Been a while since you’ve looked at Nearpod? They’ve been very busy adding features and content over the last year or more.
Nearpod Matching Pairs
First of all, they added the Matching Pairs activity- what you always wanted the Matching activity to be! Students race the clock to match words and/or images together, like words and definitions, pictures and labels, or words in one language with words in another.
Students don’t have to “race the clock”, but this was the first activity Nearpod added a timer to, and they have now completed that project, because timers are now an option for all Nearpod activities. They also made it possible a while back to turn any slide into a Draw It activity. That means you can
Nearpod Draw It Activities
import a slide with an image and have students label a drawing or annotate and markup text. Recall that Draw It allows students to respond by typing, writing, drawing, or inserting an image from their device or from an online image search. They can even respond in more than one of those ways. Rumor has it there’s a record audio response in the works as well. Keep your eyes, or rather ears, out for that one.
Some not-so-new features you just might not be aware of are PhET Simulations, Desmos and Sway. PhET are science and math simulations for elementary, middle and high school out of the University of Colorado. They have their own website, but you can embed them directly into a Nearpod (or a OneNote Notebook if you prefer. Desmos is a graphing/graphing calculator tool. Sway is an online presentation tool from Microsoft that looks more like a sleek website. Our favorite way to use Sway is for students to create a Sway instead of a PowerPoint or Slides presentation, but they’re also a visually appealing way for teachers to present content. You can also use Nearpods for sub plans, and Nearpod has made it easier logistically with the aptly named “Sub Plans”.
Google and Microsoft Integrations
Nearpod has always played well with other apps and programs, and you can share a lesson with your students in both Microsoft and Google platforms. You have been able to send a Nearpod lesson to students through Google Classroom for some time, and now you can do the same with Microsoft Teams. With both platforms you can choose to share as an announcement or as an assignment, and choose which class or classes to share with from right inside Nearpod.
There is also the Nearpodize chrome extension that allows you to be in Google Slides and send your entire slideshow directly into Nearpod. More recently they have added an add-on in Slides so you can create most Nearpod activities to your slideshow without even having to go into Nearpod.
Accessibility- Immersive Reader
However, as convenient as that might be, you may want to consider creating your slides directly in Nearpod instead. The reason for that is Immersive Reader. If you aren’t familiar with Immersive Reader, it is a Microsoft invention that started in OneNote and has spread across almost all Microsoft Office tools, both online and desktop. It is an entire suite of reading tools, and a premier example of Universal Design for Learning, because the tools are available to everyone to turn on what they need, when they need them, and turn off what they don’t. In June Microsoft starting making the code for Immersive Reader available to other companies to use in their products, and Nearpod is one of them. So any open-ended questions and any slides made in Nearpod can use Immersive Reader. But Immersive Reader reads text, not images, so if you make your slides on Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint and bring them into Nearpod, you are bringing in images, so Immersive Reader can’t read them. That’s why you may want to make your slides inside Nearpod- to make them far more accessible.
Gamification with Time To Climb
Also this year, Nearpod debuted Time to Climb, their first true game. Many of the activities are fun, but Time to Climb will remind you a lot of Kahoot or Quizlet Live. You can now allow text or images as answer choices.
Finally, if you haven’t heard, Nearpod bought Flocabulary! At this time they are still two separate subscriptions, but Flocabulary videos are now available within Nearpod for you to add to your lessons. There is a whole lot more to Flocabulary than just videos, so it’s worth checking out the subscriptions, though.
If you like this style of directions and screenshots, walking you through ideas for using engaging tools in your classroom, check out my book,
All the Microsoft Tools You Need to Transform Your Classroom: 50 Ideas for using Microsoft Office 365 for Education available on amazon in both Kindle and paperback.