Nearpod is a service that helps you to create PowerPoint presentations with a twist. Not just a twist, actually, you can put in as many twists as you want! Previously, NearPod has been a rather expensive payment service, but to my surprise I discovered that they have released most of their services onto the free accounts! This came as terrific news and my creativity went bananas!
If you want to understand what Nearpod is you can think of a regular PowerPoint presentation. You can do slides in the same way in Nearpod as we always do in PowerPoint. Then you can twist them and make them interactive with questions or many other forms of collaboration. The really nice thing is that you can also upload old PowerPoints if you have someone you already like, but want to heat it up a bit!
In the free version of Nearpod you can add several different questions, mind maps, opinions and even hatch texts. In that way you can make sure that your students don’t fall asleep while you hold your excellent lecture! You can show something like two slides on something interesting like verbs for example, and after that you can add a question; "Well friends, is “chair” a verb?" and let the students answer. Then you see immediately if they are listening or if you might need to explain a little better!
The students log in to your presentation with a code and their name or alias, the same system that we are familiar with from Kahoot. After that they see the presentation on their units and they can interact and be involved during the lecture. If you really want to be cool, you can add VR to your presentation and let the students take a turn in London for a while as you talk about the town’s history! It doesn’t get any cooler than that!
Something really fun just happened! Norrköping has purchased two sets of VR-equipment and I have been entrusted to put them on the students! This will be so much fun!
VR is really the new black! Everything is suddenly possible and it is extremely fun to enter different worlds with different sceneries. These days there is no need to just look at the Mona Lisa in a book, the students can go to the Louvre, step through the door and walk around at their own pace.
For students who have their heart set on a specific careers the adventure can be specified to the students interest. They can see school environments, large hospitals or whatever they want. Either all students can see the same world or they can visit different worlds and describe them to each other.
The classroom no longer stops at the walls, we can enter at different places as easily as one shows a still image on the projector. Supplemented with sound, the experience becomes more intense and more memorable!
At the moment I do not know how to solve every single detail in it, there are some question marks such as which systems are free and how to log in to different systems. I still think we can't wait to start just because everything is not in place. I have until October to straighten out as many question marks as possible and sometimes you have to dare to try. Dare to face the students and admit that "I have never done this before and you have to help me. We have to find a way to work together, you are pioneers like me!" Then the experience becomes something you share with your students for more reasons than one and that makes it a wow-experience!
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