Five Reasons You Need to Start Using Nearpod in Your Classroom

Using Nearpod in Your Blended Learning Digital Classroom

Have you jumped on the Nearpod bandwagon yet? If not, you will after reading about all the things it can do. I started using Nearpod only after the principal of my school emailed asking who would like a free account. Knowing nothing about it, I wanted it because it was free so I signed up. Sometimes the stars align and you know that it is fate. ?
Nearpod is an interactive presentation that can be displayed on the Smartboard or personal digital devices. Each presentation is given a unique code that students use to access which means no need to have to remember usernames or passwords. The presentation can be a mixture of different slides consisting of textual information, polls, quizzes, videos, drawing activities, short answer, fill in the blanks, multiple choice, websites, etc. It allows you to vary your normal method of teaching for your students. 
Using Nearpod to engage students in blended learning
I started playing around with it. I loved so many features right away. I began by using presentations that other people created. Even though others created it, I was still able to edit their presentations to meet the needs of my students.  It took time for me to become comfortable developing my own but after a while, I ventured out and did so thus being able to have something crafted exactly to the needs of my students. My classes love Nearpod days and there are so many things I love about them too. I have figured out my top 5 that I will share with you today. 
#1: Live Lesson vs. Student Paced: There are two modes that you can display the presentations, as a live lesson or student paced. Using a live lesson allows the teacher to control everything. You control the movement of the slides so students cannot go ahead and complete activities without hearing the information first. This allows you to set the pace of the classroom so that you can stop and chat about the subject matter. I really like this mode for the introduction of a topic.  
        Student-paced allows students to work independently on the presentation. They can go at their own pace. This is great as a review of information or to differentiate learning for students that need extra help on a topic. One pitfall to this version is that students may need headphones if you have videos embedded in the presentation or you will hear multiple videos at different points at once.  
Student paced or live lesson are two options you have using nearpod
#2 Varied activities: As mentioned earlier, presentations can have different activities within it. This keeps engagement up as students don’t know what to expect. It allows you to continually assess student progress of the topic. Different activities include 
  • polls
  • science simulations
  • quizzes (multiple-choice, true/false questions), 
  • short answer responses, 
  • collaborative boards, 
  • draw it, 
  • videos, and 
  • websites. 

These different activities allow you to hit all different learning styles in your classroom and is why students get so excited for Nearpod. 

#3 Editing: You can edit presentations which allows you to personalize lessons to your classroom needs and abilities. The Nearpod library consists of free and paid presentations. Depending on your account, will give you access to certain or all presentations. No matter which type of presentation you choose, you can edit it by deleting slides or adding slides. This can help you to include more information to really break down a topic or you can eliminate information that you know is repetitive to your students. Add activities to the presentation to allow for more ways to assess them. 
#4 Assessment data: Speaking of assessments, one awesome tool is that you have access to all the data from the different activities that your students complete. You can choose to count these assessments as grades. You can leave a Nearpod as sub plans and then be able to access exactly what was completed to hold students accountable. 
The data is super simple to access. 
  1. Just click on the three dots on the presentation thumbnail. There you will be given options.
  2. Choose “reports” and click on the session you would like to view. You will be given the option to download or share through email.
#5 Ability to see engagement: One of the features that drive me mad about 1:1 digital devices is not being able to see what students are doing. (I also have an additional option that I will discuss in a later blog post). Nearpod has an answer for that! At the bottom of the teacher screen, you will be able to see how many students are logged into your presentation. This should be highlighted in green. If it is not, if it is red, then you know there is a student who is not watching the presentation. I love this feature. It allows me to easily see who is following along. 
Apps and strategies for your digital classroom
Teacher Tip: One other teacher tip that I have for you is for use when teaching a whole class lesson. If using the Smartboard, make sure to log in as a student using the code you provide them. If you log in as a teacher, then students can see who is answering questions. You do have the ability to hide names but I find students spend time trying to figure out who is who. I am lucky enough to have a Chromebook cart so I log in on my Chromebook as a teacher and sign-in on the Smartboard as a student. This also gives me the ability to see EXACTLY what my students are seeing. Some of the slide views on the activities differ from student to teacher. I found this tip to be helpful and I hope you do too.
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Looking to get started with Nearpod or want to play around with a presentation? Join my newsletter below to access this FREE Nearpod that I used to introduce literary terms to my students. You will see how I mix vocabulary and new concepts with video and activities. I am able to continually assess my students throughout the lesson allowing me to know when I can move on or what I will have to continue reviewing. Remember, you can edit this presentation (without disrupting my original) to meet the needs of your own classroom

Want to try out Nearpod?

Subscribe to my newsletter below to check out my free Literary Terms Nearpod!
Want to learn more? Check out this Facebook Live that I did on Danielle Knight from Study All Knight’s Facebook page. Comment below with any questions! 

Want to learn more about Nearpod? Check out other blog posts on this topic below: 

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