MIDL321 Engagement Tools like Nearpod and Voicethread

Reflect on your experience with VoiceThreads and Nearpod. What were the strengths and weaknesses of each? What are some of the ways in which you can use these technologies to engage your students more actively in the learning process?

Please visit the Nearpod website to find 2-3 lessons that you can use with your classes.

Describe  how you will use these to get to the higher levels of the SAMR model.


10 thoughts on “MIDL321 Engagement Tools like Nearpod and Voicethread

  1. i found both technologies good and interesting for classroom teaching especially Near pod,its very easy to use and engage the learners,the teacher can customize it according to what he is going to teach,near pod is also a multi platform technology that can work on most devices however it seems to work effectively for the lower classes.
    Voice thread is so interesting and interactive especially when you use the video to record and comment,they also allow student driven discussions thus students tend to bring more of themselves into the conversation. Discussion is freer and more open, touching on a wider variety of issues.
    Voice-threads are a great way for students to deliver projects and solicit feedback from others.

  2. i can use these technologies to my learners more actively by uploading most of the PowerPoint slides, videos, photos such that my learners can add their own comments to the presentation via voice or text, students will attach questions or thoughts about a lecture this will result in a discussion that is integrated into the lecture itself.
    Discussion in Voice Thread is attached to the lecture itself, I can use it for the next class, students can add to the lecture itself, which grows from class to class therefore students contribute to an ongoing conversation with future classes.
    for Near pod i can Add interactive features such as question,answer polling, surveys, and drawings easily since i can control the entire pacing of the presentation from the teacher’s iPad.

  3. Near pod has a range of advantages over standard presentations so it totally substitutes staring at an overhead projector, you can place the presentation on the student’s mobile device. most importantly, presentations are more interactive and students can engage with content which which modifies the way we teach in the class according to the SAMR model. We also saw that Near pod reports detailed statistics and analysis of the student’s results which could potentially be used to identify weak students,this redefines the assessment process when teaching which is the highest level of the SAMR model.

  4. I enjoyed making the VoiceThread as a class, and I think this is something I could utilize in the classroom. This application makes it easier for you to hear students’ thoughts and view the process of finding an answer inside or outside of the classroom. This is important because you want to know what your students are thinking but you don’t have time to call on every individual student during the class period. It has many strengths for use in the classroom; my only weakness would be the ability to get off task. Students are posting their comments without you having seen their first and some students may start with their topic and then move on to other things in their time they are sharing. This can be changed by the teacher monitoring the students work while they are posting.
    Similarly Nearpod is an interesting website. I like the use of it in the classroom with the ability to have the students see the information on their own screen and then answer questions individually. I do not like that the teacher has to control the slideshow. It has positives and negatives on this front. I like that the students cannot get into other parts of the website while you are learning, but I think that the students should have the ability to go backwards in slides while answering the questions. If the students are not taking notes at the same time they may not remember all the information on the slides when considering the answers to a question.
    A few interesting Nearpods I could utilize in the classroom are:
    https://app.nearpod.com/#/?&library_preview=8936551e5ab8fec6db28f5ede4cdc5b9-1 This one is about dividing fractions. It is something students learn in the fourth grade.
    https://app.nearpod.com/#/?&library_preview=60659655d1d84b9e4b3e4356f0827b75-1 This is another I could utilize in fourth grade. My students are currently learning all about states.

  5. Voicethread can be used as a tool for collaboration. However, it seems like only one person can collect the materials and create a Voicethread for the project. Next, there are various ways to respond to the stimuli provided on Voicethread. It could be either in text, audio or video. Nonetheless, Voicethread is unable to allow the person who created the Voicethread to respond personally to the people who left comments on his slides. Voicethread also allows people to respond asynchronously. On the flip side, the materials available on Voicethread are limited, culturally distant and cannot be edited to suit the teaching needs.
    Nearpod is more suitable as an aid for the teacher. There is a wide range of content that the teacher can add to her lesson, from virtual field trips to pdf files. Another good feature is that Powerpoint slides can be added to the presentation, so a teacher doesn’t need to redo his slides. Activities to check for students’ prediction and understanding can also be added such as quizzes and polls. Teachers can also edit the free presentations made by others. Besides, Nearpod is connected to the more popular Google classroom, Twitter and Facebook. Nearpod can also be used Live or as a homework, though the latter requires an upgrade. Nearpod is almost a perfect tool. However, it has a bit of marketing ploy in its making, where you need 5 people to sign up to get the upgrade. Additionally, not all the materials are free. Some are pretty expensive.
    At the most basic level, I could pick a Voicethread relevant to my lesson and have my students respond to the Voicethreads created by others. I should also provide opportunities for students to work together and create their own Voicethreads. I could also have my students become teachers for the day and let them present on a topic that they had been researching on using Nearpod.
    This Nearpod addresses the issue of cyber bullying. I like how it has questions that tap into the students’ higher order thinking skills and how it allows students to type in their responses, individually and in groups, and prompts the students to think from different perspectives.
    The teacher created this Nearpod to enlighten his students about Chinese New Year. It also requires students to pay attention to the videos and facts, after which the students have to type their responses on the similarities and differences of a festival celebrated by them.
    This activity may seem like a Nearpod on Burj Khalifa but from the way I look at it, it is basically a creative writing lesson. With the virtual tour of the Burj Khalifa, the students have to write a simile and a description of how they feel from the top of the building.
    For the first Nearpod, after watching it, I will have students do a research on the causes, effects and ways to deal with bullying. It is up to the students to do it on Powerpoint or video recording and submit to me which I will then compile and add to the Nearpod. For the second Nearpod, I will have students create their own Nearpod on the festivals celebrated in Malaysia in groups. Once they are done creating it, the students will present to their classmates. For students to seem to struggle a bit, I could have them edit an existing Nearpod like this one. For the last one, I shall have the students create a Nearpod on figurative language. Each group will choose a place and use google earth (if that is possible) and talk about why they choose the place and come up with a simile, metaphor, personification and hyperbole based on that place. Once done, the students will present it to the class.

  6. VoiceThread and Nearpod were two extremely valuable technologies that I will certainly use in my future classroom. They both had several strengths in order to actively engage students in their own learning.

    VoiceThread is a very interactive site in which you can communicate as well as collaborate with your classmates. It is particularly beneficial that students are able to give their feedback of a slide directly on the particular slide. Whether it is a question they have about what is being presented or a comment they had about the topic, they can communicate quickly and efficiently. I also like that students can access the slides from home. This can be helpful for students who are absent from school, are confused on the material or even for the parents to become more actively involved in their child’s education. The only weakness I think VoiceThread has would be that the information and comments are all public. There is an option, however, to keep your comment private so only the original poster can see. This takes away the embarrassment from the student to ask questions they don’t want their peers to see. As I previously mentioned, teachers can engage our students more actively using VoiceThread by allowing/assigning them to comment on different slides or even creating their own slides. If students are assigned to create their own slides, their creativity will shine and the teacher will be able to see just how well they understand (or don’t understand) what they are learning. Overall, I think when used in the right context, VoiceThread is a great technological addition to use in the 21st century classroom.

    Nearpod is another very interactive and engaging application that is a useful application for teaching and learning. This technology is helpful for the teacher to take notes and record information about each individual student. This method of teaching is valuable to students because they get the opportunity to work with other students as well as independently. I think the only downfall of Nearpod is that students have absolutely no control over their screen. Some students take longer to read and/or answer questions and I think it would be more helpful if students could go backwards on their devices. Also, if the teacher changes the slide and a student is in the middle of typing a response, their answer gets completely erased. There are a few ways in which we engage our students more actively by using Nearpod. One way is that we (as the teacher) can see exactly how well each student is completing each of the tasks throughout the lesson. Also, after the class is over the teacher can go back and look at the overall answers of each student and reflect on how the lesson went. If the students performed poorly, the teacher will know that the material needs to be retaught in a different manner. Overall, Nearpod is a great tool for interacting and engaging students in the learning process.

    The two Nearpod lessons that I found would be helpful in the math classroom. I particularly like the “Finding Slope Review” because of how interactive it is. It is a wonderful method for teachers to give their students to see if they are ready for the final assessment or if they need more practice. I also really like the second one called “Math Exit Ticket” because you can assess students at the end of a lesson to see if they understood the content or not quickly by having them solve a problem before leaving. It is a quick and easy way to check for understanding of each individual student.

    The links below will redirect you to the lessons on the Nearpod website.

    Finding Slope Review

    Math Exit Ticket: Free 8th Grade Starter Kit

  7. To begin, I enjoyed using the VoiceThread. At first, I was aggravated and frustrated because I could not understand how to navigate the website, but once I got the hang on it I liked it. Since I am studying early childhood, I would most likely have to provide a lot of guidance in order for the students to create their own. With adequate time, I could make that possible, but it is nice that the site also allows access to pre-made voice threads as well. I was able to locate some useful threads for early childhood students that focused on topics such as sight words, beginner math instruction, and read- alouds.

    As for Nearpod, I had a similar experience. When I first opened the website, I had no idea where to start. I found this website very confusing especially for younger students. Once I got the hang of it, I was so intrigued with the information this site provided. I felt that the site provided many resources for future teaches of all grades. For early childhood in particular, i found these Nearpod lessons useful:
    https://app.nearpod.com/#/market?view=npPreview&id=900d19bac3ef6d8e171f52c59c9e6de2-1&element=npp – this lesson serves as an icebreaker for a math lesson. It includes simple math problems that the students can attempt in order to “warm up” their brains. I think that the students will also enjoy this interactive activity. In comparison to the SAMR model, I think that this lesson serves as a substitution exercise. Rather than just solving these simple problems solo on paper and pencil, the students are getting involved working interactively using technology.

    https://app.nearpod.com/#/market?view=npPreview&id=50a5a4d787dabf7df4745c805ea70c6c-1&element=npp- this lesson serves as a warm up activity for the first day of school. Teachers are always searching for interactive exercises to get their students involved on the first day. I love this ice breaker, and I think that the students would as well. In comparison to the SAMR model, I think that this lesson serves as both a augmentation and modification exercise. The technology allows the students to answer multiple questions live via computer or tablet. Without the use of technology, the first day of school questionnaire game would be very time consuming and not as interactive.

    All in all, both the Voicethread website as well as NearPod offer opportunities to enhance learning. In reference to the SAMR model, these websites allow teachers to achieve the same objectives they would without technologies, only improved and more functional.

  8. I really liked using Nearpod. It was a fun and interactive technology that I see being very useful in a classroom. The major weakness I noticed and there may be a way to fix it was after you answered the question and the answer slide came up, you couldn’t read the entire question to see which question was what part of the pie chart. Other than that minor issue, it was a lot of fun to use. VoiceThread was also very neat. I liked making one and it’s very easy to combine everyone’s voice recording into one slideshow with audio.



    These are two useful nearpods that would work for my Middle Level ELA classroom.

  9. I was first introduced to VoiceThread last semester in one of my Education classes. For this course, we were assigned to construct a lesson plan critique using the VoiceThread technology; we were also instructed to comment on some of our classmates projects, too. In this assignment, I chose to critique a lesson plan entitled, “Determining What’s Important When Writing Information.” Here is the link to that particular thread: http://voicethread.com/#thread/7207682/38453556/39635897

    I think technology could be very beneficial in the classroom for several reasons. First, as the teacher, I could look up a VoiceThread topic and present it to the class. Second, I could have my students research a topic and present the VoiceThread of their choice that corresponds with that topic. Lastly, I could have the students work in groups or as individuals to create their own VoiceThread projects on a topic of choice. I could see a potential weakness in using this technology if students did not have access to a computer with a microphone or camera that would be needed to complete their own VoiceThread.

    Nearpod is a technology that is very new to me; my first experience with this technology was in class last week and I loved it! I loved the interactive-ness of the app. When using this technology, I didn’t feel like I was working, but instead having fun and playing a game. I think the Nearpod technology would be extremely beneficial when it comes to student motivation because of the level of interaction and hands-on feel. I would most likely use this technology when first introducing or when I’m wrapping up a lesson. I think this tool would work wonders to first introduce a topic or to review before a test or a quiz. I also love that the teacher is able to view each participant’s answers and progress, but the students are not. This way, those students who got the answer wrong would not feel embarrassed in front of their peers, but the teacher could still see where he/she needed improvement or more practice.

    Both of these technologies could be used at the Modification and Redefinition stages of the SAMR model because they allow for significant task redesign and creation. As teachers, I think it is important for us to be exposed to technologies, such as VoiceThread and Nearpod that can be utilized at the Modification and Redefinition stages.

    Here are some Nearpod lessons I would like to use within my own classroom in the future:

    1) https://app.nearpod.com/#/marketview=npPreview&id=c27321c2726ae17305d5419330571d2d-1&element=npp
    This Nearpod is entitled, “Literary and Media Analysis” and its purpose is to analyze the impact of setting in film. I could use this Nearpod after a lesson on setting or a film study.

    2) https://app.nearpod.com/#/marketview=npPreview&id=fc7f8848a7df6136f3b455cab8a335c1-1&element=npp
    This Nearpod is called, “Reading: Point of View” and its purpose is to aid students in identifying a writer’s point of view, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs in a passage. I think this would be extremely beneficial in my future Reading/Language Arts classroom.

  10. Working with both applications give me richer experiences in designing materials for my lessons. Most of my existing presentations are in PPTX formats which make it easier for me to upload them to Nearpod. It is a multi-functional platform where I can add more activities and other types of media to my existing presentations. Hoewever, I realise that the animations embedded in the slides are not there anymore.

    Voicethread is another amazing tool where I did not need to spend too long to create it and the time I took to record my responses was shorter than to type all of them. I just
    need to choose the topic, insert pictures and start recording.However, the arrangement of some words will be changed when I uploaded an existing slides.

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