Right now, I am loving Nearpod. I love the interactivity that it brings to presentations and the ease with which presenters can mix a variety of media and activities into what would otherwise be a jumble of open windows and programs. I'm working with World Language teachers at my school using the Virtual Fieldtrip slides to help students experience the world they are studying without having to get on a plane.
However, when one of those teachers asked for advice on how to use it for her students to create a blog post on traveling to a site using Nearpod, I redirected her. As we talked about what she wanted students to accomplish and experience, I realized that Nearpod wasn't her best option. Instead, I suggested that she use the Sphere app. It's free, students can log in with Google (as a GAFE district, I always look for that option), and they can visit places all over the world through 3600 images taken by both professional and amateur photographers. Using this app allowed students more choice in their “travel destination” and also encouraged movement and exploration (to view the full experience, you must get up and move around).
For me, staying up-to-date with all of the tech tools available is key to my effectiveness. If I stay focused on just one tool, I lose out on the opportunity to model openness and problem-solving to my teachers. Choosing the right tool for each situation is key to developing a great learning experience. That tool will not always involve technology and that's a critical idea to recognize as well.
Being an effect coach is as much as being an instructional coach as it is about technology. Helping teachers understand that is one of my greatest challenges and pleasures.