How I Use It
Pear deck is an online tool that allows me to share my presentations with students, ask questions, and get instant feedback. My students have chromebooks, and I use Pear Deck to create my presentations. I take lessons that I would normally have taught and upload the images into pear deck. I add the questions I want to ask also. When I am ready to present a lesson I open the lesson on my chromebook and share the code with my students. The students use their Google accounts to log in to the lesson. I can see all of their names and screens and they can see the lesson. I also project it on the board. As I go through the lesson, some students write on paper and some students take screenshots of the lesson and annotate. I even have a student that likes paper notes so she takes screen shots and prints the ones she needs for her notebook. During the lesson I can ask the class questions. The free version of pear deck is a little limited, so I use the paid version because I teach math and I really wanted them to be able to draw (paid version). I can ask students to draw what they think an equation will appear. I can ask students to circle the mistake. You can also ask students to type and answer (free version) and drag a dot to a choice. I really wasn't sure how I could use dragging a dot around, until recently. I had two terms on the slide and showed students' images on my board and they had to quickly move the red dot to the correct term as we went through the examples. The kids loved it. The best part is I can see all student answers instantly and even read them to the class or show them to the class. My shy students that never talk can type their response and then I can read it and give them credit. Also, if a student submits and answer and realizes it is wrong, they can submit a new answer. At the end of the lesson I close my presentation and I can save it. Sometimes I give them an exit slip on the last slide and I save the presentation and read through the answers after class.
Students are engaged because they have to respond to what is being asked and they know I can see their answers. Students get excited when I choose their answer to read or show to the class. I still like to have students work out math work on whiteboards or notes, but I usually have them type or show me their final answers on Pear Deck. I can check 40 graphs quickly on my screen compared to checking 40 whiteboards. My only issue is that I like to use my smartboard and I cannot put the same Pear Deck presentation on my chromebook and my desktop at the same time. I get around that by only using my board for working out examples and my chromebook to move along the presentation. I think the free version would be great for most teachers. If you teach anything where drawing is necessary, you will need to pay for the premium version. The Pear Deck team is also amazing. I sent a question to them and I had a reply within minutes.