Get interactive with Nearpod! I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to present information to my students. Being in a classroom with a class set of Chromebooks has opened up new possibilities to get my students engaged with the content.
One that I've been excited about lately is Nearpod. Nearpod provides apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome OS, so it works on virtually any device with an internet connection. So, what is Nearpod? In short, it's a way for teachers to put together and present interactive presentations, which in turn, keep students engaged. Gone are the days of students staring at a boring PowerPoint presentation (or Keynote if you're an Apple person) while the teacher spews out information.
With Nearpod, students are engaged drawing, taking quizzes, participating in a poll, completing fill in the blank exercises, and/or writing short answers to questions that are posed by the teacher in the Nearpod. You may have seen these features in other presentation software or incorporated them into your own PowerPoints, but Nearpod takes it one step further where you can take virtual field trips or examine particular items with Nearpod 3D.
Nearpod 3D includes subjects such as anatomy, the environment, ancient buildings, as well as the planets. Nearpod 3D allows students to examine a picture from all angles while manipulating the picture. You can insert a Nearpod Filed Trip, which is a virtual reality type tour of a particular place, such as the Acropolis in Greece or a pyramid in Mexico. Nearpod also allows you to upload a video from Dropbox, Google Drive, or find one and insert it from YouTube.
Another plus of Nearpod is that you can take those old presentations you've been using for years and upload them into Nearpod and turn them in to interactive presentations that will wow students and colleagues. Simply insert activities in your slide deck deck and boom, your old presentation has been updated for the 21st century student.
And, while the students are working on a particular Nearpod, you can monitor their progress. It's awesome! The teacher can control the pace of the presentation or, with an upgrade, let students proceed through the Nearpod at their own pace.
One of the things that makes Nearpod stand out is its sense of community. There are many pre-made Nearpods that you can add to your own library, both paid and free. So, if you find yourself in a pinch (perhaps you've taken ill) and want your students to use Nearpod but don't have one ready to go, you can browse the selections that cover your topic and add it to your library.
Nearpod also features what they call "collaborate." Collaborate is a virtual message board where students post a quick answer to a question posed by the teacher. Collaborate is a great way to start of a presentation while activating prior learning or reviewing from the previous day.
At the end of the session, you have the option to view and download a report of your session for analysis and/or gradebook purposes.
If you can't tell, I'm excited about using Nearpod in my classes! If your looking for a new way to engage your students in the classroom, or just want to add another option to your teaching practice, you owe it to yourself to check out Nearpod. For more info, check out nearpod.com.