How Nearpod Makes Distance Learning Easy

August 9, 2019Elizabeth Ferrari

As a teacher in the Northeastern part of the country I have encountered many snow days. I love them, but I have struggled to get my curriculum in when we are out for days at a time. One year, my school had 17 snow days in two months. As a Kindergarten teacher, I initially struggled because I did not want to assign new material and I did not want to assign busy work. Eventually, I started assigning self-paced lessons to my students on those days to keep them learning even from home.  I could enable this distance learning using Nearpod.

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How I use Nearpod for distance learning

My students use Nearpod all year long in my classroom. However, their presence in the classroom may sometimes be uncertain because of weather, illness, or extended vacation. I use Nearpod for distance learning because it helps with several things.

1. One-click creation of distance learning lessons

With Nearpod, I can assign the same lesson as a live lesson and a student-paced lesson with the click of a button. It ensures I continue reinforcing previous concepts, or even creating new ones! Learn how to do this here.

2. Easy-to-follow lessons for absent students

Self-paced lessons are extremely intuitive and easy-to-follow. Additionally I prepare my students for completing lessons at home. I start off with live lessons in class. Then, I teach them how to navigate student-paced lessons when they are in the classroom, so they can do it by themselves at home.

3. Inclusion of non-reader students

As a lower elementary teacher, I am aware that not all students can read everything.  For the same, Nearpod has voice record for each slide in the lesson.  So I make sure I talk to my students while I’m showing them something new.

distance learning self-paced lesson audio recording

4. Tracking and analyzing performance

Besides engaging my students, Nearpod also enables me to track students’ performance on the lessons in real time. This way, I can share students’ performances with their parents as well. My favorite is to tell them their shy child is still participating without having to speak up in class.

5. Easy to share lessons

Nearpod makes it easy for me to share lessons. I can do it with a host of options including:
– Google Classroom
– Email
– Social Media (Twitter or Facebook)
– Sending link
Sharing code


Keeping parents involved in distance learning

My school has a curriculum night during the first few weeks of the year.  In the Nearpod lesson I created about the Kindergarten curriculum, I try to show parents as many Nearpod features as possible.  This way, when students learning from a distance on a Nearpod lesson and get stuck, parents can help them out.

Above all the existing features, Nearpod’s latest updates and new features make it even easier for teachers like me to keep my students engaged. Whether in a classroom or teaching from afar, Nearpod makes it easier for teachers to teach. 

Use existing lessons from their library or make your own. 

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