Tech Tool Showcase

Tech Tool Showcase

Many would agree that student engagement is the key to successfully reaching students in the fully enriched 21st century world in which we live.  The more students are engaged in the content, the more they will truly learn. I will discuss a tool that I use in my 21st Century classroom to help engage students while giving them the content knowledge that they need:  Nearpod.


Nearpod is a way to transform your regular PowerPoints or Google Slideshows into interactive lessons that results in fully engulfed student-centered learning.  On a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, students will take multiple choice quizzes or fill in the blank activities to ensure they have understood the content, while also taking journeys on virtual field trips all over the world.  Visual learners will love to draw their answers instead of writing them out with a drawing function, as well as learning through YouTube clips along the way. Matching activities and memory games will help to engrain important vocabulary terms or formulas into the minds of the students.  They can also dive into the human body or explore historic places with 3D models. Learning truly comes to life!

You can create your own lessons for free, or let Nearpod do the work for you.  Nearpod has a full library of already created lessons that you can pay for as an individual or subscribe to as a school.  Students love Nearpod as it is student-centered and fully engaging. Check it out if you want to enhance your 21st Century classroom:


Katie Assali


Maximizing Time, Not Wasting It: Effective Professional Development and Certifications

So many educators work tirelessly to maintain a direct, working knowledge of their content area and all its related current methodologies and practices through Professional Development and Certifications.  And, yet, so often, in order to do that very thing, an educator has to weed through so much that can feel like a waste of resources. Interestingly, in many ways the financial cost of Professional Development and Certifications is not the biggest issue or concern.  Rather, it is the cost with regard to time.


No one, generally, in any field, tends to feel that they have such an overabundance of time that they can waste it on things that will not be of direct benefit, but for educators, this issue is perhaps more pronounced then in others, because for Educators, Professional Development and Certifications are not just about them, they are very much about the future.


Certainly, all good Professional Development and Certifications, in all fields, can lead to more effective results, increasing a company’s bottom line, as it were, but in Education, there is something else too:  long term impact on the future, in a potentially massive way. In a way that could change the entire planet.


Sure, that sounds a bit overstated, but is it?  Think for a moment about what educators really do.  Regardless of content area, educators are training the future leaders of their communities.  Of the world. Literally.


Those methods that an educator learns to implement via Professional Development and Certifications, can be the catalyst for a major student breakthrough.  A change in the student’s perspective or process that leads them down a path that enables them to eventually take on and solve the problems of the world. Really.  How many times do world leaders, and leaders of every industry talk about a teacher they had at one point that made the difference for them? That inspired them? That helped them move forward on the path they would eventually dominate?  The answer is pretty much every one.


So, yes, Professional Development and Certifications can require some additional commitment, but they are more than worth it.  Not just to the educator, or the students, but, potentially to the entire world.

Richard Maxwell