Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Using Nearpod to Deliver CI and Higher-Order Technology Use

If you are like me, you are teaching hybrid classrooms - a group of students who are physically in your classrom and those who are in a digital Zoom environment all SIMULTANEOUSLY! Recently, I have begun to implement Nearpod again in my curriculum, and it is really making a difference. I had used it before many years ago and had even demonstrated its use at conferences. Once PearDeck came around, I began to use that (in my opinion, PearDeck is the next generation of Nearpod), but for some reason, i stopped using either of these web app tool in my classroom. Fast forward to this new normal (and the fact that my district has a Nearpod account), I am now using Nearpod again. And I am wondering, "Why did I ever stop using this tool (or PearDeck)?!" 

If you are not familiar with Nearpod or PearDeck, they both are web app tools which allow participants to engage in live interaction with a presentation in real time (you can also have it set for "student-paced" mode). As the presenter, you can pause throughout your presentation and take "time-outs" for comprehension checks through shorts quizzes, ask participants to predict what they think will happen next, take opinion polls, ask participants for comments, ask participants to draw something in particular, etc. And the best part is that you as the presenter control what participants see on their device screens!  

Recently I used Nearpod as an introduction to an expanded, embedded Latin reading, where the base version I had introduced earlier the week before. Although this was an embedded, expanded reading, I still treated as if it were a sight passage, so my goal for students was comprehension. Below is the Nearpod which I created - it is a passage on Augustus which I wrote, and it is patterned after the sentence structures found in Emma Vanderpool's novella Kandake Amanirenas: Regina Nubia, which I will be introducing later, as well as influenced by my district's mandated vocabulary list. You can view it below in the Student-Pace mode, but I played it as live mode in class digitally via Zoom. NOTE - because this Nearpod was the first day of viewing this fuller reading, my goal was comprehension, therefore, my questions and answers were in English.

1) Go to
2) Join Code: KUMAP

The last page of this particular Nearpod is a Collaboration Board, which I have turned off in Student Pace. I posited the statement: According to Augustus in the passage, he brought peace to many lands. Do you agree/disagree? Why/why not?

  1. When used with a live audience (whether it be live or digital), Nearpod rates on the highest level of the SAMR technology model, which evaluates the level of critical and higher-order thinking involved in a particular implementation of technology. It ranks at the Redefinition level, because it is allowing for an outcome which is INCONCEIVABLE without the use of technology, so in this instance, live real-time interaction and feedback from participants during a presentation which can immediately inform the presenter how to proceed.
  2. Students were quite engaged in this activity, and the many breaks in-between passages with different types of questions and activities broke up the monotony and contributed to the novelty of Nearpod. We actually went for a whole period doing this in a hybrid class, and a number of students commented afterwards "Wow, that was fun!"
  3. I liked the Collaboration Board at the end as a discussion board. I hid student names to keep the comments anonymous, but it gave students an opportunity to voice an opinion in a safe environment and for them to read others' opinions. 
  4. I showed all of the drawings which students did during the "Draw This" portion of the Nearpod, and this is where students were the most engaged.
  5. Because this was an embedded, fuller reading of an earlier version of the story, students were still receiving understandable messages, along with a recycling of the former vocabulary now used in new sentences. With 2/3 of my classes doing digital, I erred on the side of caution by overdoing the amount of limiting vocabulary and getting in vocabulary repetitions, since I really have no idea what students are acquiring when they are not in-person.


  1. Salve, Silvi! I just tried out your Nearpod. I thought it was fun, too! Since I'm not familiar with Nearpod, when I got to the spot for Drawing and Matching, I didn't immediately know what to do. If this was self-paced for students, is there a place for directions? I figured it out, but I would want more direction. Was there an audio component that I missed?

    1. Ah good to know about the Drawing and Matching sections. Since I did this live with students, I explained the directions aloud. I will now add those written directions to the Nearpod.

  2. Love Nearpod! I use it for assessments during remote learning!