Taking learning to the next level - Al Hekma's Nearpod journey (Blog image)

Taking learning to the next level: Al Hekma’s Nearpod journey

August 18, 2023Nearpod Team

Founded in 1985, Al Hekma International School (AHIS) is a forward-thinking school in Bahrain dedicated to fostering accountable, confident, and motivated lifelong learners through a balanced international curriculum. Accredited by the Bahrain Ministry of Education and renowned organizations like MSA and Cognia, AHIS prioritizes nurturing 21st-century skills and global awareness among its 1,000 students.

In response to the post-pandemic challenges, AHIS turned to Nearpod while searching for an all-encompassing solution that could offer interactive resources, real-time progress tracking, and personalized engagement. Nearpod enhanced teaching dynamics but aligned with the school’s focus on digital citizenship and social emotional learning (SEL), propelling Al Hekma on a path of continued educational excellence and growth.

Highlights of Al Hekma’s success with Nearpod

Al Hekma school
  • From August 2022 to present
  • 6,800+ lessons edited using Nearpod
  • 22% of resources from Nearpod library, in addition to teachers’ own resources
  • Around 2,075 activities were completed by students using the platform
  • Students joined Nearpod more than 126,000 times across a range of subjects

New to Nearpod? Learn more about international school and district licenses.


As students returned to the classroom at Al Hekma International School following the COVID-19 pandemic, a new challenge emerged for its principal and teachers: How could they measure and support every student’s progress without overwhelming teachers after such a fragmented period in everyone’s lives? Teachers needed instant insights in order to improve student engagement, performance, and self-esteem, and they needed a solid, diverse bank of resources they could draw on to make the necessary changes.


Al Hekma started integrating Nearpod in 2021, and the school had several training sessions with the Nearpod team experts to ensure all their needs were met. Teachers were trained on how to create lessons, summative and formative assessments, and reporting. They valued having a one-stop solution that enabled them to use various resources at the same time from the same place.

The results

  • Usage grew steadily, and within a year, over half of the teachers became Nearpod Certified Educators
  • Nearpod seamlessly integrated into the school’s teaching approach and is now embraced across various subjects.
  • Giving teachers tools to track progress and pain points in real time has made decision-making more effective and has ramped up student performance.
  • No student or teacher need ever be left behind. Fully engaged students are learning more, learning faster, and making the most of every minute in class.
  • Self-paced learning has played a pivotal role in nurturing teachers’ autonomy, self-assurance, and sense of responsibility.
  • Teachers feel more empowered to personalize lessons by providing a strong, versatile base of trustworthy resources and templates they can edit and adapt.
Nearpod's impact graph at Al Hekma

How Nearpod empowered a forward-thinking school in Bahrain to redefine excellence in education

Al Hekma’s principal, Maya Harb, had discovered Nearpod prior to the pandemic – when it was recommended as part of a routine school tech audit. In a flash, Nearpod became the school’s one-stop solution during the lockdown, ensuring that staff and students could access the materials and resources they needed and spurring active participation. But that was just the beginning, as the partnership evolved and continued well into the next normal.

Maya believes that Nearpod not only streamlined the transition back to the classroom but also made the teaching and learning experience more meaningful than ever.

Besides empowering teachers to track student attendance and engagement, Adreen Haddad, Al Hekma’s instructional coach and Nearpod PioNear, also highlights how Nearpod provides her with essential insights into progress across various classes and subjects:

“In addition to the instant feedback Nearpod gives us, when I check the session reports, I can see and save teachers’ notes, track which students are engaged, check their answers, and save reports to review and compare at any time and in any format.”

 A small step for teachers, a giant leap for students

Al Hekma International School has always embraced transformation and innovation as integral to its mission of facilitating continuous growth and excellence for both students and teachers. This courage is deeply rooted in the unwavering trust and support that permeates the relationships among teachers, staff, students, and parents.

Teacher using data driven instruction on Nearpod to help students during class

Adreen vividly describes the initial enthusiasm among teachers and students after Nearpod was implemented in 2022. “Right from the beginning, our teachers were fully on board, and students found it incredibly easy to join using the provided code,” she recalls.

In the first year, the school started with 60 teacher’s licenses across different subjects. Then, in the following year, they elevated their engagement and upgraded to Nearpod Premium, which provided them with 30 accounts to work with.

The implementation process was made seamless through comprehensive step-by-step video tutorials, hands-on training sessions, and dedicated Nearpod workshops on formative assessments. This set the stage for a transformative educational experience that has since become an integral part of their approach.

One of the aspects that resonated most with teachers is the convenience of consolidating all their instructional resources within a single platform. Adreen highlights how Nearpod streamlines this process:

“With Nearpod, we can open all YouTube channels from within the same session, allowing us to seamlessly track everything from attendance to student engagement.” She reflects on the previous practices where teachers would juggle multiple platforms, such as PowerPoint presentations, YouTube, and other resources, causing inefficiencies.

Making the most of every minute in class

For Maya and Adreen, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing engaged students immersed in a learning experience. Adreen explains how Nearpod is helping students stay on task and make the most of each class.

“Our students love the activities, which are the most interesting and interactive parts of the lesson. You see how they come alive with Time to Climb or Draw It, how their creativity and critical thinking shine through.”

Time to Climb
Draw It

And it’s not just students who are experimenting and exploring. The Nearpod library has been a springboard for teachers preparing activities and planning lessons that are vibrant but also vibe with the school’s values and vision, as Maya explains:

“Our teachers love that they can start from scratch using Nearpod as a platform, or that they download presentations from the library and edit them in accordance with our priorities and standards, adjusting them and changing the templates.”

From digital natives to digital citizens

Digital literacy and English proficiency are at the heart of Al Hekma’s mission to give students the best skills, achievements, and opportunities – but teaching these comes with responsibilities. In her commitment to building students’ emotional and social skills, Adreen has found a firm ally in Nearpod’s 21st Century Readiness Program:

“Our computer department promotes Internet safety and digital citizenship, and the emotional and social package that we’ve added to our licenses during the past two years with Nearpod have really helped teachers to search for good resources. We apply common standards and share feedback on how the students are evolving as digital citizens.”

Preview of Nearpod's Common Sense Digital Citizenship Lesson: We the Digital Citizens

Maya explains how this emotional and social learning package the school added as part of its upgrade to a premium license has nurtured students’ confidence and critical thinking.

“The topics are impressive, inclusive, and really help students reflect on how to collaborate with each other, and the advice Nearpod gave us on how to work with the resources was really helpful.”

SEL drawing activity on Nearpod's Draw It

Adreen adds that Nearpod also supports Al Hekma’s priorities in giving students autonomy and recognition:

“The self-paced learning, where the teacher gives access to the students, really improves their independence and sense of personal and collective responsibility.”

Real-time solutions and real-life skills

Al Hekma relies on data to make decisions as a school – not just at the administration level but also at the teaching level, as Maya explains: 

“Every single decision that is related to learning in class is taken thanks to the instant feedback that the teacher receives from the students. For example, when the teacher notices that there is a trend where everybody makes the same mistake, he or she can immediately channel this information to revisit the concept.”

For the principal, the transformation is palpable, saving teachers time and enabling them to make changes the day of, and not the day after. It also gives a voice to all students, not just those who “raise their hands and jump to answer.” For Maya, Nearpod has created greater equality in the classroom, giving shyer students the confidence and opportunity to participate.

“Thanks to Nearpod, no student is left behind in class. All our students can take part, all our students can show us what they understand or don’t understand, and we’re right there to help.”

Recognizing and empowering teachers

In addition to recognizing students’ progress, Maya and Adreen create social media posts and videos to celebrate teachers’ accomplishments with the platform.

The Nearpod certificates have pride of place on the principal’s office wall and in the school reception, and Maya makes a point of sharing the school’s achievements with the tool with parents and students, and through the school’s handbooks and websites.

Maya emphasizes the significance of Adreen, a dedicated Nearpod PioNear, in the implementation process: “She started a positive domino effect – the happiness, pride, and recognition are contagious: The more teachers we congratulate for using Nearpod, the more want to join, and we’re thrilled to share their success.”

Recognizing and empowering teachers is of paramount importance in cultivating a thriving educational environment. Maya understands that administrators play a pivotal role in acknowledging the dedication, innovation, and hard work that teachers bring to the classroom. By fostering a supportive atmosphere and valuing their unique insights, administrators create a sense of empowerment that translates into enhanced teaching quality and student engagement.

The future of Nearpod at Al Hekma

Moving into Al Hekma’s third year with the platform, Maya and Adreen plan to use Nearpod to help teachers share good practices and to keep admin staff tuned into the progress that’s being made in the classroom.

In addition to academics, AHIS aims to foster in every student a positive attitude toward lifelong learning, a deep value for cultural diversity, and the essential skills of advanced thinking and effective problem-solving, crucial for their future achievements.

New to Nearpod? Learn more about international school and district licenses.

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