Self-Paced Lessons with Nearpod

“How do you keep students engaged and on task?” I am frequently asked this question when I train teachers on blended learning models. The concern implied in this question is that if I am not working directly with students that they will immediately be off task or disruptive. In actuality, classroom management has never been a big issue for me. In part, I credit my lesson design for keeping them interested, engaged, and on task. I blend a mix of online and offline work that allows students opportunities to self-pace through activities, work collaboratively with their peers, and make key decisions about how they learn.

Nearpod is one tool I use to create interactive lessons that encourage students to pace their own learning and collaborate with classmates. Nearpod lessons are perfect for online stations in a Station Rotation Model or self-paced whole group lessons when I need to meet individually with students.

Nearpod allows the teacher to run “Live lessons,” which are teacher-paced, or “Student-paced.” When teachers select the “Live lesson,” they dictate what students see on their screens. As a teacher moves through a lesson, the slides automatically change on the student device so they are looking at the element of the presentation that the teacher is talking about or focused on. When the teacher selects “Student-paced,” students can navigate through the multimedia, multimodality lesson at their own pace.

Designing a Nearpod lesson is easy. Teachers can mix and match media, link to online websites, and engage students in polls, collaborative brainstorms, and written responses.

There are even “brain break” activities, like a matching game, and a drawing feature to keep kids interested and engaged.

Below is an example of a student-paced lesson I designed for our Of Mice and Men unit that combines video clips, an audio recording of the novel, a poll, open-ended questions, a matching game, and a collaborate board.

Nearpod lessons make engaging stations in a Station Rotation lesson and free me up to meet one-on-one with students to have assessment conversations or provide individualized coaching and support for students who need it.

This entry was posted in Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Self-Paced Lessons with Nearpod

  1. Virmared Santiago says:

    I will read this post with more time later. I have used Nearpod for many years now! I adore it!

  2. Suzy Lolley says:

    Love the walkthrough of your lesson above. Good idea:)

  3. Corrie Hulihan says:

    Hi Catlin!
    Are you using the paid subscription for Nearpod or the free version? I’m trying to justify the $120 price tag for a year, especially since I won’t use it over the summer. Also, do when your subscription runs out, do you lose your saved Nearpods?


  4. Jeanette Mcmillan says:

    Do you know if there is a way for students to save their work? Sometimes they don’t finish a student paced lesson in one sitting. The next time they join the lesson, their work is gone and they have to try and remember where they left off.
    This also makes it so they can’t go back and review the previous day’s work.

    • Hi Jeanette,

      As long as students use the same live code they used when they begin, they should be able to access their work. All student responses should also be in the reports tab. My students frequently begin a lesson in class and return to it without issue.

      Good luck!

      • Bryan says:

        What I have seen is the same as Jeanette notes. My students have said their saved answers disappear when they log on later.

        • Rebecca says:

          Could this be due to a school internet safety feature that autodeletes or changes something upon login like IP address? Idk but I want to find out

  5. Cheska says:

    I love Nearpod and used it in my teacher toolbox many times last year. However, admin told me I could no longer use it due to it being non compliant with NY Ed 2D Law. Do you know if that will change any time soon?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *