How I Use It
Nearpod is an interactive presentation tool that allows teachers to build multi-media presentations for their content. Nearpod is a great tool to get every student engaged and interacting in the lesson. I used Nearpod to replace content that I previously taught using presentation software such as Power Point. I found that Nearpod was a much superior tool because every student must interact with the presentation on their own device. Nearpod also allowed me to make my lessons more engaging by adding interactive features such as video, music, polls, quizzes, and slides that the students had to draw on to demonstrate understanding. As I advanced the slides, the students would see the slide on their own device. They were able to take notes and email them to themselves at the end of the lesson, and I was able to capture formative assessment data from every student on the fly. Nearpod reports allowed me to further analyze the student responses after class and make instructional decisions for the next day.
I love using Nearpod for direct instruction. The students were engaged, and I really liked that every student was interacting with me, even those who might otherwise shy away from contributing to the class discussion. I also love the ability to share individual responses with the whole class anonymously. This feature was a great way to launch a class discussion, especially when there were conflicting viewpoints. We could do error analysis of student work without anyone feeling embarrassed that they had gotten the wrong answer. The "draw me" slides were great for students showing their work in math class. However, I found this feature to be a little "glitchy" when I used my iPad to lead the session. My teacher screen would often freeze and I would have to restart. Fortunately, I did not run into this same issue when I used my laptop to control the session.
Overall, Nearpod is a wonderful tool for introducing content. It was easy to insert videos to capture students attention, and direct them safely to websites where they could discover more on their own. It was also great that Nearpod works on most platforms. Students can participate in the lesson using the internet, an iOS mobile device, or an Android mobile device. One major drawback to Nearpod is that every student must have his or own device. This may be challenging for schools with limited access to technology.