Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nearpod Review

I've used Nearpod several times over the last month with a wide variety of classes and lesson content.   Nearpod is a free web-based program and app to use for teaching interactive lessons on any subject.  Once the teacher logs in and creates the lesson, or chooses one of the free or paid lessons to download, he/she is ready to teach!  Students use the app to log in from an iPad or mobile device.  If they are using Macs, go to the website to enter the Pin.   The teacher gives them a Pin that is specific to that lesson.  Each student enters the Pin and then waits for the teacher to advance the screen and move to the next part of the lesson.  The next screen is a name page where students can enter first, last name, or any combination.  Then the teacher controls and advances the lesson through her device.  There are ready made lessons available for purchase from $2.99 and up and also, many free lessons are available as well.  My thought however, was why buy a lesson when they're so easy to create.  In just over an hour, I had navigated my way to a lesson without help.  It's very user friendly.  Also, there are many options available to make the lessons interactive and engaging.  You can create slides with text, images, and audio.  There are options to insert URL's, videos, PPTs, etc.  There are also features which allow you to create quizzes, draw it (students can annotate over), open ended response, and more.  In the quiz feature, you can make a key and Nearpod will grade it for you and put in your reports.  All responses from students are sent directly into your reports.  This is a nice feature to use with parent conferences or RTI meetings.  Overall, Nearpod gets a huge thumbs up from me.  The only negative I can share is having to buy lessons.  But since you can create your own or use free ones, that really shouldn't deter anyone.