Nearpod is much more than just a presentation tool. While the format is similar – advancing through a slide deck of sorts – the added functionality is what gives this tool all its power and works to enhance teaching and learning in your classroom. In addition to slides with images and text, you can add links to web content such as interactives, videos, or virtual field trips, you can also take the student from passive to active. Nearpod allows for you to add polls, quizzes, and even collaborative boards. With polls, the teacher can share with the class the results of their answers, and discuss mid-lesson what students are saying and why. Quizzes allow for feedback and grading, which can be easily accessed post-presentation for the teacher to add those scores to his or her gradebook. Collaborative boards function like a big whiteboard or bulletin board, and students (and the teacher) can add their own sticky notes using either text or images, and like others’ sticky notes in real time.
Another great feature that I appreciate is that lessons can be teacher guided, or student guided. Teacher guided lessons make for engaging whole class lessons that everyone participates in, and slides only advance when the teacher does. Meaning no one gets lost, and everyone stays on task. If you allow for student guided lessons, it means students can work at their own pace, from the classroom or their own homes (if you want to “flip” your class, for example). The great thing is that, either way you do it, students join the lesson using a code — meaning that if a student is out sick, or there’s a snow/inclement weather day, he or she can still connect using their device from home and follow along with the class.
Individual teachers can sign up for an account for free, but the higher, paid tiers offer additional features. If you are working in a school or district that has a Nearpod license, you can join as part of that and have access to the school or district library of lessons – great for collaborating with peers. Learn more here.