5 Reasons to use Nearpod in your Online Classes
Some people falsely believe that a teacher’s job is now easier than ever! All she/has to do is sit down, open his/her laptop, sign in to MS Teams or Zoom, and start the lesson from the comfort of his/her own home. This might be, to some extent, true, but what non-teachers don’t understand is how hard it is to engage your students online and keep the class interactive. Making your class student-centred might seem like an impossible mission sometimes, and maintaining discipline and order in your online class is even more challenging!
Therefore, as a teacher, I would like to share a tool that worked wonders for me in my classes. Nearpod.com is not just a website for online quizzes and games, it is actually an interactive presentation website that enables you to have everything that you need in your session in one place. Not only will it make your teaching job a lot easier, but it will also make your class much more fun!
Here is why you should use it in your online classes.
Reason #1: It takes attendance for you!
You no longer need to waste 5-10 minutes of your precious time going through a class list and calling out names of students. Once you start a live session with your students, you get a link and a code to share with them. After students open the link:join.nearpod.com, they enter the code that you give them, and then put their first and last names. They appear to you on your screen at the bottom left corner with an icon that shows you the number of students enrolled online in your class.Once you click on that icon, it shows you a list of the students enrolled in your class.
Reason #2: You can use it for the “warm up” section of your lesson.
Every teacher starts with a warm up question to lead up to the lesson, assess students’ prior knowledge, or link the lesson to real life. In this phase of the lesson, a question is posted for students to respond, and an academic discussion takes place. Instead of using “Padlet” or “Mentimeter” (which are both great websites as well), you can add an activity called “Collaborate Board”. This enables you to post a question, and students respond on sticky notes. You can like their comments as well by clicking on the tiny heart at the side. It only has two drawbacks: there is no timer, and you cannot comment on students’ posts. However, you can have your own timer in class using online timers such as https://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer or you can simply use your phone or share the timer in your laptop. Comments to students’ posts could be done orally through a rich, academic discussion at the end of the activity.
Reason #3: You can use it for mid-class check-ins and formative assessments.
Nearpod provides you with a wide range of interactive activities that aid you to check for students’ understanding, which you can either use in the middle of the session to check in for students understanding in the class as well as at the end of the session for a plenary. You can create a quiz, ask an open-ended question, include an interactive game on the concepts of the lesson, provide them with a matching activity to match flashcards, conduct a memory test and even create a poll to check for their understanding. All their responses are recorded for you and shared on your interactive PPT, which you are also sharing with your students in the class. As you flip through your slides, it changes on their screens as well, giving you full control on what you want your students to do EVERY SINGLE SECOND of the lesson. You also have full control over the time of each activity, so you have your timer right there on the screen as well!
Reason #4: All the data you could possibly need!
Every single teacher is always asked to provide and make use of data in her/his classroom. With nearpod, a full report is emailed to you upon your request after any session! By clicking on the “nearpod” icon at the top of your screen and choosing “reports”, the system automatically generates a full report on participation, attendance, students’ scores in the quizzes, activities as well as their written responses, student by student! It also provides you with charts, figures, percentages and numbers so you can identify the number of students who, for example, scored 75 percent and above in today’s lesson. You can use it to reflect on your lesson and plan for the upcoming lessons.
Reason #5: Use your existing PPTs and GoogleSlides!
Already have that lesson in a PPT or on Google slides? No need to reinvent the wheel. As teachers, we need to work smarter, not harder. You can upload your existing PPT on nearpod or open your Google Slides PPT and use the existing PPT of yours. Use nearpod to add final touches and make your presentation more interactive by incorporating activities, videos, links, quizzes, games and many more options. Just create an account on nearpod and play around a little!
Important Note: You cannot edit your PPT slides once you upload them on nearpod. If you need to make any changes, make them on Powerpoint before you upload your PPT.
Finally, I am attaching here all the links you need to get you started with nearpod:
And there you have it! 5 reasons to start using nearpod.com in your online classes. Personally, I am also thinking of using it more often in the actual classroom, once things get back on track. It’s simple, it’s very helpful, and most importantly; it’s fun!!