What does it take to use Nearpod? An iPad or desktop/laptop and a classroom set of computers or iPads. I think having a set of iPads makes using Nearpod more successful since the students are more engaged when having the presentation in their hands. Nearpod accepts Powerpoint presentations and allows the user to create simple slides and a variety of activities for students engagement.
Is there a downside to Nearpod. Well, it is a free app and a free service. All accounts start at the free Silver level. Silver gives you limited space and doesn't give you the homework option. The Gold level doesn't cost much for a year. It's a little much to fork out at once for some (like myself), but I think it is worth it for the increase in space and options you receive.
So, if you have 1:1 or even 1:2 or 1:3, consider Nearpod as a great tool to deliver instruction and to check for understanding.