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Technology Resources for Teachers

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Your iPad Assistant
by Merle Marsh, 09/21/12

Maybe you have a class set of iPads ready for use with your students. After deciding upon the apps for your courses, you start thinking about how you will use these digital devices to share what you want with students and how you can keep track of whether your students are following what you want them to do while using the iPads.

To help you, you'll find the cloud-based Nearpod useful, for its components- Content Tool, Teacher Nearpod, Student Nearpod and Reporting tool-combine to engage students while giving you the ability to know what your students are doing.

Nearpod is a free app (with for-pay upgrades available) and is designed for classroom collaboration, assessment and reporting, content creation, and classroom presentations. With NearPod, you can control and monitor iPad use.

As Nearpod explains it, the software gives you the ability to create interactive presentations, share them with your students, and control their access. Your students, using their Nearpod student app, find the content you sent on their iPads and can send you their responses to assignments. As you monitor student work, you can assess what students are doing on an individual or group basis.

Nearpod's Silver Edition (free) includes Nearpod Apps and Content Tool, up to 200MB for up to ten presentations, accommodates 30 students per session and includes basic training and support through Twitter and the Web.  To use tools for sharing presentations among users, Web Apps, and administrative tools, the Gold or School editions need to be purchased. The Gold Edition ($10 a month, $120 billed annually) has advanced features for Nearpod Apps and Content Tool; up to 1GB of storage space for unlimited presentations, accommodates up to 50 students; has the ability to share presentations between users; and has enhanced Web, Twitter, and phone support.

If your school is interested in volume discounts, you'll need to contact Nearpod for pricing. The School Edition boasts advanced features for Nearpod Apps and Content Tool; up to 1 GB of storage per teacher for unlimited presentations; accommodates up to 100 students; allows for sharing of presentations among users; includes a Student Web App; comes with training and support from Nearpod specialists; and has School and Administrative tools for managing users, advanced reporting, and usage stats.

Go to the Nearpod site for additional information on how this new software can be put to use as your personal classroom assistant.


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