Nearpod is like the Join.me for iPad presentations, yet – better. I’ve seen iPad browser sharing tools and iPad presentation managers, yet nothing with the suite of tools Nearpod offers for classroom instruction.

“Nearpod is an excellent way to integrate ipads in the classroom, maintain integrity and classroom management, and be thorough in teaching a concept,” says Sair Weitmann, a seventh and eighth grade English teacher at American Heritage School in Plantation, FL.

Nearpod, which is free and works on any mobile iOS device as well as online with a Web browser, makes it easy for educators to:

  • Share live presentations in-person or remotely
  • Show quality multimedia like images, video and audio
  • Assess students’ comprehension of the material, and
  • Monitor progress and activity within the presentation.

With Nearpod’s Content Tool, teachers can create visual slides and add interactive features such as polls, Q&A, quizes, videos and drawings. Presentations can be published online so that students can access the information in the cloud without the interactive assessment features.

“I love the fact that the lesson or unit I’m teaching is encompassed in a nice little package – from building prior-knowledge, to teaching the concept, to assessing student comprehension, all wrapped up in one,” says Weitmann.

From the Nearpod Teacher app, educators can monitor students’ participation in the application, determining whether they answered questions correctly or are remaining on the application on their device. With the Reporting Tool, educators can view classroom progress, drill down into an individual students’ answers and download reports for further grading an analysis.

“When running a program, the students cannot forward through on their own. The teacher controls the presentation. The teacher can embed quizzes or polls to assess each step of the way, if they wish,” says Weitmann. “Nearpod’s feature of tracking how many students are in the app allows the teacher to make sure students are on task.”

In the Nearpod Student app, students interact with the touch-screen presentation and view assessment results anonymously when displayed by the teacher to the class. Weitmann says, “I also like that I can reach the students who are not as apt to participate by raising their hands. They feel safe that their responses are anonymous to the other students.”

Using Nearpod requires teachers to develop new presentations for their class, rather than simply pulling up the PowerPoint presentation they used in the past. This could be one disadvantage, requiring increased lesson planning time.

“It takes some time up front to plan and create, but that time is well spent,” says Weitmann. “Because all of the materials you need are in the program, you can continue a lesson over the course of days or weeks from just one Nearpod presentation.”

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