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Digital Teaching Tools for Higher Ed

Ashlee Kemp
November 09, 2022

Have you ever wanted to make your PowerPoints more interactive during your lectures or use a video with embedded questions? Well look no further -  this blog post is the one for you! In this blog post I will be going over three digital resources you can use in your  courses to make your class more interactive as well as adding formative assessments throughout the course. We all have had that one class in college where it was strictly lecture based and it literally made you fall asleep because there was no interaction at all, now imagine that class with interactive PowerPoints and videos, wouldn’t your view of the class be different? Now imagine your class being able to use these resources, would you think your students will view the class differently as well? My hope is that the answer to all of these is yes!

So, what are these three digital resources? They are Peardeck, Nearpod, and Edpuzzle. You may be wondering, Ashlee did you just put random words together? Nope I did not! These are three well known digital resources that I have used in my K-12 classes as well as my University 101 class.

Peardeck and Nearpod are two interactive PowerPoint digital resources you can use to embed interactive slides throughout your PowerPoint; students will get a code that they will use to get these slides right onto their devices. This makes their devices, such as their phone, work like a built-in clicker. These programs have many different interactive slides to use, but my favorite ones are  poll, open ended questions, drawing, and collaboration. I have used both programs in my college lectures and they have allowed students to participate in the lectures while also giving me a formative assessment on where my students are in relation to the content. 

Edpuzzle is a website where you can upload videos and add embedded questions within each video. The best part of Edpuzzle is that there is a library of videos you can use that have already been created by other teachers and professors. Another amazing thing about Edpuzzle is that you can individually assign the video to each student, or you can do what is called “live mode” where the students log in and then you can play the video in front of the whole class and when it comes to the question it automatically goes to each student device (phone, computer) and they can answer the question. Most students now a days have a cell phone, what better way to use the cell phone and make it part of the class as a clicker. Edpuzzle is so great that you can get it added to Canvas so it will automatically grade the answers and add those grades to your gradebook. Who doesn’t love automatic grading? Just another way to work smarter not harder!

Edpuzzle, Nearpod, and Peardeck are three amazing digital resources that can be used in your classrooms. I have enjoyed using these in my class and have made such a positive impact on my courses and my hope is that it will have a positive impact on your courses as well.

To see these tools in action check out my quick demo: