Whilst doing some research to support the iPad trial today I came across Nearpod - a way of creating and sharing interactive presentations (which you can create yourself). Nearpod enables the synchronised use of iPads, iPhones, ipod touches etc.. within the classroom; students ‘join’ the presentation on their individual device and the teacher can control the pace of the activity as they work through the presentation. You can include interactive content such as polls and quizzes and multimedia content such as videos and slideshows can be included as well as searching online content within the presentation itself. Student responses to polls and quizzes etc.. are all shown on the teachers iPad to assess student knowledge and understanding throughout the activity. Nearpod is a free download which in itself has a great deal of functionality, however this needs to be upgraded to a paid version for some features such as adding slideshows and browsing the web within the presentation. The free version also limits the number of presentations you can have in your library and the size whilst the paid for versions remove this restriction. Nevertheless the free version enables you to produce some great presentations with interactivity for use in the classroom.
The video below gives a brief overview of how it works and more information can be found on the Nearpod website.
I am not in a position to try this with a class as we are not a 1:1 iPad school and we are only in the midst of a small scale iPad trial with a small group of staff to look at the potential; however, I can already envisage how this could be put to use if students had access to devices which could link to the presentation and I look forward to trying this out further and keeping an eye on how it develops. I am intending to try it out with a small group of staff at our next iPad trial meeting. One of the pitfalls is that all students have to work through the presentation at the same pace as the teacher controls the change of slides / activity so it doesn’t enable personalised learning for students who prefer working at different pace or want to return to content for consolidation. Nevertheless this certainly has potential for use with certain groups of students.