A-Z Tools & Technologies: Nearpod (updated)

What is Nearpod?

Nearpod is an application that enables tutors to create interactive teaching resources that can be accessed by students on laptops & mobile devices (iOS and Android). Tutors can monitor and measure students’ responses to interactions such as quizzes and polls as well as including their own or ready-made content. It’s an ideal tool for stimulating participation in lectures and seminars.

How does it work and what’s new?

Nearpod has had some updates since the last time we blogged about it in 2014. It is a web-based application that allows tutors to create interactive presentations that students can follow along with ‘live’ via their tablet, phone or laptop. As well as slides, you can include interactive activities such as quizzes and polls to increase engagement and include multimedia resources such as videos. The tutor is fully in control of the pace of the ‘lesson’ and can see how students are participating via the dashboard.


New features include:

  • Draw It – an interactive, individual whiteboard slide that students can submit from their device, with you being able to see all responses from your computer/device. (Premium version only)
  • Open Ended Question – slides that allow students to submit any kind of text answer directly to your device. You can also anonymously share individual responses to encourage peer learning.
  • Nearpod 3D – a library of ‘objects’ that can be placed into slides to enable students to zoom in, rotate around and explore the objects they are learning about.

There are a lot of ready-made interactive ‘lessons’ available for all Nearpod users to use, which could be useful for trainee teachers to use in their classes as the majority of these lessons are aimed at school-aged learners.

What about Teaching and Learning?

Using Nearpod incorporates active learning and engagement to enhance the effectiveness of the lecture and could also be used in smaller-sized seminars and workshops to deliver content. We have also blogged about other approaches to increasing student engagement, including Using QR Codes and the Flipped Classroom approach.

What do you do to stimulate participation in lectures? How do you promote active learning and engagement? Do you know what students have learnt about the subject or about learning during or following your lecture? 

How much does it cost?

Nearpod operates a freemium model, so ‘Silver’ accounts are free. This type of account allows for up to 30 students (devices) to connect to your session, a maximum presentation size of 20MB and storgae space of up to 50MB. For more information on Nearpods pricing model, please visit their pricing page.

If you like the sound of Nearpod, and are interested in trying it with your students, contact us at tel@yorksj.ac.uk for further support. We’ll also be showcasing Nearpod and other student engagement apps at our ‘TEL Me About’…Student Engagement Tools workshop on Monday 6 February 2017. Book your place by visiting our Eventbrite page.


Rosie Hare

Working to the Directorate’s annual objectives and the TEL Quality Framework, Rosie’s role as a TEL Advisor is to proactively support and develop staff in using technology to enhance the student learning experience. Her main focus is to advise academic staff on effective use of learning technologies to develop innovative learning resources, processes and practices. Before joining YSJ Rosie was an E-Learning Support Officer at University of York, and prior to that worked as a Digital Facilitator in the E-Learning Team at Middlesbrough College.

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