Take a Look at Nearpod in My Classroom  : Nearpod Video

Get Started Now!

To start using Nearpod you must download the Nearpod Teacher app (free) and create a free account. Next you need to download the Nearpod Student app on each student device. Now you are ready to amaze!

Some Helpful Links to Get You Started:

Nearpod Video Tutorials

Youtube Video : Getting Started with NearPod: Creating Presentations

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Whole Brain Teaching – “Class – Yes”

Class! Yes!

The more educational fun we can introduce into our classrooms, the more students will learn and the fewer opportunities there will be for challenging behavior.  -Chris Biffle

All seasoned educators know that a classroom that runs well, does so because of established routines. One vital routine that must be taught early on (I’m talking in the first few minutes) is the Attention Grabber. In a Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) classroom, we use one quick and easy word to achieve this…. “Class! – Yes!” That is it! 2 words that are simple and efficient!

Say good-bye to complicated rhymes, clapping patterns, bells, and the flickering of lights. Once you achieve the Class – Yes pattern in your classroom, you have set up your year for success!

The “trick” of course is to keep it fresh. When taught, the students learn that however you say “class” they must say “yes.” For example, if you say, “Class Class” then their response is “Yes Yes.” Make it fun, make it silly, and keep it changing! Consider having your kids come up with some ideas too and make it fun for everyone.

The best part is, anyone can use it with your class, and it works! This is a substitutes best friend, and soon it will be yours too!

Freebie Alert!  

Click Here For: Class-Yes Variations PDF on my TPT Store 

Video Explaining – Class – Yes by Chris Biffle

Interested in the Brain Based Science behind Class – Yes 

Class-Yes involves the prefrontal cortex which is the reasoning center of the brain. It is best to think of this area as a “light switch” that must be turned on in order for the rest of the brain to process information.

A Must Have App to Keep You Connected- Remind101

Remind101 App

Remind101 App

During one of my countless hours spent exploring #edtech on Pinterest this summer, I came across an app that has found a spot on my “must-have” list. This app is called Remind101 and it is a means of communicating to parents and students via texts or e-mails- for free!

So what makes this app so special you might wonder. Well the beauty of Remind101 is that you can stay in touch with parents without giving out your personal phone number or e-mail. Your number is never revealed to your parents and/or students, and their number also remains anonymous to you.  I also like that once I send out a message, they are not able to reply to it (if they try they get a bounce back message reminding them of this).

Remind101 is super easy to set-up and should take no longer then 2 minutes. You can set up your class on their site http://www.remind101.com and share your newly generated Remind101 number with your parents in a jiffy! (Personally, I just use their app for everything).

Best of all, you can schedule your messages to go out at a later time. If you are anything like me, if you don’t do it when you think of it…. then your great thought is lost forever!

Here is a helpful video to help you get started (although it is so easy you won’t need it!):  http://vimeo.com/28086897

Also here is a Freebie! This is the document I sent home to my parents so that they could opt into my messages. Remind101 Doc Remind101 PDF