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Nearpod

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Nov 1, 2012
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Company: Panarea Digital; Websites: www.nearpod.com; www.panareadigital.com/photos/nearpod-at-jacobson-pre-k; Email: info@panareadigital.com.

Price: Nearpod is a subscription service available in three editions. The Silver is the most limited, is free, and can store up to 10 self-created presentations. The Gold has a few more features and is available for $10 a month. The School edition has volume discounts, unlimited storage for multiple teachers, administrative tools, and additional support. Contact the company for further pricing information.

Audience: Nearpod is a tool for teachers and students of any age who can use an iPod. It has been used with students as young as pre-kindergarten.

Format: Nearpod, a cloud-based service, uses two apps, one for teachers and one for students. Nearpod facilitates the educational use of iPods and can also be used with Macs or Windows computers.

System Requirements: All student and teacher iPods or computers require Wi-Fi internet access and the Nearpod student and teacher apps, available free from the App Store. A browser and the free Adobe Acrobat Reader are also required.

Description: Nearpod is a classroom collaboration tool that allows instructors to create their own custom, interactive presentations that they can push onto student iPods or computers with the School or Gold edition.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: To get started, sign up with Nearpod, create presentations and student accounts, and download and install the two required apps. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Nearpod’s basic idea is that teachers create multimedia presentations, a relatively simple process, that they use with students who access them via their Wi-Fi-connected iPods or computers. That is done by accessing presentations from storage, “the cloud,” on the internet.

Nearpod consists of four tools. The first, the Nearpod Content Tool, enables creation of customized presentations with features such as Polls, Q&As, Quizzes, Videos, and Draw-its. The user simply uploads a PDF, starts a new presentation, or edits an old one by adding interactive features. Teachers “push” information, questions, and activities to students’ mobile devices. Among the administrative tools available from the teacher dashboard is controlling students’ devices, seeing all student activity in real time, checking attendance, and identifying students who log out from Nearpod.

The second and third tools are the teacher and student apps, which are downloaded and installed on whichever electronic devices are used. The student app enables students to use content and interactive features. They can follow the teacher’s interactive lesson, log in to submit personalized answers, touch the screen, and answer and get results and quiz scores.

Teachers can use the fourth, or report, tool to get detailed real-time and post-session reports showing individual and class results, which can also be downloaded. Any registered user can go to the Nearpod website and join a live presentation by just entering its PIN. Since actual presentations and student responses are on the web, they can be accessed anyplace, anytime with a PIN. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Use of presentations by students is relatively easy. Students will be able to use them with a little help. Creating content—effective content—is a little more complicated, but it can be done with the guidance of the clear instructions and help. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Support can be had via phone, email (support@nearpod.com), tweet (@NearpodHelp), or at a “community” available at http://community.nearpod.com. It is also available via dedicated Nearpod specialists with the Gold edition. Product Support Rating: A-

Recommendation: Nearpod performs a valuable service in helping teachers integrate iPods in the classroom where available. This could be an important link in integrating current mobile technology into classroom instruction, and I recommend it at all levels. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe is a 39-year teacher, including 10 as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools. For the past 14 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools. Email: charliegd@sbcglobal.net.


 
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