“When I’m done teaching for the day, I know exactly what students learned. I know what they understand. After a Nearpod lesson, my teacher confidence level is high and I can tell that I’m making a difference and making an impact.”
Rick Meyer is a teacher and tech coordinator at Sidney Public Schools, a district of about 1,200 students in Sidney, Nebraska, near the Colorado and Wyoming border. Rick helps teachers from the district’s three elementary schools integrate technology into their classrooms, and teaches 1st through 5th grade students essential digital literacy skills. Teachers in Sidney currently use tablets, PCs, and share Chromebook carts in each school, and the district is working toward a 1:1 Chromebook initiative.
Before Rick discovered Nearpod 3 years ago, he did a lot of, as he described, “beating his head against the wall.” Facilitating class discussions, keeping the class on the same page, and managing a digital classroom were tough challenges, especially with young students and short 25 minute classes. In addition, as a new tech coordinator, Rick needed to write a curriculum for the district’s technology and digital literacy classes. After a frustrating start to his first year as tech coordinator, Rick realized he needed to change his teaching style. He knew that technology enabled students to work at their own pace and guide their own learning, so he began to look for tools to personalize lessons, flip his classroom, and engage his students.
Rick and his students used Google Chrome on a number of different devices, so he looked for a multiplatform solution to his challenges. During his search, Rick discovered Nearpod, which he began using to design interactive learning experiences and assign them to his classes as self-paced, flipped lessons. With Nearpod lessons, Rick’s students learned at their own pace with multimedia content and interactive activities, and he received formative assessment data to inform his teaching and to target specific students for additional help or remediation.
Rick currently uses Nearpod as a way to deliver new information, review important concepts, and check for understanding. He combines Nearpod lessons with Google Apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Drawings to allow his students to collaborate and create during class. “With Nearpod for Google Chrome, it’s so easy to keep my students engaged and on track, and a great way to assess as we go.”
Since Rick and his students work on tablets, PCs, and Chromebooks, the multiplatform capabilities and ease of implementation make it easy to manage the colorful tech infrastructure and switch seamlessly between devices. Rick mentioned “It was super easy to get the class on board, regardless of the devices we had available.”
With Nearpod for Google Chrome, Rick easily creates interactive, engaging lessons for his students, which feature multimedia content, interactive whiteboard activities, open-ended questions, websites and more. He can launch a synchronous lesson, which connects all of his students together and helps him facilitate class discussions and share student work in real time. He can also launch self-paced lessons with his students, so they can learn whenever, wherever, and at a pace that best suites them. In either synchronous or self-paced mode, Rick captures valuable formative assessment data with Nearpod Reports, which save all student responses from each lesson. “When I’m done teaching for the day, I know exactly what students learned. I know what they understand. After a Nearpod lesson, my teacher confidence level is high and I can tell that I’m making a difference and making an impact.”