Both of my schools are part of the Ignite initiative in our district which means that my 3-5 graders are 1:1 using Chromebooks and K-2 are about 1:3 with iPad minis. It is really exciting to finally get to make use of the opportunities offered on the web for boosting student engagement, modelling with mathematics, and student collaboration and reflection. But what I was most excited about, was finding a program or app that would allow me to make 3 Act tasks more interactive for everyone. I wanted each student to get the opportunity to share their thinking after they discussed their thoughts and strategies with their groups.
I started by trying our Canvas management system and put the tasks on an assignment page. The problem with that was that students could look ahead at the reveal if they scrolled down and the reports that I got weren’t great. I then tried making a Canvas module that would allow me to put each act on a different page and have multiple assignments. Still clunky. Still less than meaningful reports.
I tried presenting the tasks on my device and using TodaysMeet for students to share their solutions. That didn’t keep the information very neat and it was difficult to see everyone’s thinking (I do love this website for number talks though:).
After trying each of these and being disappointed, I was on the hunt for something better. One night, at a district “Appy Hour” I was excited to see a session that might be just what I needed…and it was! I started using Nearpod right away.
Pros: Presentation is completely controlled by me when students are on their individual devices. They cannot progress to the next screen until I move mine. This to me is very important in a delivery method.
Students can write, draw, or take a picture of their work and upload it. Then I can share it to each device while they explain their strategy.
Works on Chromebooks and is great for K-2 on iPad with ability to draw with their fingers or take a picture of their manipulatives.
Multiple question types.
Limited size of video uploads.
Many features are not available in the trial version and the gold version is quite expensive.
Check out my 3 Act posts to see some examples of the reports and images I can collect from students as they solve these tasks.