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The best place to start would be converting one of your existing PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations into a Pear Deck presentation or copying one of the example decks on the site. It's some work up front, but the payoff in your students' engagement will most likely be worth it. Begin a lesson with a slide using the Classroom Climate add-on to gauge your students' feelings about a topic or just as a check-in. Then move to a poll question and discuss the results briefly before moving on to an open-ended question, such as "What would school be like without the arts?" Ask kids to draw or type their responses, and share some of the more creative ones on a whiteboard as a basis for teachable moments -- or just to give a shout-out to students who think outside the box. Finally, consider using the Flashcard Factory feature to let students work in tandem to create a set of classroom flash cards for export into Quizlet.
As you teach new concepts, be sure to balance the ratio of questions to informational slides. For review lessons, it's OK to lean more heavily on objective questions, but kids will be more drawn in by the creative components. Regardless of the purpose, mix up the question types you're using to keep your lessons lively and fresh. Your students' responses should help you differentiate future lessons to target areas for growth.Continue reading Show less
Pear Deck is an interactive presentation and lesson delivery tool designed to enhance learning as students move through a slideshow. Pear Deck's platform-neutral design makes it a great fit for both 1-to-1 and BYOD settings. Students use their devices to follow along with the teacher's slideshow on a classroom screen, or through a paid Premium plan, kids can complete student-paced decks in class or at home. With in-person delivery, teachers can pause at points where they've added one of several different question types, including drawing, dragging, text, number, and multiple choice. Teachers can view students' responses to these questions immediately, as well as share the results anonymously on-screen for all students to see. The Be Internet Awesome digital citizenship curriculum allows teachers to present lessons via Google Slides on topics such as kindness, bravery, alertness, and more.
On the setup side, teachers will need to take some time preparing presentations and adding the interactive elements that make the platform engaging. Pear Deck has made this process somewhat easier for teachers, not only with a huge repository of ideas but also through integrations with Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint. Other partners such as Merriam-Webster and Newsela integrate with Pear Deck to help teachers incorporate content more seamlessly, while features like Flashcard Factory give kids a chance to work as individuals or in teams to create study sets that the whole class can use.
Pear Deck's simple, clean interface makes it very easy to use, which is a big plus. The effectiveness of any tool of this type, however, will depend on the teacher's attention to lesson flow, content choice, variety, and timing. To get the most out of Pear Deck, teachers need to take time setting up the interactive elements. This interactivity is key to increasing participants' engagement and understanding.
Students will especially love answering the drawing questions. The ability to doodle out their answers can benefit students with a variety of backgrounds and learning preferences, particularly English language learners (ELLs) and students with unique needs. Keep in mind that once students respond, they're likely to look to the teacher for immediate feedback, which may present challenges depending on the question type. While Pear Deck's feedback for teachers is good, it's not a two-way street. Teachers will want to be thoughtful when showing examples and giving feedback, especially when displaying student responses which, although anonymous, might still identify students. Teachers can also share Takeaways, a Google Doc that includes all of the slides and student answers, to further extend the learning. Teachers have editing rights, which allow them to leave comments for individual students. They should just be sure to block out any personal information a student may have inadvertently shared.