Using Nearpod Without Much Technology
Type of Technology: Nearpod (app or available on the web)
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade level: All levels
Subject area: All (I used it with my English classes)
Cost: Free (with limited presentations and storage)
I love technology! I love bringing it into my classroom. I love watching my students faces light-up at any opportunity for them to use technology.
Having said this, I do not love the trials and tribulations of wanting to integrate new technology into my classroom, planning my lessons around it, struggling to make it work without having the proper tools available, or having it not work. I do not have one-to-one iPads at my campus. My TV will not always mirror from my own ipad. Most of my students do not even have internet access at home. But that doesn’t stop us! I have still been able to amp up my lessons and engage my students with the technology that I DO have.
One way that I have been able to successfully integrate more technology into my classroom is to augment my weekly grammar practice with my students through the use of the Nearpod app. From Commas and Quotation Marks to Adjectives and Interjections, my students have been able to strengthen their grammar skills and enjoy the process. Since they do not each have an ipad in front of them during these lessons, I simply display Nearpod slide shows from my iPad onto the Apple TV. If that doesn’t work on a given day, I place my iPad under my document camera and project it onto the TV screen that way. We make it work!
The great thing about using Nearpod is that you have options. Anyone can create an interactive Nearpod lesson of their own, or you can choose from ones that have been saved by other Nearpod members. Want to know the best part? A lot of them are FREE. You pay nothing out of pocket. Just get the app and choose from the free lessons available and they will become part of your “library.” In my library, I have saved several grammar lessons that engage my students and help them strengthen their grammar skills.
How are they engaged if they don’t have their own ipad, you ask? I just call on students who are participating in the lesson to come up to answer the interactive quizzes, type in an example, start a video for the class to watch, and help advance the lesson to the next slide. In an effort to fairly spread the participation in using the Nearpod presentations amongst my students, I use another little technology gem that I have discovered, called Class Dojo. It is an app that helps to monitor classroom behaviors, but also includes a “random choice” option. Drawing from my class list, Class Dojo will randomly select a student to participate. The app chooses each student once before it loops around and starts again with the class list. This way, both I and my students know that each of them gets a fair shot at participating with the Nearpod presentation and no one student feels left out, promoting higher engagement. Another option that could be used to evenly distribute participation among your students would be the use of “fair sticks” if that is a practice that you use in your classroom.
I look very forward to the day when each desk in our room does have an ipad, or similar device, on it, but until then I will continue to integrate new technology into my lessons in ways that work for me, and my students. Making it Work!