Tablets are slowly making their way into classrooms in several schools around the world. There are many educational apps and products such as Inkling, Knewton, Raspberry Pi, Edmodo etc., which are making classroom teaching more interactive and innovative for both teachers and students. Nearpod is one such useful app.
Nearpod was launched in mid-2012 with an aim to make digital education in classrooms simple and easy. The tablet app allows teachers to easily create presentations with images, graphs, animations etc, and then directly share it with students. Each student could view the presentation on their own tablet as the app synchronises all the student owned tablets with the supervisor’s tablet, using its cloud based content tool.
In addition to presentations and notes, the teachers could share polls, quizzes, videos, drawings etc. in real time. This quickens the process of sharing data, and reduces printing of study material.
For students, watching and learning from videos and animations is more interesting than blackboard demonstrations of processes. But one may argue that for this purpose projector screens are more affordable than buying tablets for each student. But tablets support eBooks and other eLearning tools as well, which aid in classroom teaching.
One of the most notable features of this app is that it allows the teachers to monitor which student is doing what. If a student is not catching up with the presentation on his/her tab, a little notification shows up against his/her name on the teacher’s device. This will prevent the students from misusing their gadgets for leisure purposes during classes.
Tablets are being used by many schools in different countries to make teaching practices more innovative and futuristic. In developing countries like India, it is not feasible for the schools and the parents to buy tablets for every child. Yet there are some schools, particularly international ones, which are already using iPads and other tabs in classrooms. Companies like Educomp are also providing services to digitize teaching practices.
How soon will eLearning evolve into the mainstream is still not certain.
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