Assignment 1 of the course LRNT523 – Foundations of Learning and Technologies challenged the class to individually research, share and describe one resource pertaining to one of the topics we are examining in the course. The resource that I am sharing with you is Nearpod.
Nearpod is a collaborative real-time presentation technology tool that enables the teacher/facilitator to create multimedia presentations that can be accessed by individual students with their mobile or computer device. As long as the student has an internet connection, they can take part either inside or outside the classroom. The main benefit of Nearpod is that students are interacting with the presentation rather than listening to a lecture. There is an added level of engagement that comes through as the facilitator can include interactive quizzes, polls, and videos that help retain the attention of students.
Author Terry Anderson (2016) states “learning occurs in communities, where the practice of learning is the participation in the community” (p. 43). Nearpod helps create a community within the classroom that leads to connected learning by allowing students, of all varying abilities, to engage in the learning process. This communal learning relates directly to the theory of connectivism.
Connectivism is a theory that builds upon the metaphor of network nodes (Anderson, 2016) where information is stored in learning machines which is then accessed by people through their individual devices in order to gain or pass along knowledge. An example of how this theory relates to Nearpod would be the following:
A teacher creates a Nearpod presentation on the subject of digital citizenship. Students in the class and/or outside the classroom can access this presentation in real-time by logging into their devices and watching the presentation unfold while the teacher lectures. During the presentation, the teacher asks the question “What does digital citizenship mean?”. From there each student could type or use a stylus to enter their answer that is shared on the screen. It allows for a brainstorming session that can happen synchronously rather than students putting their hands up to wait their turn to answer. It is a more fluid and dynamic process that allows for students to see other answers that they may not have thought of or it may create a sense of inclusion if their idea falls in line with others. That is a powerful way of connecting students to the learning process.
Anderson, T. (2016). Chapter 3: Theories for Learning with Emerging Technologies. In Veletsianos, G. (Ed). Emergence and Innovation in Digital Learning: Foundations and Applications. Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.