Trying out Nearpod with a Plant Parts Lesson
This week I tried out Nearpod for the first time with my 7th graders. I had read about it on Twitter and downloaded the app on my Ipad as well as the class set of Ipads. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I created a lesson on Plant Parts and Functions and figured I would give it a try. After each plant part, I had an interactive for the students to engage in. Examples of these engaging moments included a poll about their favorite seed after the seed notes and a picture of a hummingbird with multiple choice answers to see if they could identify the pollinator after we took notes about flowers attracting pollinators.
The top left image shows how Nearpod downloaded once students entered the pin for the lesson. There was a bit of a lag time for some of them and I don’t know if that was because I had a class of students accessing a file over the school wifi or not. From time to time there was a little lag for some students when I moved through screens. Then, students log in with their name and if the teacher desires, their student ID. The bottom left photo shows one of the interactive component after our flower notes. The long picture at right illustrates a student taking notes from the Nearpod presentation as I was discussing the functions of the stem.
What was their reaction to the experience? Students told me they liked having the information they should be writing directly in front of them. One of them came in the next day and asked if we were taking Nearpod notes. Another told me he loved taking notes like that and wished they could do that in all their classes. I put an optional poll up on edmodo about the experience for my students. With over half of the class replying, 100% of them selected “I liked using it and want to use it again.”
From the teacher perspective
Sure, there was some set up work that needed to be done, however, 7th grade Agriscience is a quarterly course that I teach twice a day so I will end up getting at least 8 uses out of it this year. I’d say time well spent. I enjoyed the ability to put the little quick checks in because it gave students a break from the notes and times to process. Here’s a snapshot of some of what I saw from my screen.
The lower right corner shows the nearpod log in screen. As a teacher I log in with my username and password. Then I start the file which provides a pin so students enter that. The top view provides what I saw on my screen as I progressed. The slide I was on with students was highlighted in blue. Both past and future activities and slides appear across the bottom. The graph looking item indicates a poll, the potato image you see with the little graph looking item in the corner is a quick Q & A, the check mark represents a quiz. The images that you see with pie graphs on them are what I see as a teacher while students are responding to quizzes or polls. I get the real time responses, as well as how students are answering them. It even indicates on the graph the percentage of students who have not yet answered.
Ending with some drawing fun
I didn’t have time to get to the quiz I created at the end of the lesson, so we ended with the second to last activity I had planned – drawing your favorite plant part to eat. The bummer was that there was no green to use. The exciting part was that I could insert a picture when I wrote the drawing topic so I added a plate for them to put their item on. As students submitted their drawings, I could see what was coming in (see image at bottom left). When everyone submitted their sketches, I could select outstanding work then share them out one at a time (see image on bottom right and the little blue share arrow on it) to everyone’s iPad without revealing the student’s name. They’re 7th graders though, so as they appeared on the iPads, I would hear “That’s mine.” or “I did that!”
I still have some learning to do and the nearpod staff was great about coaching me through an issue I had. I have an animal terms nearpod read to go for next week.