Monday, September 18, 2017

Nearpod - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Have you ever stared into the engine compartment of a vehicle and been fascinated by all those moving parts?   Now imagine being a student in the automotive field, building your professional knowledge of parts and terminology is an important first step toward being successful.  This week we are featuring Nolan Miyahara an Instructor of Automotive Technology here at Leeward Community College who recently conducted a Nearpod activity with his students to review and reinforce their learning of basic parts.

Nearpod is a formative assessment tool for delivering engaging presentations. It does require an internet connection but does not require a Smart Classroom projector.  Each student sees the presentation on their own mobile device (phone, table, laptop) and the pace is controlled by the instructor.  Students’ interactions can be shared with their peers for class discussion or captured for easy reporting.  Nolan’s activity used Nearpod’s draw slide feature to allow individual students to match terms with images (engine parts) he provided.  Nolan thought the Nearpod draw activity worked well, he also took time to build a few Nearpod slides following a more traditional yes/no format.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Following the activity Nolan thought “the variety of ways you can put up questions and how the students can answer in different ways” was a strength.   Student feedback seemed to infer that students “didn’t feel challenged because there was no timer”, a problem which can be addressed in the future by simply having the instructor implement a time limit for each slide.
In Summary
Overall Nolan felt the Nearpod review activity went well based on learning and engagement.  When asked for tips or advice for other instructors interested in using Nearpod, Nolan said “I would recommend it.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Engage with Nearpodʻs New Collaborate Slide Type

Do you personalize your class activities to address your learners needs?  How do you know where your learners are at and what questions they may have?   Are you looking for discussion starters?  You may already know about Nearpod, a web based one-to-one presentation and audience engagement tool.   You may not know of NearpodÊ»s latest slide type "Collaborate."
LEE CC New Lecturer Orientation -Fall 2017

A Nearpod Collaborate slide allows students to post to an interactive class slide.  Peers can read each others posts and favorite them.  Instructors can choose to display or hide student names with their posts.

How would this work (scenario):

Instructor creates a Nearpod presentation which could include the standard type of content slides for students to engage with (text, images, multiple choice questions, or drawing etc.).  The instructor would also insert a Collaborate slide into the slide deck.  When the slide comes up, students use their device (phone, tablet, computer, Chromebook) to post a comment or question (think sticky notes).  Students can see each others posts and click on the heart icon to indicate they like it.  As more students like a post a number appears next to the heart.  In this manner the class can identify popular thoughts, comments or questions.  The instructor in turn can use this to inform/ guide the class activities.

Learn More:

To learn more about Nearpod Collaborate slide visit their website or blog.   If you are a Leeward Community College faculty, staff, lecturer please contact the Educational Media Center to learn more about how you might implement this tool into your workflow.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

iPad Tripod Automated Mount - Swivl

Have you ever wanted to capture a video of yourself delivering a dynamic presentation or leading an engaging activity only to have trouble finding someone who could video you?  Perhaps you have access to room with cameras mounted in the ceiling to capture your lecture, but you either can't schedule the room or you can't operate the equipment by yourself.  You may even have access to a professional video production crew, but you are not sure your event is worthy of the pre and post production scheduling and planning that goes into a professional shoot.   Well if you have every been in these predicaments then Swivl C5 just may be for you.

Introducing Swivl C5, the robotic tripod, your automated assistant.  In my role as an educational technologist I frequently come across instructors who share innovative activities and we always say "we should capture that on video".   Event with the best class schedule it can be hard to hit a particular activity on a specific date.  Perhaps they don't want to bother me to sitting through a class I know nothing about simply to monitor a video camera.  It is possible they think having someone video the session would be foreign and or disruptive to class community, the reasons go on and on despite good intentions.  With the Swivl C5 the instructor sets up the Swivl C5 robot, tablet (iPad lightning adapter or newer) and paired Marker (microphone) and that's pretty much it.  The iPad sits in a slot on the Swivl C5 robot.  The Swivl C5 robot locates the infrared signal of the paired Marker and tracks it, up and down, side to side while recording video and instructor audio.  Swivl C5 adds the ability to have additional live Markers (microphones), which can be embedded into your audience (think small groups).  What is really neat about this is that the Swivl C5 keeps the video and audio of the presenter while simultaneously recording the audience discussions and questions.  Once you are done you simply upload your video to Swivl Cloud (web host).   The video can be share with everyone or can be shared with peers for feedback.  In addition Swivl Cloud allows you to perform post production audio work by disabling or enabling your audience audio tracks.  Easily remove groups chattering off topic, while featuring those who are thinking critically out loud and asking great questions.

What I have decided to try is to package a (re-purposed) iPad with my Swivl C5 to create a kit bag.  This will allow the instructor to easily capture and upload their video without having to install an app on their device nor worry about performance issues or memory capacity (all video is saved to your mobile device before uploading to the Swivl Cloud).   In the short time that I have used the Swivl C5 robot I have experience three problems to be aware of:

First the iPad Swivl C5 robot need to be really close to your subject, forget about a wide angle establishing shot, there is no zoom function.  This may be ok since after all you are using a robotic mount which should follow the presenter and allow you to maintain your subject in it a tight shot.

Second the group Markers (microphones) may perform better pointed up instead of laying down on the table.  The Markers are highly directional so to give it the best shot of capturing a small group discussion I am going to try and put them in a cup to stand them up.  Similarly for the presenter Marker, avoid having it dangle down from the lanyard with the microphone pointing to the ground.

Third as with any video product, post production takes a long time.  I had about an hour of presentation captured and in post production I wanted to remove a small groups audio track, because of the large file it took a really long time to adjust the audio tracks.

In any case it is an interesting product, it seems to get the job done and like anything else the more you practice with it the better your final product will look.

Do you have a Swivl C robot?