For classrooms that have 1:1 access with IPads, Nearpod would be one of those tools I would say absolutely had to be used in classroom instruction. Mandatory use in instruction. It combines presentation and lecture, quizzes, polling and formative assessment, video and hands on demonstrating. There are two sides to Nearpod: the teacher side and the student side. From the teacher side, one can create interactive lessons by creating a presentation in Nearpod that is like a PowerPoint on steroids. There are six different types of features a teacher can add into a presentation. The presentation can have multiple features, all one feature or a mixture of whatever the author wants.
A few observations about the features:
- If a teacher already has PowerPoints created and wants to incorporate those slides into a Nearpod presentation, it would be complete possible! Just go to PowerPoint and save the PPT as images (this is an option in the File Menu). Now each one of your slides is an image file that can be uploaded to Nearpod. I think the whole “Save as Images” option is key in using Nearpod with materials you’ve already created.
- The quizzes and Q&A make great formative assessment. It’s a little bit tricky to do an open ended question or a question with multiple answers, but it is do-able.
- “Draw it” is pretty awesome. I tested it out in a math presentation at halfway through the presentation, the teacher included a “Draw it” slide where the students had to work through the problem. The teacher sees all responses on his/her IPad.
The teacher creates an interactive, instructional presentation or lesson on the web. When it’s time for the lesson, the teacher uses and IPad and logs in to the Nearpod app as a teacher. The students type in a code assigned to that presentation and are immediately taken to the lesson. It’s a teacher-paced presentation, so students are only able to see the part of the presentation the teacher wants. When the teacher is ready to move on to the next screen of the presentation, the teacher swipes the screen and all student screens will go to the next feature. It’s a great instructional app that allows the teacher to move through content while allowing students the opportunity to get involved and participate, all while collecting data on understanding.
Nearpod is one of those progression instructional tools. Content used to be delivered through lecture. Then overhead. Then PowerPoint presentations. Now the presentation includes interactive elements and is right there in each student’s hands. It’s best used in situations where there is 1 IPad for every 1 student involved (either a 1:1 environment or a small group setting). I think that in the future of IPads in Education, Nearpod will be the instructional tool that all others are measured by.