Back in the year 2012, I remember working with a group of my model classroom teachers discussing apps for the classroom. One of the math coaches said, “This app looks interesting! It’s called Nearpod.” She read the description from iTunes, and everyone thought it sounded like an app we could use!
Of course, as soon as I got home, I downloaded the Nearpod app onto my iPad to try it out. I immediately fell in love! Mainly because of its practicality. As someone who helps teachers use technology in the classroom, I first look for apps that can put my teachers at ease. Going digital can be rather intimidating. I’m sure if you have started using technology in your classroom, you know what I mean. It is hard to tread new territory, especially in front of 25 students staring at you.
Nearpod made it easy for anyone to maneuver a class set of devices with confidence and ease.
Nearpod has come a long way since 2012 with a ton of new features that take learning to the next level! My love of Nearpod runs deep. Every year they continue to blow me away with new features they add to their platform. I am a big fan of Nearpod and have shared my love for the app several times. (Here is one).
If you are a teacher with devices for every student, BYOD, or in a computer lab situation; Nearpod is an app you should check out. Here is one way I’ve used it in the classroom. Nearpod has come a long way since it first came out in 2012. It has added several new features that I think you are going to be excited about that I wanted to share with you.
Virtual Reality – Show students the world from inside your classroom by taking them on a virtual field trip. Nearpod has partnered with 360 Cities to bring you an up-close and personal look at towns and sites from around the world. Students are blown away when I show them this feature in Nearpod. I love to hear their excitement as they check out the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore. I also like they can take pictures from Nearpod from the field trip that we can use for other purposes. Here is an example:
In this lesson on Symbols of America, students are asked to write on a piece of paper the four symbols they would explore. They were then to get with a partner and talk about the meaning of the symbol. I loved how the lesson took students away from the presentation to do more than just view the symbols. Students were asked to collaborate, think critically, and communicate. However, I’d like to take it a step further and have students create. Students could take a picture of the symbol. Add the image to the Book Creator app and then create a short video with their partner about the meaning. This activity would take just a few minutes! Once finished, students have a book on American symbols.
Sway – I haven’t gotten a chance to create Sway presentations but I have seen them in action in Nearpod, and they are fantastic! The students like them when they are learning about particular topics. It takes your presentation to a whole new level of interaction. Here is a link to all of the Nearpod lessons that feature Sway. The thing I love is you don’t have to have the Sway software to view the content. It worked great on our iPad Pros.
Nearpod Collaborative – Collaborate! is an interactive brainstorming tool that allows students and teachers to share with the class in real time. I like to think of it as a Padlet wall. This collaborative tool is still in beta, so I had a little issue with it when I introduced it to a group of teachers, but I know once the bugs fixed it is going to be an excellent way to engage students.
Nearpod 3D – Sometimes it’s hard to teach a concept when you don’t have a 3D model to help you. With this new feature, Nearpod 3D immerses students in the lesson by allowing them to rotate, zoom and explore the objects. There are a lot of 3D objects to choose from, and hopefully one day you will be able to add your own. Here is a link to check out some of the 3D lessons.
Have you had a chance to check out Nearpod’s latest features? Let me know what you think in the comments.