10 ways to use Nearpod in the classroom
Last week, Nick Acton, Primary Apple Specialist Trainer and Apple Curriculum Coordinator at JTRS, shared ideas on how to make the most out of Nearpod in the classroom.
First off, what is Nearpod?
Nearpod helps educators make any lesson interactive whether in the classroom or virtual. The concept is simple. A teacher can create interactive presentations that can contain Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Collaborate Boards, and more. You can access thousands of pre-built K-12 standards-aligned lessons or upload your existing lessons and make them interactive.
The students can access a teacher’s presentation through a code and the teacher then moves the class through the presentation and lets students interact with the media as they go. Teachers can also opt for Student-Paced mode, where the student controls the flow of the lesson. This mode is perfect for sub days, weather days, homework assignments, or independent work. The app is web-based and works on any device with an internet connection. Below are just ten ways of utilizing this multifaceted tool.
1) Simple presentation delivery
At it’s most simple, you can use Nearpod as a substitute for other presentation tools. Instead of running a Powerpoint or Google Slides, you can utilize Nearpod and make the lesson more interactive. You can even ‘drag and drop’ your existing Google slides, PDFs and PowerPoints into the app for it to instantly create a Nearpod presentation. Then you can select from countless interactive activities and formative assessments. The presentations will be beamed to each students’ device in the classroom. You also do not have to rely on students being able to see the board.
2) Personalized provision
Following on from the idea of using Nearpod as a simple presentation tool, you could isolate the use of the app to one child or a small group. It could be that you are beaming extra teaching provisions to particular pupils during a starter. This could be the missing link that provides more support for a child with visual impairments. It could provide that extra bit of help for a low attainer in your class.
3) Distributing resources
Using the app to distribute resources is another simple way of using it in the classroom. You can fill your presentation with images or worksheets and ask the students to use the Students Notes Feature to save the presentation to their drive to access the information later when studying for an exam or completing homework.
4) Live formative assessment
The app can become even more useful if you insert one of Nearpod’s many formative assessment activities into your presentation. As a teacher, you can create customized Quizzes, Polls, Open-ended Questions, Matching Pairs, and more that can be used to check for students’ understanding in real-time. The teacher can instantly gain insights into the classes’ overall understanding and make adjustments on the fly.
5) Ongoing assessment
Why not utilize the formative assessments in Nearpod throughout a term to ascertain ongoing assessment data? When the students have finished a quiz, Nearpod will automatically create a report for you. You can access the reports directly through the app and download the data as PDF overviews, CSV files (to be embedded in Excel) as well as reports on individual students. This really helps you to gain a completely comprehensive understanding of your students’ ongoing progress. It takes the grading out of your hands and does it for you.
It is common practice in Primary and Secondary schools for students to assess themselves and evaluate their own confidence levels. This is usually achieved through a traffic light system that children are encouraged to draw in their workbooks. Red indicates a poor confidence level, amber indicates a fair understanding and green indicates a very good understanding of any given learning topic. Nearpod contains the option of inserting a ‘Poll’. In this situation, students’ opinions are questioned. This makes the ‘Polling’ tool a perfect feature to use when ‘traffic lighting’ in the classroom. The information is then saved in the aforementioned reports!
The app also has a feature called ‘Draw It’ that can be built into your presentations. This beams an interactive whiteboard to the students’ devices. The teacher’s device will display all of the students’ ‘drawings’ and the teacher can then ‘share’ individual whiteboards with the entire class. Hitting share will cause the chosen ‘drawing’ to appear on every device. This enables teachers to share good work and model good progressions.
8) Open-ended tasks
Nearpod allows for creative flexibility. The ‘Open-Ended Questions’ feature allows the teacher to pose a question or set up a scenario for the students to respond to. With this tool, you can facilitate creative writing tasks. As a result, the advantage of using something like Nearpod for this kind of activity is that the ‘Open-Ended’ answers are then automatically logged in the reports.
9) Setting homework
All of the above examples revolve around the idea of using Nearpod in a Live session, but students can also engage on their own time. You can provide a Student-Paced code and they can access the Nearpod lesson at home, or anywhere with an internet connection.
10) Sharing and using pre-made resources
One way of using Nearpod involves almost no work at all. Tapping on the ‘Explore’ button within the main landing page of the app will take you through to a library of pre-made Nearpod lessons. You can find interactive presentations on almost anything for K-12.
Nearpod in the classroom
The customizable nature of the app means that it can be applied to any age range and teaching context. It saves you time with real-time formative assessment and session reports and helps build a connected culture in and outside of the classroom.
Nearpod’s award-winning platform is used by thousands of schools around the globe, transforming classroom engagement.