Armstrong has been eagerly awaiting the MDM and internet filter to be completed on our Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) Tablets and although teachers are waiting they are not idle. The anticipated arrival of the tablets has sparked a wave of technology implementation. Seventh grade social studies teachers Mrs. Volpe and Mrs. Matthews have embraced Nearpod in their classes for their Native American unit. Nearpod is an engaging presentation platform for teachers to use their tablets to manage content being presented to students on their tablets or laptops. Mrs. Volpe and Mrs. Matthews created presentations that allowed students to interact, collaborate and assess the students in real time.
Mrs. Volpe invited me to come into her class to check out Nearpod in action. We chuckled at the students’ reaction when they logged into the presentation and quickly realized that Mrs. Volpe was the only one able to control what appeared on their laptop screens. Students were quickly engaged and collaborating with their quad partners to “Turn and Talk” and analyze the slides that appeared on their individual laptops and the Smartboard. Students especially liked being able to draw on the computer screen to mark areas on the map. The kids were thrilled to see the polling results project from their tablet to the Smartboard at the front of the room. During the lesson students were asked to analyze maps and pictures, complete a constructed response prompt, take a poll and answer a short quiz as for a quick formative assessment. Mrs. Matthews reported that her “students not only loved the ability to utilize the Nearpod technology on the laptops but also were very motivated by the interactive presentation”.
Additionally, Mrs. Matthews noted that Nearpod has a library of prepared presentations on a variety of topics. Her favorite part of a recently purchased Nearpod presentation on the Pueblo Native Americans was “the ability for the students to access the internet and take a google tour of the Mesa Verde Spruce Tree House“. Students were able to be transplanted to an ancient cliff dwelling during this tour. This visual tour enabled students to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of native American homes and provided an experience for students virtually that they may never have had in person. The tablets are the spark to some amazing things happening at Armstrong and I can’t wait to see more once students have them in class!