From “Presentation Mode” to “In Their Hands”

I recently attended a “Lunch & Learn” about http://www.Nearpod.com.  The Nearpod platform enables teachers to use an internet device to manage content on their students’ mobile devices.  It seamlessly combines interactive presentation, collaboration and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.

I often use PowerPoints to present my notes in class.  I spent hours making them and  I spent my own money to buy a clicker to advance the presentation so that I could walk around the room while I explain the problems.  So I am quite invested in them.

Today I added “Nearpod” to my routine.  I still used the projector to display my PowerPoints because I often point to something on the screen.  But I also cast the PowerPoint to my students’ devices (phones, tablets or Chromebooks) via Nearpod.

To use Nearpod, I had to do a little adaptation to my PowerPoints.  I usually “fly in” the answers one section at a time.  But since Nearpod does not do “fly in’s”, I needed to make multiple copies of the slide that had the fly in.  For example, if I had 2 fly in’s, I would have 3 copies of the slide, first a copy with just the question, then a copy with the answer for part (a) and then a copy with the answer for parts (a) and (b).

Then I saved my PowerPoint as a jpg (just “save as” and select jpg).  PowerPoint will ask if you want one jpg or a separate jpg for each slide.  (You need a jpg for each slide.)  Then just upload the jpg’s, publish the presentation and give your students the code.

So why not just upload the PowerPoint and let students view it on their devices?  Because they would be all over the place, on different slides working ahead of me or behind me. Students viewing the PowerPoint via the Nearpod platform can only see the current slide that I am presenting to them. They cannot move ahead of me.  Everyone is all together, at the same place.

With Nearpod, students have the added advantage of having the presentation right there, on their desks, in their hands.  No more squinting, or leaning around the tall person in front of them who is blocking their view.  My hope is that this will also be beneficial to the students with attention problems.  They should be able to focus on the device and to tune out distractions around the room.
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Nearpod also allows you to insert assessments into the slides.  The results are sent directly to the teacher’s device.  So you can stop to check for understanding at any time.

If you like this or if you have any suggestions or variations, please comment below. 🙂
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