An In-Depth List of Nearpod Features & When to Use Them

Nearpod can be quite overwhelming. This post breaks down the 20 Nearpod features and when to use them in your math classroom.

Okay friends, I am not holding back in this blog post. It is going to be long so get your blue light glasses on and grab a glass of wine because it’s going to be packed with all of the Nearpod features you’ll want to use!

“What is Nearpod?” you ask, only the most interactive and engaging way to present lessons to your students. I am going to walk you through all 20 of activities and Nearpod features that it has for you to use, and then share with you where to go to get pre-made amazingness.

Let’s Dive into the Nearpod Features!

1: Audio

This is a no brainer. As a math teacher it is crucial that you are giving your students multiple entry points to access the content you’re delivering. That means reading the question for those auditory learners. 

I use this feature when I have a slide with lots of words, especially ones they might not have seen before. My co-teacher uses it to give his IEP students their accommodations during remote learning. 

2: BBC Video

Okay you caught me – I don’t use allll the features, but that is just because I don’t teach Social Studies or Science! If you teach STEM and are trying to integrate that into your math lesson, then the BBC Video is what you want! 

There are many different options for you in several categories such as Environment & Living Species, Health, Innovation & Technology, Inspiring Leadership and History. Take your pick and share with your students – don’t forget to preview it first!

3: Collaborate Board

One of my favorite features is the Collaborate Board! The activity is a great way to get students talking and sharing with each other since they can’t collaborate in person. You choose a chalkboard, cork board or any design and let students collaborate. Don’t worry – there are settings to filter profanity and wait for teacher approval first.

I like to start my day with a math talk or a WODB and watch them share their thoughts. This gets students in the mindset of Math and ready to learn.

4: Draw It

If your students are lucky enough to have tablets or a touch screen, then the Draw It activity is going to give you the option to see them complete their work. Students can also add text and use a highlighter feature as well.

I like this feature when I am giving students self-paced work so they can draw out their thinking for me.

5: Field Trip

Using the Field Trip activity is a great way to bring real world math into students learning. Take students around the world or to a grocery store to see math in action. 

I love this feature because it gives students excitement virtually walking through a mall or visiting Italy! One of my favorite Nearpod features to bring math to life!

6: Fill In the Blanks

How much are you really spending on vocabulary? I know we say the vocabulary and mention it in the beginning of the lesson. Giving the students a fill in the blank is a great way to get them practicing using math vocabulary in a sentence.

I like to use the fill in the blank feature with students as part of my guided practice. I will have them answer a question on the previous slide and then have them fill in the blank answering the question in a complete sentence. 

7: Flipgrid

Flipgrid is the TikTok and IG Reels for school. Teachers can pose a question and students can create a Flipgrid video response in a limited time. This is one of the super engaging Nearpod features that your students will appreciate!

I like to use Flipgrid for student reflections at the end of remote lessons. Since I am teaching to the blended model, sometimes students are home when I teach them. I like them to record themselves for the exit ticket. 

8: Matching Pairs

This is a great tool to spark discussion and formatively assess student learning. Recently, I used this activity for students to match numbers written in different forms.

9: Memory Test

In your math class, you’ll use this memory test activity for students to practice vocabulary, matching expressions, or even solving word problems and matching them to their answers!

I love to use this activity for students to master math vocabulary. I pair the words with an example or real world definition of the word.

10: Nearpod 3D

Here is another one that I honestly don’t use in my Math class, but if you teach STEAM you are going to use it often! Students can explore 3-dimensional models of actual things like an animal cell, the Aztec Temple, a Great White Shark, and more!

11: Open Ended Question

Using the Open Ended Question feature will forever change your formative assessment. What’s cool about this is that you can record yourself reading the question to students and they can record their answer back to you. Talk about multiple entry points for your students! One of the best Nearpod features if you ask me!

I use this feature when I want students to explain their thinking. This gives me a way to see their thought process and they get amazing practice justifying their answers. I love being able to share a picture of a WODB and read and hear student responses.

12: PDF Viewer

Using the PDF viewer is a no brainer for anchor charts and study guides. You can upload basically any PDF and have students do work in their notebooks from it.

I use the PDF viewer for the study guides I create for them when we’re near a test. Of course I also give them the study guide through Google Classroom, but this is a great way to give them a preview of the guide. I also use this if I have a worksheet I want them to complete, they can copy the problems in their notebook and do the work.

Grab my study guide bundle here to use in the PDF viewer or print a paper copy for your kids!

13: Poll

Using the poll content is a great way to gauge student learning. You can even use it for a check for understanding and include audio, video and create voice recordings on the spot.

I love this feature for giving students ownership of their learning. At the end of the lesson I poll the students to see how confident they are about the topic. 

14: Quiz

Here is where you will formatively assess your students. The quiz feature allows you to create multiple choice questions. Like the last 3 features, you can also add media to your questions such as pictures, video, or a voice recording. 

This feature is a staple in my classroom for exit and entrance tickets. I can see how my students are doing by giving them 1-2 questions on the topic and Nearpod organizes the report nicely for me.

15: PhET Simulation

This one of the newly discovered Nearpod features that I absolutely love and you will too! I found out that you can use this as the first slide of Nearpod and it is a self-paced math exploration game. 

I use this as a beginning of class activity while we wait for students to log on to the Nearpod. There are amazing conceptual understanding, there are fraction builders, fluency practice, and equation balancing. 

16: Slideshow

This is great for when you are presenting on Nearpod and have a multi-step problem to show. This is also a great tool if you want to show different student work to have them analyze the mistakes.

I love this feature because it is like a slideshow within a slide show and the students don’t even realize that there are extra slides in there! On a Google Slide deck, I put 3 different student works with mistakes (I hide the names of course!) and give students 3-4 minutes to analyze the mistakes on each slide. 

17: Sway

This is a Microsoft program that embeds itself into your Nearpod. I personally don’t use Microsoft products, but according to Microsoft support, “Sway is a new app from Microsoft Office that makes it easy to create and share interactive reports, personal stories, presentations, and more.”

18: Time to Climb

This is a fun way to assess your students. It is a multiple choice question game where students get to climb and beat their scores.

I love using this when we are doing a test review. Students love to play games to review and this will be a  great addition to your classroom. 

19: Video

Using video enhances your lessons by giving you the chance to show students various other models of the skill you are teaching. 

I love recording videos with Screencastify (see how I do that here!) and using them as my model for students to learn the skill I am teaching. 

20: Web Content

If you’re like me and you love Google Forms for formative assessment, then you’re going to love the Web Content feature. With this feature, you can embed any website into your Nearpod lesson.

I use this feature for my Google Form exit tickets. This links the form right to the Nearpod and allows for students to not have to switch between tabs. I also use this to give students access to virtual manipulatives such as Toy Theater and Math Learning Center.


This is a ton of new information for you and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed, so don’t try all of these at once! Pick 2-3 activities and features that you want to try and use them regularly. 

When I started using Nearpod,  I only used the Poll, Video, and Collaborate features. Once my students and I got comfortable with those three, we started to add more features to our tool box. Now we are all pros with using Nearpod! 

If you’re strapped for time and want to use pre-made Nearpod activities, then you are in luck! There is a whole library of top-quality Nearpod lessons for you to use that can be filtered by grade and subject! Click here to check it out!

Nearpod is sure to boost student engagement in your math classroom no matter what the age of your students are! 

Enjoy!

-Alexandra

PS – Did I mention there is a Nearpod add-on for Google Slides?! Click here to grab it!

Computer with a screenshot of a Nearpod sample on Google Slides. Title of the blog at the top and techaboutmath.com at the bottom.
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