Technology director and teacher Frederico Padovan may be only a few weeks into his school's first 1-to-1 iPad deployment, but he's already figured out how to keep students focused on their lessons. He's not worried about students steering away to surf the Web or chatting with friends on their new devices.
Since the first day of school, Padovan has been using Nearpod, a slide-based multimedia app that lets teachers create presentations by populating pre-built templates with an entire lesson's worth of text, images, and video. Then, using a special teacher version of the app, the presentations can be pushed out to an entire class, who use their own student version, allowing the teacher great control over the tempo and pace of the lesson.
"It's PowerPoint on steroids," explained Padovan, who teaches emerging computer technology and interactive design at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami.
That alone might be enough to pique the interest of educators, who have become increasingly fond of Apple's tablet, but sometimes struggle to find appropriate ways to use it. Far from being a glorified slide-sharing app Nearpod's functionality is also focused on interactive elements like formative assessment tools that create a two-way channel between teacher and student.