How I Use It
I use this product to increase student participation and debate within a classroom. I hoped that have all the students use a username, instead of their real name, would increase student participation because they wouldn't be as self conscious about posing a wrong answer. IT WORKED! All the students were eager to put forth their answers to my questions, that I can create before or even during the class. Once students started to participate, debates emerged and now students are using their persuasion skills and critically thinking about answers they put or read. But questions and assessments aren't just fill in the blank but include drawing quizzes that kids love to see.
On the first day of school, I used Nearpod as the icebreaker. Students I was able to quiz the students over my classroom rules and procedures as well as get them talking with one another by playing a "student bingo" game and a"would you rather" game where they tested out the program. Students took to it naturally and there was very little confusion.
The assessment feature is also great. Any quiz your students complete is graded and emailed to you after the lesson. This feature saved me mountains of paperwork and grading afterwards.
My overall opinion about this project is that it is a great way to increase student participation, interest, and it is a easy way to assess students. It is great for reducing the work load after teaching a lesson, but also does a better job issuing out formative assessment throughout the lesson. The available lessons are well put together and some authors involve the Khan Academy, and various museums. Even the virtual field trips are a nice touch. The site is user friendly for both the teacher and students. If teachers want to incorporate assessments into their PowerPoint presentations they can easily upload their presentations into Nearpod.
However Nearpod focuses only on content. There are no solutions to if a student exits the virtual classroom. If that happens there is no active way to get the student back into the classroom. Also there is no way to hide content, so if the teacher needs to have the students look at something off their tablet or computer screen its not possible quickly. Next, if your school has a poor internet connection it might not be worth the time. Finally I would like to have a feature to hide the student names, or give them random nicknames so students wont know who is who within the classroom, or a random group creation button,