App review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2018
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Interactive slideshow tool engages students, promotes collaboration

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 122 reviews
Privacy rating
79%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
K–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Critical Thinking

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Pros: Students actively participate in their education while teachers get valuable feedback on student learning.

Cons: Creating and modifying presentations can be time consuming and can get expensive; some features may not work on all devices.

Bottom Line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and offers both teacher- and student-paced learning.

Teachers can use Nearpod to support student learning in a variety of ways. Give students opportunities for interaction and immediate feedback by having them draw on a map or diagram, respond to a poll question, post a note or image to a collaboration board, or take a multiple-choice quiz. Bring the world to your classroom by taking kids on a virtual field trip to a national park or a different country. Help students review key learning concepts by watching videos, reviewing notes, or taking their own notes. Let kids design their own slideshows and teach each other. Incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) and digital citizenship skills with pre-created lessons on empathy, cyberbullying, or Internet safety. 

Whether students label planets in the solar system, respond to a poll question on climate change, watch a video on how to find the volume of a cylinder, review notes on the different parts of speech, or submit an open-ended response analyzing a primary source, they're interacting with content in meaningful ways. Thousands of certified publisher- and educator-created lessons are available for use or modification, some for free and others at reasonable prices.

Editor's note: Common Sense Education has a partnership with Nearpod. However, Common Sense Education's reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.

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Nearpod is the go-to tool for interactive presentations and assessments. Teachers use the site to create original multimedia presentations or draw from an extensive, growing library of pre-made offerings (many CCSS-aligned and some at a cost). Teachers can upload videos, images, audio clips, and PDF files as well as embed multiple-choice quizzes and polls. Draw Its (students write directly on a slide), collaboration boards, and open-ended questions provide plenty of variety to liven up presentations. Teachers launch the presentation and monitor progress either from the website or through the app. Using the Nearpod app on their devices, students input a code and their names to access content and submit responses.

With Nearpod, teachers interact with students and view student responses in real time, enabling students to take ownership of their learning rather than passively viewing a teacher-directed whole-class presentation. Teachers can control the timing or launch homework sessions in which students move through at their own pace. Either way, it's easy to see who is and who isn't viewing the presentation, which helps with classroom management and reinforces appropriate use of technology in the classroom. To account for downtime when waiting for peers to finish responding, it might be a good idea to encourage students to take notes for later review.

Nearpod provides immediate feedback and lets teachers know where reteaching would benefit students. When students receive quiz scores, they can ask questions in the moment to correct errors or take notes to strengthen their understanding of the content. As a differentiation tool, students can move through content at their own pace, and teachers may choose to assign students different presentations or give them a chance to create their own. Since collaboration boards show immediate results to polls, ideas, and images, students can engage in classroom discussion and up-voting. Nearpod is also useful as a homework tool or when a substitute is present (currently in beta). Students can access self-paced assignments on their own device and respond to open-ended questions that the teacher can review online and use to prepare follow-up lessons as needed. 

When direct instruction is a necessity, Nearpod offers a fantastic way to increase student involvement. It would be nice to see some additional collaborative features like a backchannel or group annotation capabilities for further collaboration and communication. Teachers interested in using Nearpod to its fullest capabilities will want to check out the extensive learning resources available through webinars, professional development presentations, and the site's blog.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Students are able to move through teacher-directed or self-directed interactive presentations using nearly any device. The chance to receive immediate feedback on assessments and polls increases buy-in.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Interactive features make deeper learning possible during direct instruction; assigning presentations as self-paced assignments empowers students. Collaboration and drawing features allow for alternative forms of assessment.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The site provides real-time results and reports to monitor student progress and modify instruction. Support is extensive for all users; Nearpod solicits teacher feedback and offers regular webinars and updates on new features.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Community Rating

(See all 122 reviews) (122 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Cara R. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Marriotts Ridge High School
Marriottsville, United States
Nearpod can change your lessons
I wish that more teachers at my school used Nearpod in their classrooms. I polled the class after my initial lesson and their overall response was extremely positive. I like the ability to use both Google Slides or Power Point presentations. Engagement was the first hook in the lesson. I made lessons that include student interaction, thereby making them active participants in the lesson. Nearpod address every aspect of the TPACK model. It helps teachers utilize a technology to improve content knowledge ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Unclear whether opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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