When I think of all the educational technology I have used in my teaching career, my favorite tool has to be Nearpod. Using Nearpod in middle school science has changed the teaching game in so many ways. You can easily utilize Nearpod to enhance your existing lessons to make them more engaging for students and also collect data in real time to answer that ever present question teachers always have; “Are my students actually ‘getting’ the content I am teaching them?
Reasons to Start using Nearpod in Middle School Science
Engage Your Students with PowerPoints you Already Have
Take that PowerPoint lesson that you already have made and make it more engaging for your students. Get them involved in the learning process. You already have the hard work done. Import your slides into Nearpod and add in features such as embedded videos, simulations, quizzes, collaboration discussion boards and more.
Don’t have time to create a lesson from scratch? Check out the growing library of resources and lessons Nearpod already has available. No need to reinvent the wheel.
While teaching a lesson, sprinkle in a quiz, fill in the blank page or memory test to quickly gather data and determine whether your students are understanding that new vocabulary or if you need to go back and reteach it. Get that information right then and there. Real data in real time. What more could you want?
Want to make it more fun? Add in a “Time to Climb” game. This game can be played in a student-pace or live mode. Personally, I loved live mode because nothing encourages students to get answers correct like competing against their peers. They get to play a game in class and you get data. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Virtual Field Trips
Pictures and videos don’t always do the trick but the virtual field trip feature in Nearpod offers students the ability to explore a place using VR without those expensive glasses. Want to show students a coral reef but you can’t actually take them to one? Easily embed a virtual field trip to a coral reef into your coral reef lesson. Go into VR mode easily to deliver that immersive experience that provides a virtual 360 view.
Take your students to a virtual coral reef, the surface of Mars or the Fagradalsfjall Volcano. It truly makes learning a more real-world experience when students can actually see examples of the concepts they are learning.
Encourage Classroom Collaboration
Whether it’s a student-paced lesson or a live lesson, you can get your students collaborating with each other. The “collaborate board” is a great way to do this. Think of it like a collaborative bulletin board in which students can answer a question with text, voice responses, images and other media while being able to see other students’ posts in real-time. Think of it like a virtual classroom discussion.
Even if you’re teaching science in an online teaching format, this form of collaboration board can help build community in your classroom and get all your students involved in the learning process.
A One-stop shop for Interactive Teaching
The best part about Nearpod? There are already tons of ready-made lessons and games that you can use! Also, students never need to leave the platform for any of these activities. You don’t have to have your students type in a URL with a bunch of confusing characters or go back to a module in your school’s learning management system. It’s all in one place, making transitions and lesson planning so much easier.
Learn more about how you can use technology in the middle school classroom to enhance your teaching.
If you are interested in using Nearpod in your classroom, you can upgrade to a gold account free by clicking here and using the code NP-SecondarySparks for a limited time! This allows you to store more lessons, add Google Slides to your lessons, use drag and drop activities, support larger class size, have multiple lessons live at once and more!