Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Ripening Classroom Engagement with Pear Deck


Engaging students in the classroom can be an arduous task, but with the right tools, students can become more involved. Pear Deck is a tool built on student engagement and meant to gather feedback and responses from even the shyest of students. This interactive presentation tool is perfect for any grade level or content area. Below is an overview of this powerful tool that you can use in your classroom tomorrow!

What is it and how do I use it?

Pear Deck is an interactive presentation tool that allows you to share a Google Slides (or PowerPoint) presentation with your students and elicit a variety of information from them. Students are able to access the presentation in the same way they would join a Kahoot! or Quizizz game, with a join code. Then, students follow along with the presentation both on the classroom projector and their own devices, making it easier for those further away to see the current slide. Then, discussion and interactivity can take place.

What Information Can I Gather from Students?

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.

Google Classroom Integration

An additional benefit to Pear Deck is the ability to integrate directly into Google Classroom. However, this is not an automatic feature; rather, it has to be turned on. Once you're logged into Pear Deck, there are four options on the left hand side, and one of them is Add Ons. Clicking this tab allows you to enable that feature. Sharing a Slides presentation is simplified with this enabled. Simply open the presentation in Pear Deck that you would like to present and then click the "Invite Your Class" button at the top of the screen. Then, select which class you'd like to invite, and they're quickly able to interact with your presentation.

Pear Deck Google Slides Add-On

As with many amazing products, they always get better and integrate with Google, making our preparations that much easier. With this add-on enabled, you can now create your Slides presentation and embed the Pear Deck question options directly within each slide as you design. This shows up as a sidebar during creation and you can even access an array of pre-made Slides templates if you wish. The simplicity of Pear Deck integrating with Google Slides is an amazing addition to the G Suite.

Other Cool Things You Can do with Pear Deck

Check the Classroom Climate

While you're in the window turning on add-ons, make sure to enable the Classroom Climate add-on. This is an extremely quick assessment of how your students are doing with the lesson. While they're waiting for the teacher to begin class, they're asked how they are feeling that day, which indicates their mood. Then, once the lesson has concluded, they are provided with a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down option to gauge their interest and engagement in the lesson. This is a brief snapshot that could communicate beneficial messages how students were doing and how they felt about the lesson.

Lock a Student Screen

This is used in combination with a timer. You have the ability to lock the screen until you're ready to move on, or you can set a specific time. By clicking the Lock icon once, you're able to lock the current screen. If you hold down that icon, you can lock it for 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 3 minutes. This is a nice way to keep students engaged without other distractions on the Chromebook.

Share a Pear Deck to Increase Collaboration

The really cool aspect of this is that you may want to collaborate with another teacher when creating your presentation. Whether this is a co-teacher, or a same content teacher at another building, the option would be nice to have. Since Pear Deck presentations reside in your Google Drive, you're able to share these presentations just as you would a Google Slides presentation.

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