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Monday, May 06, 2013

Interactive iPad learning with Nearpod by Guest Blogger Dan Gallagher

How do you make your lectures more engaging through interactive multimedia presentations.

Dan Gallagher writes, "Engaging instruction is the goal of every educator. So when I was introduced to an app that promised such a lofty ideal, I had to try it". 

Get engaged with Nearpod from Nearpod on Vimeo.

At the time, I was teaching sixth grade math and social studies in a PA school district.  I had a challenging lesson coming up and sought the assistance of a fellow teacher who was piloting an iPad cart.  He allowed me to borrow it for my math lesson on changing fractions. The math series we used had a lesson called "The Licorice Lace Problem" which describes several teens going on a hike. They were dividing up licorice equally among themselves.  Just after they cut the licorice, another friend shows up; now they need to redistribute the licorice. This is spatially a hard concept to imagine. But I had an idea!

Nearpod is a free app that allows a teacher to present an interactive lesson on students' iPads. As soon as I opened the cart, I had the students’ attention. After establishing some management guidelines with the class, everyone logged into Nearpod with the student PIN.

Teachers want a way to deliver interactive lessons to engage all learners and I know Nearpod has become my answer to this challenge. It's a wonderful tool—and with a growing following on Twitter (great place to go to read how others have used it or ask questions - #NearpodTeachers), many more teachers will surely discover its benefits as well.
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About Dan Gallagher
Dan Gallagher is a Teacher Resource Specialist for Technology in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in West Windsor, NJ.  

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Please have at least 1 iPad as a teacher's device and 1 iPad or iPod as a student's device available during the session.