Nearpod for attractive quizzes

Nearpod allows you to create presentations, open-ended questions, polls, multiple choice quizzes, draw-it (or write-it) exercises, fill-in-the-blanks exercises or a memory test matching pictures and text. You can add content in the form of slides, video, audio, a slideshow, web content via a URL, the latest Field Trip option from 360 Cities (great for Geography), a PDF or even a live Twitter stream.

There is a free version and a Gold version which costs $10 per month. The Gold version allows you to set assignments for homework, which I use often, and receive detailed reports, which I use constantly, although you do get basic reports in the free version. There are whole-school subscription options too, allowing schools to share content and create content libraries. Let me begin by saying that Nearpod is capable of doing a lot more than I am currently using it for. There are many paid and free presentations produced by other teachers and professionals, but it is heavily biased towards the American curriculum and as such, I have found nothing of use to me teaching KS2 French yet, so everything I have used Nearpod for, I have made myself.

What I love most is the ease of use - I can create an attractive assignment in minutes, with an appealing header page and images for every question. Adding images is extremely intuitive, as when you click on 'Add Image' you get this screen, with all your options in one place, and no need to have previously saved Google images to your camera roll or computer.

The fill-the-blanks is drag-and-drop and again, is quick to produce, although you do have to type in your text. It's possible to cut and paste, though, and you have some options for text fonts and colours. Below is an exercise I created on using the verbs ĂȘtre, aller, avoir and faire.

The multiple choice quizzes, which I use the most, are deceptively simple but I'm very pleased to see that the way I have constructed the questions, with some very similar possible answers, is proving very challenging for the Year 6 children's discrimination skills and it is providing me with a really broad range of results, as any good test should. 

A little shout-out for the Mac is in order here - I often create my Nearpods on my school PC, but always have to edit them at home on my Mac to insert the accents, which are so easy to add on an Apple device but anything but on the PC in Nearpod - the usual shortcut keys don't work. While I'm quite prepared to be told that there are better ways, the only way I've managed it is by pasting in letters from  Word document which don't quite match the font used, and that offends my sense of unity and neatness in the design!

But it's a small point, especially as I do have a Mac on hand! Overall, I love Nearpod and use it as part of my suite of assessment tools, particularly for assessing my pupils' reading and discriminating skills after being taught a certain verb, or set of phrases.

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