Monday, May 18, 2015

Make your Google Slides Presentations Interactive with the Nearpod-ize this! Chrome Extension

I was first introduced to Nearpod about a year ago, and I immediately thought of my many colleagues who could use it to up the ante on their technology integration with little extra work or planning. I know numerous colleagues rely on PowerPoints and Google Slides presentations to deliver content to students, so Nearpod would be a safe and easy step in the right direction with our new 1:1 Chromebook and GAFE initiative. I even modeled Nearpod by delivering a professional development session with it which kicked off our new Response to Intervention initiative this year! However, without any follow-up training, no one went farther than creating an account.

Nearpod, a web-based tool that works with any device, allows teachers to add formative assessment questions to PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations. Then, teachers deliver their presentations through Nearpod, asking students to join the "live session" with an access code. The teacher controls the delivery in a live session, and student screens only advance when the teacher advances the presentation.

Signing up for an account is a simple process; all you need to do is enter your email address and a password, or you can sign up with your Google account. If you can get five colleagues to sign up for Nearpod accounts, you can earn an upgraded account with more options for question types.

The Nearpod-ize this! Chrome extension makes creating Neapods even easier! Simply open your Google Slides presentation, click the extension, and your presentation is automatically converted to a Nearpod. Simply create a few assessment questions, insert them where you would like them, and click publish--Voila, Nearpod created!

My hope is this extension and little tutorial might urge some of my fellow teachers, and teachers everywhere who regularly teach with Google Slides, to try something new. Take a minute to view the tutorial, sign up for your account, and have fun creating some Nearpods from what you've already been using!

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Have you used Nearpod in the classroom? What have been your experiences?