#TechTipThursday: Nearpod

Engaging learners inside the classroom can present numerous challenges, many of which seem to grow exponentially more difficult when attempting to engage learners outside of the classroom. With the help of Nearpod instructors can bring interaction to the classroom by enhancing tools that may already be in use, such a PowerPoint, PDFs, or document types. Nearpod not only increases student interaction but it lets teachers monitor engagement which, in turn, can inform course revision process.

Overview of Nearpod
Nearpod is an interactive tool, mainly used in classroom settings, which facilitates personalized learning customized to each student’s perceptions and learning speeds. Individual teachers can create accounts with Nearpod for instruction, or entire schools and districts can sign up to incorporate Nearpod institution-wide. To use this tool, each student in the class (whether face-to-face or remote) will need a separate device logged in using a code provided by their instructor.

Once students have entered the lesson, many different possibilities of lesson content are available. Some of the different interactive capabilities of Nearpod include slideshows, VR field trips, and polls.

As an instructor, setting up various lesson types is as easy as creating an account.

Creating a Nearpod
When you select “Create a FREE account,” you have the option to either log in using a new username and password, or sign up using a Google account, a Mail app, or Office 365. There are also two options: to create the account as a teacher or as a student. Upon logging in as a teacher, you will be asked what grade(s) you teach and what subject(s) you teach. Your response determines the free lessons you’ll see as available for download.

From the home page, instructors have the option to view their lesson library, explore to find new lessons, join a current lesson, create a new lesson, and view reports from previous lessons.

Creating a new lesson includes uploading PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, or Google slides and then adding an interactive spin to them using any of Nearpod’s options (e.g., open-ended questions, supplemental videos, etc.). This tutorial found on Nearpod’s website walks through step-by-step on how to create a Nearpod lesson.

When opening a new, blank lesson and selecting ‘Add Content’, there are many options available, such as searching for images or videos from the internet or uploading PDFs.

After you select or create a new lesson, a code will be given to the instructor. This access code must then be provided to the students; within a classroom setting, they can all start the lesson at the same time. Nearpod can also be used for homework, allowing instructors to monitor home progress remotely using the lesson reports feature built into Nearpod.

Nearpod can also be integrated into a Canvas course! If you would like to learn more about Nearpod and how it can enhance the academic environment at Longwood, please visit the Digital Education Collaborative (136 Ruffner Hall) or contact us directly if you have questions or issue duplicating the steps outlined in this post.

*This post was drafted by Kayla, an Instructional Technology Collaborator 

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