Nearpod PioNear Summit 2017
I discovered Nearpod (www.nearpod.com) almost two years ago and immediately I was impressed with the application. As an English teacher, it not only allowed me to engage my students with interactive lessons, but it inspired my students to want to participate in their learning. As I began presenting sessions at conferences, facilitating sessions at edcamps, and leading sessions for professional development, I continued sharing the wonders a Nearpod with other educators. Because I was always sharing the wonders of Nearpod, I decided to apply to become a Nearpod PioNear, a community of educators passionate about improving teaching and learning through technology integration.
As a Nearpod PioNear, I was invited to the 2017 Nearpod PioNear Summit this past weekend (January 13-15, 2017) in Austin, TX. What I realize after attending this summit is like Simon Sinek says, “Start with the why.” Nearpod knows its “why”. Nearpod brought educators together from all over the world to learn, grow, and connect with each other. It knows that educators are at the heart of shifting the education paradigm and its product can help make that shift happen.
What stood out to me at the summit were some of the new features Nearpod is rolling out to improve their application. These features are tackling some of the education system’s biggest obstacles including Nearpod for ELL, Nearpod for Subs, and Nearpod for PD.
Nearpod for ELL will focus on lessons geared toward English Language Learners. Nearpod has created over 500 ELL lessons that use ELL strategies for teaching and learning.
Nearpod for Subs will allow teachers to share their Nearpod lessons with a substitute teacher helping keep students accountable for their learning even when the teacher is out.
And Nearpod for PD partners expert educators and instructional designers with Nearpod to create ready-to-use PD schools can use for their professional development needs.
In addition to the new offerings from Nearpod, what the summit really accomplished was the strengthening of a community of educators who work all over the world to improve digital pedagogy for student improvement. Socialization activities, unconference (edcamp style) sessions, and “Spark” sessions throughout the weekend allowed educators to connect through authentic discourse and share ideas and best practices.
If there is one thing I love, it’s bringing educators together to learn from each other, and the Nearpod PioNear Summit accomplished this and so much more. If every education technology company takes Nearpod’s approach, the education system will be better off for it. Educators are better together but don’t always have the means to make life-changing connections in face-to-face meetups. If you are not familiar with Nearpod, the device-agnostic application, I encourage you to check it out.