Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pear Deck!

As I was poking around GAFE (Google Apps for Education) a few weeks ago, I stumbled onto Pear Deck.  As I started to tinker around and explore with one of my 7th grade classes, we discovered it has the ability to make those PowerPoints, Google Slides and PDFs interactive!  

I have used Google Classroom almost daily to deliver my lessons and projects.  My students are used to having all their material when they sign-in.  My role as a teacher has shifted from lecturing or direct teaching to facilitating learning.  Students want to discover and move in my computer lab.  They want to collaborate and be interactive.  The only time my students seem to be antsy is when I deliver a more 'traditional' style of lesson.  The lesson where I lecture with a presentation to deliver material or as I call them "Sit and Gets."  To be honest, they are so bored when I switch into that mode, call it my own little experiment.  Enter Pear Deck.  How does it work?
Pear Deck allows you to upload your presentations and make them interactive!  You can also create a presentation from scratch in Pear Deck.  Pear Deck fosters inquiry-based learning and attracts every learner.  One feature I am really impressed with is when a student submits their own answer or opinion, I can see the answer and who responded, but it also has the ability to share student responses anonymously.    

Pear Deck helps promote social learning.  I love making it less scary for students to share and participate.  It also ensures every student participates and that participation can be a form of formative assessment.  It also fosters students to identify patterns, notice a mistake and discuss each other's ideas.

Still interested?  Check out this detailed set-up video.
Pear Deck would be great with Chromebook carts, computers, BYOD or iPads!  It is so versatile.  You can even set up the presentation on your projected device for students and connect a tablet or iPad to control the Pear Deck.  How great is it to get away from your teaching station?

Mussleman, K. (2014) Nutrition[PowerPoint].

The variety of responses is wonderful.  Yes they have multiple choice, true/false, short answer, but they have what Pear Deck calls, draggables and you can draw your responses.   The image above is a slide of foods that students had to divide into the My Plate.  I quickly added a response for students to draw their favorite snack or food from the list.
As you can see from one of their drawings, they could add details, however I am not sure pizza was on the list, but they are 7th graders!  As a teacher, I found the variety of ways to assess students exciting.

As if Pear Deck couldn't get any better, it did!  You can export your data from Pear Deck to Google and use the Add-On, Flubaroo to grade student responses.  I use Flubaroo often with Google Forms, as well.
Lastly, yes you can use Pear Deck for free, but there is a premium option that gives you a lot of bells and whistles that you may want.  If you are looking for a way to make your BYOD or 1:1 experience meaningful and engaging, try Pear Deck.  Keep Calm, Click Undo!


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