Thursday, March 21, 2013

Teaching with Nearpod

     Nearpod is a fantastic app for the iPad, and other iOS devices.  And, it is now available for Android devices, if you sign up for the school edition.  I have been using it in my student teaching at two different schools here in Portland, Oregon.  While at Roosevelt High School, I integrated it into everyday lessons.  The amount of student engagement during presentations was off the charts.  The students became very familiar with the process, and started class everyday by entering the pin # to download the presentation without hesitation.  Even after I had moved onto my new student teaching placement, the students remembered the process.  When I came back for a visit, they asked me if I had another Nearpod lesson for them.

     Now, I am currently student teaching at Catlin Gabel Middle School.  During the students' current unit they are required to do a teach-a-class presentation for the rest of their classmates.  I had used Nearpod in the beginning of the unit for a lesson on the Scientific Revolution.  This created a lasting impression on the students and many of them have start to use the app for when they are teaching.  So far there have been several different lessons that the students created and taught using Nearpod.  Some of the topics include:  James Watt and the steam engine, John D. Rockefeller, and the 13th Amendment.

Here is an example of what the students drew to explain how
Nicholas Copernicus' theory of the solar system works.

     To watch the class interact with the iPad, is truly amazing.  The students love being able to have the presentation right there in front of them.  They can take notes while watching a video at their own pace, explore lots of different information and control their own learning with the slide show function, and demonstrate their learning in the draw and quiz function.  The students favorite parts to the app are the draw  and video functions.  And, the best part for me, is the fact that the app records all of their answers and allows me to view them later and analyze what learning took place.  I highly recommend this app to any teacher that had the capability to use it in the classroom.

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