One of the new apps we learnt about on our Comenius trip to the Netherlands was called Nearpod and it has had a revolutionary effect on one of my classes. 7S3 have been on the Fresh Start phonics programme since September and interest was frankly waning. I have found a quick and easy way to transfer all the teaching material onto Nearpod presentations and ‘hey presto!’ – they are back on board and engaged. They really enjoy the lessons because not only is the lure of the iPads still very strong but there is such a range of different activities.
There are answers in multiple choice quizzes, answers that are typed and open-ended, answers where you draw a diagram or circle/underline relevant words and phrases, opportunities to vote and give your opinion, videos and web links plus a live Twitter feed. Moreover, you can have a live session where you control all the students iPads and display their work on the board to enable collaboration and discussion – or – you can set the lesson to be used flipped-classroom-style with each student working at a different level or pace. It can be used for homework too. It is unbelievably flexible. I really love being able to view the students’ quiz answers all together on one screen in real time so that if they have made any mistakes I can redirect them to amend them immediately. Everyone ends seeing that they have all correct answers which is great for raising self-esteem.
Several teachers have enjoyed observing some of my Nearpod lessons and they all ask the million dollar question – how long does it take you to write the presentation? Honestly, it takes me 20 minutes – no longer than creating a PowerPoint for a lesson old-style. I am writing around 6 a week quite painlessly just using my non-contact time, knowing that next year I can use them again.
Please feel free to come along and watch me using it – just drop me an email.
In the meantime here is the presentation that the Dutch teacher, known as ‘iTed’, used to show us how to get up and running with Nearpod.
Have fun and let me know your successes and frustrations.