As a professional development provider I have the chance to work with schools across the country. One of my favorite tools to share with teachers is NearPod. This presentation tool is perfect for schools that share devices among students or have a mix of computers, tablets and smartphones for students to use. Nearpod has become one of my go-to tools because it accomplishes a handful of goals all at the same. In addition to keeping students focused on a task, it provides real time feedback that can inform instruction and hold students accountable.
Nearpod is an online platform that teachers can use to create interactive presentations. Teachers upload a presentation to Nearpod’s website — such as an old PowerPoint presentation — and embed interactive features. This means that teachers can take a PowerPoint presentation and add quiz questions and interactive elements in between each slide. Teachers then invite students to watch and interact with the presentation during a live session.
Students will need their own mobile devices or computers that are connected to the Internet. Each student enters a pin number that is unique to that teacher’s presentation. The presentation is controlled by the teacher. Students enter their names as soon as they enter the presentation. The teacher gets to view all of the responses that students submit for any quiz questions and interactive elements.
Nearpod is fantastic for BYOD (bring your own device) learning environments. Students access Nearpod via a web browser or the Nearpod app. The Nearpod app is available on Google Chrome, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Nearpod is not specific to a specific platform or device.
Nearpod is also a tool that can be used with families. Parents can join Nearpod sessions for after-school or evening meetings with educators. They can use their own mobile device or borrow a tablet from the school. This is a great way to introduce families to the technology being used in the classroom.
Although Nearpod might seem like just a presentation tool, it can be a valuable resource for gathering formative assessment data. The purpose of formative assessment data is to help instructors understand what students understand so that they can make informed decisions about who needs extra help and what kind. The quiz and polling tool built into Nearpod can help teachers determine what information their students have mastered and what they need help understanding.
Have you tried Nearpod in your classroom? Share your thoughts on this tool in the comments section below.
Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
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