Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thing 21: Free For All

There are times when a person must listen to something over and over before actually hearing it. This is true of me and the incredible app I want to share: Nearpod. Yes, I had been told that Nearpod was a great app. I had been told that multiple times. But did I try it out? No. I did put it on my iPad, created an account, and even logged in a couple of times. But did I watch the video, try out the tutorial, or give the app a try? Nope. I was an idiot.

Until now, that is.

For now I know that Nearpod is one of the greatest apps, especially for those teachers who want to use their iPads to teach a lesson but aren't quite sure how to manage it all. They want to engage their students, but they just don't really know how, and controlling a group of students, all of whom are perhaps listening, but just as easily are texting, surfing, playing games, or any number of things, frankly, overwhelms and terrifies them. Nearpod is truly a gift for them.

Nearpod allows you to share content, open a whiteboard where are students can illustrate, take a poll, give a quiz, show a video. Do I have to say more? And to top it off, Nearpod is EASY!

The very best way to experience Nearpod is to grab two devices of any kind. Seriously, any kind! Smartphone, iphone, ipad, Android tablet, laptop, desktop, you name it. Use the app or use the website - it all just works! There is a perfect tutorial to start with. Simply sign up for your free account on one device and then go through the tutorial on it, with the other device as your "student". You will truly experience every activity and see how seamless it is. And any device can be the "teacher" - so if you want to project on your SmartBoard as well, you can do that through your computer. But if you'd rather run it all off your iPad, that's fine too!

Give a poll through Nearpod.
Allow students to work at their own speed!

Provide a quiz or test.
Provide a space for students to draw or illustrate.
A student closes out? You see it right away. Someone comes late? Give them the pin and they can join right in where you are. Heck, want to give an assignment through it but school is cancelled? Send them the link and they can go through the lesson at home. Need a quick lesson tomorrow? Search Nearpod's growing number of lessons and find one that fits the need - but you can totally rearrange it to fit your lesson.

These pictures show my iPad (the white one on the left) sending out the lessons to the iPad Mini and the MacBook. This is the most interactive and intuitive app I have probably ever used! This is an app that you can share with every teacher - preschool through college (and beyond), and one that includes such an awesome sales pitch through its interactive tutorial that once you've shared it (allowing all your coworkers to participate) they will be using it immediately and wondering how they ever got along without it.

There is really no limit to the things you can have students do through Nearpod. An amazing feature is the one that opens a webpage through the app. The students have time to peruse the webpages on their own, looking for information, completing an activity, reading, or whatever you want them to do. Once you're ready to move on simply swipe to the next page on your device and all of the student devices will do the same. Magic!!

So - quit reading this blog and head over to, or to your app store to download the app. Or, if you aren't convinced yet, take a look at this video. It's sure to win you over. Get engaged with Nearpod today!

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