Nearpod: Best Tips And Tricks For Teaching

(Image credit: Nearpod)

The best Nearpod tips and tricks can help turn your classroom into a media center in which the limits of the four walls are obliterated by far-reaching resources. Sounds great, but the key is understanding how to actually use this tool to get to all that.

At its most basic Nearpod is a slides-based presentation tool. But thanks to intelligent extras such as assessment features, it can be used as an interactive learning platform for students. 

From adding questions into a YouTube video as it plays to creating interactive images with your smartphone camera that students can draw on, the uses are wide and varied. 

To get the best out of Nearpod check out these best tips and tricks that help you to not only get new ideas but also to make the process easier and faster.

Use the self-paced mode in Nearpod

Nearpod (opens in new tab) works well in a classroom scenario but also for remote learning. One way that is perfect for this is the self-paced mode which lets students work at their own speed.

Not only is this great for allowing students to take tasks and time manage completion, but it also lets teachers tailor the task for each student or group so they're challenged at a level they can handle. This is ideal for homework.

To do this, create a new slide show and be sure to introduce the topic, offer resources, then have the assessment part to guide students. Finishing off with a poll to assess how the students handled can provide feedback for future assignments.


(Image credit: Nearpod)

Snap reading passages for Nearpod

By using Nearpod on your smartphone or tablet it's possible to take a photo and upload it into your Nearpod slides deck. This is a great way to set a reading task for students in which a single image could be a page of writing. This allows you to share as much as you need in a quick way.

Students can interact with images, annotating any as they need. That could be part of the task, making sure students show they've read the text and understood what was happening.


(Image credit: Canva)

Build a Nearpod deck with Canva

Nearpod integrates well with other programs and apps making it possible to pull in other slide decks. While you can use Google Slides (opens in new tab) or Microsoft PowerPoint, it also works with Canva (opens in new tab).

So rather than using an old deck, you can use the huge selection of materials and media on Canva to create a new and engaging option. This graphic design tool can make really impressive end results with very little effort from beginners, with lots of fonts, colors, and graphics to pick from.

Use Nearpod for presentations

In live mode, Nearpod lets teachers share across multiple screens at once. Unlike some other platforms that require students to scroll through on their device when told, Nearpod does it automatically. So as you change a slide it will instantly do the same on all the students' devices.

Using this live mode is a great way to follow a reading, work through diagrams, or to conduct a poll. Since the students are all seeing what you're seeing, it's a superb way to facilitate group discussions in the real world while pulling in rich media resources. 


(Image credit: Nearpod)

Use the Nearpod poll for instant feedback

Sure, looking at a student's face is one way to gauge how they're following a lesson, but a poll can be a far more accurate method for an entire class. Nearpod offers polls that can be used to get instant feedback. Rather than getting a thumbs up or down, students can vote in a poll.

This Nearpod poll is a great way to help even less engaged students, who might be shy, to partake and feel they're a part of the class and that their opinions are heard and valued. 

Use Nearpod virtual reality

Yes, Nearpod offers virtual reality and yes, it's awesome. But there are lots of VR offerings so why use it within this platform? It's the English language learners support that really stands out, using visuals and allowing you to embed quick checks in a mini-lesson to help guide students.

Since this works on smartphones placed into Cardboard headsets, it's an affordable option that can use existing hardware to create an immersive and engaging, near limitless world, right within the classroom.


(Image credit: Nearpod)

Collaborate with colleagues

A great way to work on a project for class is to do it collaboratively with other teachers. This is easily done with a simple link that can be shared however you find it easiest. While this can make for broader perspectives on lessons, it's also great for students.

Set a student project and have groups collaborate using the app so that they can work together to create the best end result. These can then be used as resources by the entire class, easily shared and accessible on lots of devices.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.