What is a Nearpod, you may ask?

Instead of Screencasting for my students, since earlier in the year my kids did a Screencasting activity for social studies, I thought I would screencast something that teachers could use in their practice that is related to technology.  Earlier in the year during a PD on Smartboard activities, I was introduced to this great website called Nearpod, which is a website that allows you to create interactive PowerPoint presentations that students follow along with on their own devices.  The one major hindrance for this resource would be that students would need their own device, like a Chromebook or an iPad in order to be able to participate in the lesson.

Nearpod is a great tool for increasing student engagement because there are lots of interactive slides that you can build into your lessons, while also teaching students any concept that you might come across in your curriculum. I just thought I would share it with you guys, especially those of you who are secondary and may use PowerPoints  a lot and are looking for a way to get your kids more engaged.  In my Screencast, I show the viewers what a Nearpod lesson looks like both from the perspective of a student going through a Nearpod lesson, as well as what a Nearpod lesson looks like from the perspective of a student.

As for Screencasting, like I said earlier, the tech coach at our school came in earlier in the year and taught our kids how to use Screencasting to talk about these PowerPoint presentations that they all put together on Google Slides that showed what they had learned about the Revolutionary War up to that point.  They then posted their Screencasts to some website that they all had access to using their district Google accounts that were then accessible by QR codes that their parents could scan with their phones during a Tech Night that the school hosted in December.  I would love to do another Screencasting activity with my students, I just don’t know when we will have time before I’m done student teaching.

 

Featured Image Wesley Fryer

Life in a 1-to-1 Classroom

Currently in my placement, there is a heavy emphasis on technology in the classroom.  Due to a series of grants that the teachers at my school got together and wrote, each student is fortunate enough to have their own Chromebook, every classroom has a Smartboard, a microphone system, and a document camera, and for the teacher’s own professional development, the school has a Swivl for the teachers to use to film themselves teaching.  They have had PD’s where the teachers have worked on building Smartboard lessons, and putting together Google and BrainPop classrooms.

I have definitely seen many different ways of integrating technology throughout the building, across grade levels, and curriculum.  Some teachers are not sure how to use it, or due to technical difficulties, are wary of planning to use it, because if it does not work, they feel like they cannot rely on it the same way you can rely on a piece of paper and a pencil and a book to teach students math and reading.  I think that’s one thing that I want to get out of this class – more reliable ways to use technology than the ways that have been given to the teachers thus far that we can begin to integrate into our classrooms.  Unfortunately, there are some barriers that we just can’t overcome, like subscription fees, or unexpected wifi outages, but I want to be able to push through those barriers and show the other members of the faculty the valuable resource that technology can be for our students.

I would love to begin using technology to network with other professionals in the field of education, and to build those connections that I can keep using throughout my career as an educator.  I think my goal for EdTech for the next three years would be to overcome my fear of using it, and to know the ins and outs of the technology resources that the various curriculums we use are giving us.