Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Diving Deeper into Pear Deck


Last year, I wrote a newsletter on Pear Deck, which is an astonishing tool to use to increase student engagement. Two major features of Pear Deck that make it so appealing is the amazingly easy connection with Google Slides, and the ability to integrate a presentation with Google Classroom. Additionally, you can easily use Pear Deck to ask students questions within a presentation, gather immediate feedback, and allow all students in the classroom to have a voice. If you haven't used Pear Deck, I highly recommend using it due to how easy it is, increased engagement of your students, and ability to check for understanding on the fly! Below are a few ways that you can use Pear Deck even further in your classroom curriculum.

Pear Deck Premium

If you haven't heard, all teachers in the Davenport Community School district now have the Pear Deck Premium account, which is absolutely incredible! The main features that are available with the Premium account are the ability to have a Teacher Dashboard, the option to hide or highlight student responses, draggable and drawing slides, and best of all, Google Classroom integration. This is all in addition to the basic features of the Pear Deck Slides add-on, having a template library, and the Vocabulary and Flashcard Factory.

Top Features of Pear Deck

A major benefit to Pear Deck is that you have a wide array of information that you can gather from your students:

A Draggable - Students are able to drag an icon to an image of your choice. Think of this as the ability to have students pinpoint locations on a map, or label different parts of the body.

Drawing - You can share an image and allow your students to draw on top of it. This could be great for those "Show Your Work" math problems, or tracing the journey of an explorer or character in a novel.

Free Response: Text - If you share out an image or a piece of text, you can have students respond with either short answer or a paragraph text. An added bonus of this is that you can display the answers anonymously on the front screen, making for a more engaging classroom discussion.

Free Response: Number - This is simply a quick way to have all student respond to a problem. It can be as simple as guess how many Skittles are in the jar, or "what answer did you get for question 2?" Then, students respond in the empty text box in the sidebar.

Multiple Choice - The most common form of formative assessment comes by way of the multiple choice option. Send an image, document, or map to the students and provide them with their choices. Then, the results are calculated by a percentage of who selected which answer.

Additional Features to Dive Deeper into Pear Deck

As you probably know, the great thing about Pear Deck is the ability to have students remaining on the same slide as you're on as you're teaching. They are unable to move forward to a new slide or back to a previous slide, unless you change the slide on your device. But, there are two features that come along with the Premium version that are great, Student-Paced mode, and Student Takeaways.

Student-Paced Mode is just that - giving students the ability to control the pace of the slides being presented. This is turned on when you have the presentation open. You can use this to have students review a lesson, for flipped classrooms, or even for students who were absent on the day the material was taught.

Student Takeaways are described as "a notes document that lives in Google Drive." This is a fantastic way to gather feedback or allow students to reflect on their learning for that day. Once the session is ended, you can enable Takeaways. As is implied, students are able to type their thoughts onto a Google Doc, providing you with much deeper content than a short answer feedback response could provide.

Pear Deck Flashcard Factory

Another wonderful aspect of Pear Deck is that of the Flashcard Factory. Imagine having the ability to build a Flashcard review directly within Pear Deck! This option makes that a possibility, plus with Merriam Webster integrated, and the ability to integrate with Quizlet, it's truly a win-win for teachers and students alike. Once you log in to Pear Deck, the option is presented for you to Start a Vocab List. From there, you can add your own terms, and then share them out with students for an easily accessible and engaging lesson of important terms.

Pear Deck Digital Citizenship

If you're familiar with the Be Internet Awesome Digital Citizenship Curriculum from Google, you know how well put together it is. But, combine that with the ability to present the lessons from Pear Deck, and you have an outstanding combination of options to present digital safety to your students. To access these interactive lessons, just visit the Pear Deck Be Internet Awesome site, peardeck.com/be-internet-awesome/.

Wanna Learn More?

If you're new to Pear Deck, or maybe you've only dabbled in it, yesterday Pear Deck released an incredibly thorough, well-designed guide for Pear Deck users designed and created by educators Mary Alys Foutz and Michael Mohammad. In order to access over 100 pages of Pear Deck awesomeness, check out their guide!!

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