As the Innovation Champion at the Cambrian Teaching and Learning Innovation Hub, I have been tasked with exploring the use of Nearpod for teaching across the Cambrian Community. Quite a few educators love using it, simply because it promotes student engagement and opens some pretty neat opportunities.
In preparation for supporting faculty who are using Nearpod I reached out to find out how accessible it is. They emailed me a quite detailed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, which I am unsure if I can post so I won’t. Basically, it is pretty good but it isn’t perfect for accessibility purposes. As with any technology, many of the features need an individualised assessment based on your students’ needs. Most of the accessibility criteria outlined in the document are supported. However, some of the accessibility features vary based on the device a student is using and/or the tool inside Nearpod. The best advice is to check to make sure that whatever you are using meets the needs of the student, so work with your students and institution to assess it’s effectiveness. As illustrated in the video below, Nearpod can help to enhance the accessibility of the learning experience.
Nearpod indicated to me that there is no set of guidelines for them to use to claim “100% ADOA compliance.” Many aspects of Nearpod are accessible, but again an individualised assessment of your learners is needed. Some key points include that:
- The slides created inside the new editor will work with screen readers.
- Screen readers can also read all assessment activities and buttons.
- Captions on embedded videos can be toggled on or off by the student.
- Embedded content is accessible if it was created in an accessible way (videos, PDFs, websites).
- Audio files can be added to slides.
- Screen magnifiers work with Nearpod.
- If the device being used by the student has voice to text capabilities it will work.
- Colour schemes for assessment activities include contrasting colours, which helps students with visual impairments see the slides.
After the Showcase event in the Hub, several instructors signed up to give it a try and we started a community of practice for exploring the use of Nearpod in our teaching. Melanie blogged about her experience. Below are a few of the slides we played with that we thought were particularly neat. If you are interested in more professional development opportunities at Cambrian around Nearpod please reach out to Amy so she can schedule something.
Nearpod also has some training that may be worth checking out if you are interested. In the coming weeks, I will be exploring some advanced training from Nearpod and answering the following questions:
- Is there a way to allow students to see everyone’s response in the asynchronous model?
- How reliable is it?
- In the quiz function–can you insert an explanation for correct and incorrect answers?
- How can I insert a graphic or hot spot in a quiz question?
If you know the answers please comment below.
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