- Interactive for students
- User Friendly
- Interactive Lesson Creator, Web Tool, Device/Tablet App
I love Nearpod because of the control I have as the teacher, while still engaging the students.
Nearpod is a great way to integrate technology into direct teaching. Nearpod works best in a classroom that is one-to-one, or at least a device for every 2-4 kids. Nearpod is not a ‘sit & get’ lesson for students, or at least it has the tools so that it doesn’t have to be.
The interactive features, like polls, questions, Draw it, and collaborative boards allows (and requires) all students to participate in the lessons. As the teacher, you can see who has submitted answers/questions, while the students remain anonymous to their peers.
Simple to Use
Creating lessons is as easy as creating a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation. Actually, you can simply import an entire Slide Show presentation into a Nearpod lesson. The slides will upload as individual slides. Then, you can go in and add interactive elements to engage students in the lesson.
To deliver a live lesson, the teacher simply starts a live session from the Web tool or the app and provides students with the join code. Students do not have to sign in to participate, they can type in whatever name their teacher specifies. I have had teams enter team names, students use their ID numbers, or simply their first name and last initial. Either way, teachers can set up the lesson so that ONLY the teacher sees the students’ names.
Once students enter the join code and fill in their names, they are taken to the first slide of the lesson. And, here is the best part: the students can’t progress through the slides on their own. The teacher controls the slides. When you are ready to move to the next slide, simply swipe or click the arrow. The presentation on the students’ screens will move when you move!
With the PAID version: teachers can assign a Nearpod presentation with all the fun interactive tools as homework. Students can control the progression of the presentation on their own and complete the lesson at their own pace.
Student Voice/Interactive (synchronous)
Nearpod’s free version has the option to add quizzes, polls, a collaboration board (similar to Padlet, but confined within Nearpod), and the Draw It feature. From the teacher screen, you can watch as student responses come in live and set it so that student responses are anonymous to their peers or not. You can choose to hide names from yourself or always know who is contributing! Students feel safe to contribute and teachers can hold all students accountable for participation!
Overall, the free version of Nearpod is pretty awesome for the teacher who wants to use it for direct teaching. With the free version, you have all the basic functions that I have talked about above and you can have up to 30 students in a live session at one time.
When I first started using Nearpod, there was a month-to-month option that was incredibly doable and made upgrading to gold easily and mostly pain free. It was worth the minor monthly cost, especially knowing that I could cancel at any time.
Now, the monthly cost of Nearpod is still very reasonable, but you have to pay for an entire year upfront ($120). For me, spending $120 upfront isn’t ideal. In comparison to other Edtech tools, the yearly cost is about average. I’d suggest trying out the free version for a while first. The free version may just fit your needs.
Verdict: Try It!
I simply can’t fit all the information I’ve learned about Nearpod in this one review, so please feel free to ask any questions you might have below! I have been using Nearpod for a few years and have had both the silver and gold versions, had successes and pitfalls. Feel free to learn from my mistakes and discoveries first!
I’d also love to know you have used Nearpod creatively in your classroom! Please share below!