What is Nearpod?
Nearpod is a fantastic collaboration tool for staff and students, which is available on iOS, Android and the Web. The app allows a class leader (whether that’s a student or staff member) to create an interactive presentation for display on other people’s individual devices – phones, tablets or computers.
It’s quick and easy to create this interactive content, and the material can range from simple presentations with questions to full-blown quizzes with corresponding feedback. Nearpod allows real-time feedback from the group to the class leader. For example, teachers can present the results of a group survey immediately to the whole class with the tap of a button.
What does the app look like and how do I use it?
There are two aspects to Nearpod: the creation of presentations and the viewing of those presentations.
In order to be able to create presentations a teacher will first need to sign up for a free licence. (We also have some paid licences available, which allow for more than the 30-connected-device limit that exists on the free licence. The paid tier also unlocks various extra features, which you can read about in more detail on the Nearpod website.) To build a presentation you use Nearpod in your internet browser. You can use an existing PowerPoint presentation as a starting point or you can choose to create new PowerPoint files specifically for use in Nearpod.
When you want to present to an audience, you simply upload the relevant file, ensuring that you have added any extra interactions that you want to include, then publish the presentation and run it in the classroom.
The viewing app is free from both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or you can access Nearpod on the web at nearpod.com. Each member of the audience will need a device with access to the app or to the website. When the presenter begins the session he/she will be shown a code, to be given to the audience. An audience member connects to the presenter’s Nearpod by entering this code. It’s as simple as that.
How could this app help me?
Nearpod can help bridge the gap between teacher and student, and turn what could be a passive session into a dynamic one. Any input made by a student or teacher can be shown in real-time to everyone else in the class who has a connected device – a teacher can therefore tweak sessions as needed, perhaps going into more detail in areas suggested by the class or filling gaps in knowledge as identified by quizzes. The use of Nearpod can be a good way to shake up a normal lecture or seminar, and might even prompt a teacher to rethink their approach to a particular teaching session.
Ideas for using Nearpod:
- Students and staff can use their own preferred device to interact with lectures, not something you’re unfamiliar with!
- Students can work digitally in groups without having to use a main screen.
- Receive instant feedback from in-class quizzes, and tailor the class according to its results.
- Staff can enhance presentations with interactivity.
- Encourages all members of a group to engage with the topic being discussed.
Keep an eye out on Tel Tales for more info on Nearpod in early 2018!