Blog post

Making Personalized Learning Possible

July 25, 2018Laurie Guyon

There has been a lot of talk about personalizing learning in our classrooms.  Teachers feel overwhelmed to think about a different learning path for each student.  But, it shouldn’t be solitary, or individual. Our students need to engage with each other, not doing solitary work.  When done right, every student engages at the level they need to be. The teacher is free to work with a smaller group of students.  Technology allows the teacher to get timely feedback to guide the next set of lessons. Personalized learning, done right, offers so much more for your students. It offers targeted, digital, and data-driven content.  It also allows students to reflect on their learning.

Targeted Instruction

Every teacher knows the demands of the curriculum we need to cover over the course of a school year.  Every student needs something different to meet the rigor of this curriculum. With Nearpod, every student can be working on the same material, but at their own pace.  The groupings will foster engaging conversations and collaborative work. Each lesson meets their individual needs.

  • Nearpod offers a broad range of over 6,500 ready-to-teach lessons that are completely editable.  The content is the main focus, with leveled activities.  Teachers can group students to collaborate on a ca Nearpod.
  • In Nearpod, teachers can upload their existing lessons from any device.  Teachers then add in the creative activities.  These can include open-ended questions, virtual field trips, and PHET simulations. This engages their students and enhances their experience.
  • Nearpod has partnered with many other amazing EdTech tools.  Some of my favorites are ReadWorks and Time For Kids.  These partnerships allow for relevant and engaging lessons.

Digital Content

The ISTE standards and the Next Generation standards push for better media literacy.  Our students need to be fluent in the skills necessary to be safe online.  They need to know how to create a strong digital footprint. Educators need to teach digital citizenship, quality searching skills, and being safe online.  The problem is that many teachers don’t always have the answers for their students.

When I first went 1:1 with iPads with my 6th graders, I relied on the lessons within Nearpod.  They had readymade lessons to teach my students these valuable skills. The discussions within their groups allowed them to communicate with each other.  From there, I could tailor the next set of lessons based on their needs.

  • Nearpod has partnered with Common Sense Media and Teaching Tolerance for these lessons.  Students can go through lessons that meet their individual digital footprint needs.
  • Lessons meet the needs of each learner.  They are scaffolded to serve students at every level of learning. There are lessons for all levels of learners.
  • Nearpod is completely customizable.  Teachers can create Hyperdocs, interactive research lessons, and project-based learning lessons.

Data-Driven

Teachers use data often to drive their instruction.  They do this through formative and summative assessments on a daily basis.  Nearpod offers the data necessary to personalize instruction.  After completing a Nearpod lesson, I can see areas that my students are struggling in.  I can then revise my upcoming lessons to meet each student’s individual needs. Finally, I can then supply each student, or group, with their personalized Nearpod lesson.  These assessments can be through open-ended questions, polls, quizzes, and draw-its. I can review the reports to determine the needs of each student.

Reflection

The reflection piece of a lesson is more often than not, the most valuable piece for teachers.  And yet, with the rush to get through the curriculum, it is often the most overlooked. But, there is magic is in the reflection piece.  Nearpod allows for all types of questioning.

  • Open-ended questions and Collaborate Boards allows students to communicate what they learned.  It also gives them the opportunity to express what they feel they still need help on. Students can share their magical ‘aha’ moments. These magical moments are what often keeps students engaged.  Students will own their learning and be more vested in the learning outcome.
  • Teachers can poll students and tell them to click on the parts they are positive they know.  Then ask the students to circle things they haven’t quite mastered yet in a draw-it slide.
  • Students can write out what they feel are the next steps for them in an open-ended question slide.  This information is crucial in personalized learning. Without it, teachers cannot personalize learning for their students.

Personalized learning is possible with Nearpod. Teachers can customize lessons while fostering connections for their students.  They will gain an incredible amount of feedback from the Nearpod reports. Students in my classes have explored digital citizenship and traveled virtually to Egypt. These lessons targeted to student’s individual needs and interests. The robust content and incredible data keep the lessons personalized.  This is something that could not have happened without Nearpod. Nearpod keeps students engaged, and allows us to meet their personal learning needs. Nearpod will help students reach their full potential.

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