Home » Teachers »

Using Tech to Facilitate Difficult Classroom Conversations

A recent post over at Edutopia explores the role that technology can play in enabling better discussions of challenging topics and events.

Teacher Allison Lahl writes:

In designing the discussions, I decided to use Nearpod, an add-on to Google Slides that allows the user to make slide shows interactive. I had utilized Nearpod to facilitate student reflection and discussions throughout Covid, but I hadn’t relied on it as much since returning to in-person learning. When thinking about how to scaffold this particular discussion, I knew that Nearpod would be the ideal tool, as it offers a variety of features, including quizzes, polls, and the ability to host live discussions, with students responding to questions in live time and sharing these to a collaborative discussion board.

Applications like Pear Deck, Padlet, and, for the rest of this year, Jamboard can also host live discussions, and many of these, like Nearpod, allow students to post anonymously and to submit as many responses as they want—including none at all. What I find particularly useful about Nearpod, though, is the ability to approve comments before they’re posted to the discussion board for other students to see.