How I Use It
I think this product is a great way to elevate and transform a PowerPoint. Instead of simply lecturing by slides students are now able to interact with the teacher through polls and drawing on this app. I would recommend using this as a lecture tool, by sharing content in the same way one might use a PowerPoint. Students can follow along and its really great for students who are visual learners and learn best when material is written out on the technology and also reinforced by the teacher. However, students follow along with the teacher at the teacher's pace and the teacher takes over the student's computer in a sense. So students cannot flip back and forth at their own will, they have to ask the teacher to go back to another slide.
I really believe it is great for students to become interactive in the classroom. The TPACK model says that the technology should not overpower the content of the lesson and I think nearpod is the perfect balance. Students are engaged and can give feed back and poll, it is not simply a teacher reading notes from a PowerPoint. This said, it also forces teachers to interact with the students instead of talking at them, which is great. I think this is great for ELL students because they can follow along with the words on the computer in front of them. It also forces the students to come together as a class and follow along together, instead of all being on different slides. One down side is that this works ideally in a class that has their own technology. I taught a lesson for my college class using Nearpod and everyone had their own computers. However I went to public middle and high school and did not have my own computer or iPad for class. Therefore, this would be of no use to me or my teachers, since the whole point is for everyone to follow along with the same presentation. This app is not simply a substitution for a PowerPoint, it elevates it to something that is useful for teachers and students in a way that they can both learn and receive feedback as well as making the content more interesting and relatable.