One of the most impressive apps for medical education purposes is Nearpod. The premise behind nearpod is simple–to bring the classroom to life with interactive mobile presentations that teachers can create and customize themselves. Nearpod relies on a  cloud based system to distribute interactive presentations to students in a classroom. It is particularly well suited for institutions that own or use tablets regularly (although you can use a phone).

How does it work?

Nearpod allows teachers to upload their presentations and add interactive features such as polls, drawing questions, multiple choice questions and more. These are then distributed to everyone’s device in realtime which the teacher can control.

The teacher can ask a question through the app and then see everyone’s responses. The teacher then has the option to pick a certain answer and show it to everyone or just continue with the presentation. This is easiest explained in the screenshot and video below.

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I have used Nearpod in action and am happy to report that it really is impressive when you use it for the first time. The ability to engage students and share content in realtime is powerful particularly in a small group setting. Rather than have students staring at an overhead projector, you can now place the presentation on their mobile device.

What are the advantages?

Nearpod has a range of advantages over standard presentations. Perhaps most importantly, presentations can now become interactive and students can engage with content which has been shown to increase learning efficiency. Nearpod also reports detailed statistics and analysis which could potentially be used to identify weak students.

Other advantages include:

  • ability to carry out distance learning
  • access from a web browser
  • ability to share content in real time

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What are the limitations?

Setting up a successful Nearpod presentation takes more work than just a standard presentation. It takes additional time and foresight to prepare an interactive presentation using the online tool. There is currently no downloadable app to create nearpod presentations offline. There are occasionally network issues depending on the number of users and stability issues although thankfully these are limited.

What next?

iMedicalApps is going to prepare a detailed explanatory tutorial for how to use Nearpod within the next month so keep your eyes peeled for that!