How to teach your students to use Nearpod blog image

How to teach your students to use Nearpod

May 26, 2023Erika Tepler

While many of our students are technology whizzes, most students need to be taught how to use education technology tools like Nearpod. Just like students need explicit instruction in the core content areas, students need to be clearly instructed on how to access the unique features that Nearpod has to offer. Using Nearpod is simple because it was designed with teachers and students in mind. However, to take advantage of a lesson and all of the accessibility options, kids need mini-lessons that teach Nearpod skills.

When teachers start using Nearpod, they are often thrilled with all of the accessibility features and the breadth of both content and activities. We all want to incorporate as much as possible to make our lessons dynamic, novel, and exciting while reaching every student through multiple modalities. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves and overcomplicate lessons for our learners. To ensure that our students are truly able to engage as independent learners, we need to provide step-by-step instructions on how to use Nearpod, just like we would for any other content-area-specific assignment.

Don’t have a Nearpod account? Sign up below for free to start using these tips!

How can I teach my students to use Nearpod?

1. Use Student View to explain procedures

Each feature can be explained simply and clearly with both an oral explanation and a demonstration. For instance, when we want our students to add images to a Collaborate Board, we can explain the procedure while showing them through a student view. Project Nearpod on your screen and have students follow along. Make sure to have an engaging question ready! 

Here’s how to change to Student View from your Teacher View in just one click:

2. Teach students to use Immersive Reader independently

Immersive Reader is a fantastic accessibility feature that allows emerging readers to have text read to them and provides embedded translation and a picture dictionary for multilingual learners. It’s important to clearly indicate to students which icon and tab they need to click in order to access this rich technology

Students need plenty of time to practice their Nearpod skills. After direct instruction on how to use a Collaborate Board and Immersive Reader, students need multiple opportunities to engage with the activity independently. Co-teachers and paraprofessionals can become wonderful allies in this process. 

3. Use our pre-made Nearpod Orientation lessons

Creating Nearpod lessons about Nearpod might seem like a burden, but fortunately, the Nearpod team has done all the work for you. The Lesson Library has a variety of lessons designed to give both teachers and students help using Nearpod. These engaging lessons introduce both staff and students to how to use Nearpod and all its features properly.

4. Use our video tutorials (Tip: Upload to Nearpod to make it interactive)

Nearpod also offers video tutorials which are great for visual learners. Video tutorials are bite-sized video clips that show how to use Nearpod’s various features. They can be incorporated into your lessons or shared with students whenever necessary. You can also embed these videos as reference materials into an activity. Teachers can turn any video into a customized, interactive experience by uploading it to Nearpod and embedding questions that are relevant to the students right in front of them. You can find videos on Nearpod’s YouTube or Teacher Resources page.

Watch the tutorial below to see for yourself!

5. Making Nearpod a part of your class routine

Once students have been taught a new feature and have had time to practice, they’ll need plenty of repetition. Incorporating Nearpod into classroom routines is simple, easy, and rewarding.

Here are five easy ways to make Nearpod a habit:

Easy Routines to Creatively Engage your Classroom
  • Incorporate VR as a lesson hook. Have students explore another city, park, or underwater environment that grounds the lesson in the real world. Allow students time to explore and see something new, activating background knowledge and building schema. 
  • Use the Collaborate Board for your bell ringer. Ask an open-ended question and give students time to respond and react to their classmates. Start with a turn-and-talk to bring in face-to-face interaction! 
  • Make a Poll or Draw It exit ticket. Use Polls or drawing assessments like Draw It to get a general sense of student understanding and see student thinking.
  • Check-in on students. Explore social and emotional learning activities related to mindfulness and emotions. These are great activities for starting the day, right after lunch/recess, or when there’s an interruption in the daily routine (think fire drills!).
  • Review units and lessons with educational games. Nearpod has an enormous library of pre-made, editable activities, but creating your own is fun and easy as well. Gamify Friday afternoon and Monday mornings with Time to Climb!

6. Student accounts

Student Accounts is an optional feature that you can enable for your school or district. Available as part of the Premium Plus license, student accounts provide valuable benefits to teachers and students at your school or district. With Student Accounts, students can enjoy seamless access to lessons, change devices, take breaks, or finish lessons later without losing their progress or submissions. Also, students can create and deliver their own Nearpod presentations. Learn more about Student Accounts here.

Start using Nearpod with your students

We hope you’ll be using these resources with your students! Learning new tech tools takes time and practice, so Nearpod is here to support you and your students every step of the way.

Don’t have a Nearpod account? Sign up below for free to start using these tips!

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