Nearpod Blog

An all-in-one solution for the use of mobile devices in education :) Learn more at www.nearpod.com

NEW! Updates to our Content Tool

11th April 2014

If you are about to create a new Nearpod presentation, here are the details of the improvements we have made to our CT:

~ Increased amount of characters in Question text: we have extended the total amount of characters from 115 to 250 for Quiz + Poll, and from 105 to 160 for draw it.

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~ Grade + Subject: we have added these two options for teachers to complete when publishing a new NPP.  

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~ Participation column in Reports: this indicates the level of participation of each student.

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Keep rocking your lessons with Nearpod :) Check out these ideas on how to do it!
Are you new in our community? Check this out: Meet Nearpod!

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10 Tips for using Nearpod in your math class

4th April 2014

You’ve heard the buzz and you have mobile devices to use in your class, but you’re not quite sure where to start.  This list of helpful tips will get you on your way to unleashing your creativity and introduce you to the growing community of teachers that are making math come alive in their classrooms.

1) Download free math lesson plans

The Nearpod store offers a wealth of free interactive math Nearpod Presentations (NPPs) to engage students of all levels on common core subjects.  These lessons are ready-to-use and exploring them will get your creative juices flowing.

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2) Start Simple

Start by creating an NPP with an exit ticket for your next math class; a quick and simple way to gauge your students’ understanding of your lesson.  Their responses will automatically be sent to the same place on your device.

Check out these guides to learn about the various ways to prompt your students.

How to add quizzes to your presentation

How to add draw it activities to your presentation

How to add open ended questions to your presentation

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3) Get creative with your own NPPs

Once you’ve experienced how Nearpod facilitates interaction with your students, ideas of how to engage them further will flow out with Nearpod’s intuitive Web Content Tool. This guide will show you around.

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You can find more guides about every aspect of implementing Nearpod into your classroom here.


4) Use 3rd party tools

For example, you can easily integrate graphing activities into your lessons by linking Desmos’ online graphing calculator.

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The ability to streamline online tools and activities like Desmos into your lessons adds endless possibilities.  Check out this guide to find out how to do it.
 
5) Gamify it!  

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Games are a great way to focus students’ creative and competitive energy; a prime example of another online resource that can add new dimensions to your lessons.  There are thousands of educational math games online, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

Math Lines xFactor 12 is an addictive game for practicing basic and advanced addition.

Decention is a fun game for practicing fractions, decimals and percentages.

Find your favorite math game at Math playground.

6) Use the ‘Draw it’ feature

Having students show their work so that you can see how they arrive at their answers is fundamental to teaching any mathematical concept, and Nearpod’s draw-it tool keeps you with your students every step of the way.  It’s easy to stay on the same page as your students without the fuss of a pile of papers in the way.

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This guide will walk you through putting draw it activities into your presentations.

 
7) Share your students’ work in class

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The ‘share’ feature allows you to encourage collaboration and peer-to-peer discussions. Gone are the days of forcing sheepish students up to the board to expose their errors in front of their peers! Once they have shown their work with draw-it, you’ll be able to instantly and anonymously share any student’s work with the rest of the class. This guide will show you how to make sure you’re all on the same wavelength.


8) Use the Homework feature.

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When you assign an NPP to your students as homework, they can work at their own pace.  Nearpod will automatically generate a report of their performance as they complete the assignment so that you know just what to review before moving on to the next topic.


9) Make your class a team by showing their collective performance on activities.

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Sharing the assessments of your class’ performance
is easy and allows you to hold your students accountable for their work not only as individuals, but also as a class. This encourages collaboration, discussion, and a healthy social environment.


10) Visit a techie teacher’s blog.

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Cathy Yenca, a middle school math teacher in Austin Texas, has come up with some wonderfully creative ideas about how to engage her students with Nearpod and she has documented them all here.

Now become a math pioneer and share your own stories!

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Share the PIN with your students in a different way ;)

3rd April 2014

It could happen that your students can not access their email inbox in class, or don’t have an email account for you to share the NPP’s PIN the usual way. Please follow these simple steps to share the PIN in a different way:



1. Select the NPP you’d like to share with the class.


2. If selecting ‘Live Session’, this is the screen that will appear, showing the presentation’s PIN.


3. If selecting Homework, this is the screen that will show up, with the PIN included.


4. Open a Google Spreadsheet. Type all the lesson’s details and share the doc with your students. To share the PIN and enable them to access the NPP just by tapping on it, include it on the following URL: nearpod.com/join#PIN, as shown in the example.


5. When your students tap on the PIN, Nearpod will launch automatically. Voilà! Everybody ready to enjoy :)

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"I love Nearpod because it promotes engagement"

28th March 2014

Guest post by Faith Plunkett. Thanks Faith :)

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My name is Faith Plunkett and I am a fifth grade teacher at Monte Sano Elementary in Huntsville, Alabama. My school system was the largest in the United States to become 1:1. Every student in my classroom has a laptop, so I try to find the best online resources I can to inspire learning.

I first heard about Nearpod at EdCamp Madison last February. Since I taught technology part-time at the time, I never got to see the full benefits of using Nearpod until I got my full-time teaching position this January. I use Nearpod for all of my reading and most of my math lessons. Nearpod is definitely a tool that all teachers should know about, and best of all, it’s free!

I first started using Nearpod in my classroom because my students don’t have great access to my ActiveBoard. They were having a hard time seeing everything that was being displayed. I also started using Nearpod for the activities I can interject into my lessons. I want all of my students to have a voice and feel empowered to participate in the lesson. This gives them all a chance.

Making a presentation on Nearpod is simple. I go through my teacher’s manual and “clip” different pictures and post them on a powerpoint slide. I then add slides with our “I Can” statements, vocabulary words, and skills for the week. Next, I interject the activities. After my presentation is published, all I have to do is click on “live session” and have my students join in with a code. I don’t even need to create student accounts for them!

If you don’t have time to make a presentation, there’s a store with plenty of lessons to choose from. I have used a few free lessons on Friday afternoons as an end of the week wrap-up to expose my students to different things.

Nearpod is also a great tool for formative assessment. I can asses the students through quizzing, polls, short answers, and even drawings. I have my students draw a vocabulary word so I can check their comprehension. They love it because they have a chance to be creative. I can go back through the presentation after my students have left, and see a report of what exactly they answered.

My students love using Nearpod. They love the fact that they can see everything that’s being displayed, and that they can compete with other students during quiz time. I love Nearpod because it promotes engagement. I rarely have to get onto students for not paying attention during lessons, because they are engaged with Nearpod, and me. Their weekly test scores have increased since I started using Nearpod in January.

Overall, I would highly recommend using Nearpod. Yes it does take time to create a presentation, but it does highly engage our 21st century learners.

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#bestnearpodpic winners ;) - Round 1

26th March 2014

Results are ready for the first round of our contest!

Let’s go over the idea: “Take a picture of your students using Nearpod, you and your students enjoying a lesson, a surprising moment you experienced during class, or any situation that you believe makes your classroom unique and connected with Nearpod.”


Participants tweeted their pics using the hashtag #bestNearpodPic and these are the winners of a Nearpod Gold Edition!

#BestNearpodPic Shared by Alex Kixmiller

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#BestNearpodPic Shared by Miss Wyso

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#BestNearpodPic Shared by Jem Inigo

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We’d also like to give honorable mentions to these other 2 teachers who submitted great pics!

#BestNearpodPic Shared by Laura Montgomery

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#BestNearpodPic Shared by Julia Solnek

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Stay tuned to join a new round of this contest! If you haven’t done it yet, download Nearpod and start participating :)

Are you new in our community? Check this out: Meet Nearpod!

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Check out the update to our iOS app and improvements to the Nearpod Content Tool

13th March 2014

To be part of the MAGIC, you can now update to enjoy the latest version of the Nearpod platform.

> Direct access to Reports

> Open in Nearpod

> Smart Upload

> New scrubber

> Audio mirroring

What’s new:


- Direct access to Reports: decide if you’d like to visit your library to share lessons, explore the Nearpod Store to find new resources, join a live session, create your own content, or access Reports to assess students performance.

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- Open in Nearpod: search for pdf, zip, or ppt files and in one click, Nearpod will turn the file into a presentation and launch a live session (files can be stored online, in an application, in your email inbox, or device)

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- New scrubber: you’ll now have the ability to drag the slide that you’d like to share into the dashboard at any time during a lesson. The scrubber hides when you are not using it to allow for a smoother experience.

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- Audio mirroring: teachers can now listen to audio slides included in the presentations.

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Our Content Creation Tool has also been redesigned ;) Your lessons will be much more engaging and rich with these new interactive features: Twitter Stream and PDF Viewer.


We’d love to hear from you at the Nearpod HELP Center, please check out these short guides to get started and become a Nearpod expert! And remember, Nearpod is now available for everyone, no matter which device you or your students have!

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Contest: Delivering fun & engaging lessons with Nearpod ;)

24th February 2014

We are running a “Best Nearpod Pic” contest!

The idea is simple - take a picture of your students using Nearpod, you and your students enjoying a lesson, a surprising moment you experienced during class, or any situation that you believe makes your classroom unique and connected with Nearpod.

Tweet your photo using the hashtag #bestnearpodpic and that’s all! You will be automatically entered for a chance to win a Nearpod Gold Edition. If your picture gets an honorable mention, you’ll also participate for a great prize that we’ll be given out by the end of this school year.

Be creative! We’d love to see how you enjoy the MAGIC and power of Nearpod! Looking forward to hearing from you :)

Are you new in our community? Check this out: Meet Nearpod!

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More new features! Nearpod’s PDF Viewer

24th February 2014

With Nearpod’s new PDF viewer, you’ll be able to add PDFs as separate features for students to access and navigate during a presentation. Online PDFs are self-paced features! For more details, please check out this guide.

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Remember that Nearpod is now available for everyone! Join our Nearpod Community and don’t forget to stop by our new HELP desk to find more guides on how to get started and become a pro Nearpod user!

 

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