For many teachers, the art of leading a class through new material in a lecture setting is still their primary way to facilitate learning in students. While some teachers are striving to go towards a “no-lectures’ style of teaching, many current teachers don’t find that to be comfortable. Through the use of technology, many other alternatives exist that can fill that gap between traditional lectures and 21st-century style teaching.
One methodology that I have been exploring, with good results, is the use of student devices and interactive lecture/presentation programs. I have specifically been using Nearpod, and to a much lesser extent Pear Deck, to lead my students though notes exploring new material. These interactive presentation programs allow a teacher to hold onto the core benefits of a lecture style lesson, while more actively engaging students, checking for understanding, and gaining real-time and post-lesson data to better inform future instruction.
Interactive presentation programs such as Nearpod are easy-to-use ways to bring your lecture into the modern educational model of learning. Through the use of Nearpod, I am able to use my own lecture slides (either from Slides or PowerPoint), but insert activities, formative assessment, and other interactive content right into the presentation itself. The lesson is then streamed out to all the student devices in your classroom, giving each student a copy of the lesson for them to look at as either they themselves or the teacher controls the pace of the lesson. The types of activities available to incorporate into the lesson are expansive, including Quizzes, Fill-in-the-Blanks, Surveys, Drawings, Websites, Animations/Simulations, Maps, Videos, and many others. These activities generate real-time and post-lesson data that can be used immediately, or later, to inform instruction. It helps facilitate whole-class engagement and offers ways to track and keep an eye on student progress as well.
Taking the time to convert old lecture lessons to interactive lessons is a breeze, and the benefits are enormous. It’s well worth the investment, for the teacher, and their students. Don’t be afraid to try something new, it might just become a hit!
Today's thoughts come to us from Mr. Justin Bush. Justin is a science teacher at Pike High School.