What is it?
Nearpod markets itself as an all in one mobile device solution for teachers. It’s motto is ” Create, engage, assess.”
I know, I know. What exactly does that mean? It means that you can upload your presentations, add interactive quizzes, polls, websites, videos, etc. Once you have uploaded your presentation, your students download the app on their devices (in our case, their iPads) and they can follow along with your presentation on their own devices.
Their is a free version as well as a subscription based paid version.
I tried it out by uploading my Traf Reads 2014 presentation.
I could either upload content from my iPad (though it only allowed me to browse files in my camera roll, Dropbox and google drive) or I could use my desktop and simply drag and drop my files.This worked well once I figured out how to get to the screen that allowed me to crewe a new presentation- it wasn’t obvious on their default screen. But now that I have logged back in I am getting a very clear, intuitive screen that tells me exactly where to go, so maybe that was an anomaly…
After that it was very intuitive, but BEWARE: you have to first convert your presentations into PDFs.
I also tried creating my slides from scratch on nearpod:
I guess it would do in a pinch, but I personally like having more options.
It is also very easy to add a poll or a quiz:
For the poll option however, you are only allowed 8 options per question. You can also ask your students to draw something for you. For example, if you have just gone through a geometry concept, you can give your students a problem and ask them to draw their answer and submit it.
Sharing with your students
This is the super easy brilliant part. The students simply need to download the free app and choose the student option:
They are asked to join a session:
They can then follow along with your powerpoint on their own device. Here is an image of the student iPad on the left and the teacher iPad on the right:
The students are then asked to sign in so that the teacher can see their responses:
This is how the quizzes look like to students:
Nice, elegant interface!
The teacher in the meantime is collecting the results on there device:
So far, this is the best interactive assessment tool I’ve seen. It is simple and intuitive. The downside is the fact that you can only upload PDFs. It also does not function like an interactive whiteboard like showme or explain everything, nor does there seem to be a recording feature. However, if you have an existing powerpoint you use, this is a great way to go through the slides with your class (as long as it is a 1:1 class). The ability to add assessment tools to your presentation and give them in realtime, as well as the ability to anonymously evaluate your students’ responses, is extremely interesting.
Free Vs. Upgrade
The free version allows you to do quite a bit, but it is limited. The upgrade is a subscription where you have to pay a monthly fee, one that I find a little steep.Here is a screenshot of the different upgrade options:
In my opinion, the free version gives you enough to work with.
Nearpod is a very interesting option for delivering content in a 1:1 device classroom. Check it out!