Friday, February 7, 2014

Seamless Weaving of Instruction and Assessment

One way I know for sure an app has potential to transform classroom practice is when, with minimal introduction and little prep time, a whole team of teachers adopts it and launches its use.  After a short demonstration of the Nearpod app, all teachers on the 6th Grade Team at Peoples Academy in Morrisville gave it a whirl in each of the content areas, then shared the experience at a faculty meeting; from introduction to application and sharing, all in the span of a few short weeks.

Nearpod allows teachers to shoot out presentations - think Powerpoints made interactive - to their students' iPads.  Content slides can be interspersed with embedded polls, quizzes, and drawing tools for in-the-moment formative assessment. 

Yes, Nearpod turns a stand-and-deliver presentation into an interactive experience, with feedback tools embedded right in the middle of the presentation, viewed and responded to by each student via his or her iPad. 

Teachers see the results in real-time, both in list form and graphically.

The kicker for me is the ability for poll or quiz results or sketches to be shared back to the students in real-time to encourage discussion, clarify misconceptions or elaborate upon a point of interest.  (See Eric Mazur's work at Harvard on student response systems, turn & talk, and peer teaching)

As these teachers quickly realized, Nearpod allows for embedded formative feedback seamlessly woven into instruction. Students interact. Teachers make thinking visible and adjust instruction based on immediate feedback!


  1. I love your succinct description of the benefits of using Nearpod. May we borrow your comments as a basis of a video overview of teachers using Nearpod in our district?

  2. Jim, thanks for the feedback. Please feel free to share.