How I Use It
My average 6th-grade Library Science class size is about 29 students, which means it can be difficult to get each student involved in the lesson, especially when there is only about 30 minutes left once we have completed book selection. I utilize Nearpod as a way to get each student engaged and thinking about the lesson by starting off with a "Do Now" question. They take out their devices, log in using the pin given for each session, enter their names, and answer the question. The question populates on the whiteboard for them, and I vary the questions to include true/false, multiple choice, or short answer depending on the topic. Then I can guide them through the lesson because the app will show on their device whichever slide I am on at that time.
The interactivity of Nearpod makes a great transition between book selection and the lesson to help get the class on-task as well as encourage critical thinking for various 21st Century Learner skills. Giving students a question to answer on their device helps get their attention and keep them engaged. I appreciate how this can help any student get a similar experience as they would if they were sitting at the front of the room. With classes of 30, sometimes those "stuck" in the back are not as engaged because they do not feel like they are a part of the lesson -- with Nearpod, any student with a device and the app can feel like they have a front seat to the lesson and feel much more a part of what is going on... The only critique I have is that, at least in the free version (I have not tried the paid version), there are very few editing options as far as picture size, font size, etc. It limits how your presentation looks a bit. However, I like to create my presentations in PowerPoint so that I can make the screen and information look exactly as I would want it, then I upload the presentation to Nearpod and add in slides with interactive activities.