As you can see, I'm the proud owner of a new "badge." I found out today that I have been accepted as a Nearpod Certified Educator. Four months ago I didn't know what Nearpod was and 5 months ago I had never heard of it before, but now I am sold!
Nearpod is a free app that allows teachers to create interactive learning tools for students. There are also lessons that have already been created that teachers can browse through, edit (if needed) and use. With the free version some of these lessons are not free and some of the features are not accessible (like most free apps, there are in app purchase opportunities). With the paid version (check and see if your school or school division has an account!) there are so many features available and all of those lessons that you browse through are FREEEEEEE.
Now, I'm a preschool special education teacher. Most of those lessons are not appropriate for the developmental level of my students. BUT what Nearpod allows me to do is create some pretty awesome educational tools that ARE appropriate for my students. I am fortunate that my school division has purchased Nearpod for all teachers PK-12th grade. I have had so much fun exploring and finding ways to use this to benefit my students. My favorite features so far are the Draw feature, the 360 "field trip" pictures (this is hands down my students' favorite), and the ability to add audio to slides. With the Draw feature, you can upload a picture as the background for them to draw over--so far I've used this for tracing and finding and circling things in a picture. It has worked very well. You can choose to lead your lesson "live" so that you control the pace of the lesson or you can allow it to be student-paced. I like both features. I have used live when working with a large group of students and student paced when working with 1 or 2 students at a time.
There are so many possibilities for what you could use Nearpod for. I have mostly used it for letter, number, and counting practice. But, I had a thought earlier today that I will experiment with to use Nearpod to create social stories. I'll let you know how it turns out. Another amazing thing about this app is it is appropriate for preschool teachers and college professors to use. It could easily be used to get information to groups of adults as well. The possibilities are really endless.
I know you're itching to see what this actually might look like, so here's a link to see a lesson I created and used with my students.
What do you think? Are you using Nearpod? How do you use it? I'd love to hear!
My Teacher Hat
I am a teacher in a preschool special education classroom. My classroom serves students ages 2-5 years old.