Holy moly student engagement has been a challenge during remote learning! No worries, enter Pear Deck! Pear Deck is this add on to Google Slides that gives the teacher opportunities to embed questions and activities right into pre-made slides! Pear Deck is absolutely a life saver for remote learning and great for engaging students right in front of you too! When you combine the Pear Deck add on with Google Slides, that you already have, you will see a significant rise in student engagement!
The Easy Install
Pear Deck is super easy to find and add to your Google Slides. First you simply click on “Add-ons” on the toolbar and choose “Get add-ons.” Pear Deck will probably be one of the add-ons that appears and simply click to download it! Once it is installed once, it will always be in your toolbar under “Add-ons.” Easy peasy. Subscribe for an easy to use how to video!
Once open, Pear Deck will show you a menu on the side of your screen and you can easily insert your Pear Deck questions or activities right into your slides! There is always a video in case you need a refresher on how Pear Deck works, Publish and Share your Lesson, and the best, most important part, “Require Student Logins.” This will ensure you know which answers belong to which student!
Options, Options, Options!
Pear Deck is pretty simple to use and provides huge successes for teachers and students. Once you have decided to incorporate Pear Deck into your slides, you have a bunch of options, which is great. There is a huge “Template library for before, during, and end of lessons.
Even more Options!
Not only are there beginning, during, and end, but there are also options for multiple choice questions, draggable questions (where students drag and drop to show their response), text based responses, true/false, drawing questions, and number questions.
Pear Deck + Google Slides= Student ENGAGEMENT!
Dragging questions are great for social emotional check ins, which are so much a part of our days during remote learning! Dragging questions are also great for agreeing or disagreeing, or quick temperature checks of the class. Drawing questions can allow you to use Venn Diagrams or even graphing! The best part is they are premade and ready for your personal touch! Multiple Choice questions are so simple and quick to use for those quick assessments in class. You create the question, Pear Deck provides the platform to record your students’ answers in a seamless way! Also important to note, student answers are anonymous to classmates allowing for students to feel comfortable responding no matter the topic!
Not Done Yet!
You may be wondering where all the data goes and what the accessibility is for the teacher. Pear Deck has an incredible “Teacher Dashboard” where student names and answers appear. Even better sessions can be saved and named for future reference! You can review previous sessions and plan remediation or enrichment easily with the data all in one place! Now student responses are anonymous to each other, but through the Teacher Dashboard, you can see student names attached to each of the answers.
The Dashboard is a separate window just for you; students only see the anonymous answers appear. You can ensure all students answer or discover misunderstandings quickly with your check in questions about the lesson! While students see the question they must respond to, you can watch their responses populate on your Teacher Dashboard, not missing a beat or wasting any time! Just in case you are wondering, you can absolutely, use your own custom built questions about the content and use the Pear Deck to have students respond to exactly what you need to assess! You will see the Pear Deck icon appear on the slide and in the notes, it will tell you this is a Pear Deck slide!
We have discussed the teacher end of things, but what about the student end? Students sign into the Pear Deck with a uniquely generated code. This controls who is in your Pear Deck. If you only wanted a small group of students, then you could also do that! When Pear Deck is launched one of the first slides that will project to students is the join code. On your Teacher Dashboard, you can watch the roster of students and see who is online and who is offline noting which students are ready to learn and which may need a bit more help the first time logging in.
Who’s the Leader?
One more extremely helpful feature of Pear Deck is the two different modes you can choose from! You can use Teacher-Led Mode, which allows you to control the slides, and students cannot move forward without you. Essentially, you control their Slides! They see what you want them to see and when. The other option is Student-Paced Mode. This is great for homework or students learning with a substitute when you aren’t there. This has students sign into the Pear Deck and work through it, but they control the pacing. They are still responsible for all of the questions and activities and you can still see them in your Dashboard! One of the great things about Pear Deck, is you can combine the two modes! Start class with the Teacher-Led Mode and then turn things over to the students and let them finish the Pear Deck independently, without having to have them navigating anywhere else. You can watch their progress in the Teacher Dashboard and end the Student-Led when you are ready!
The student engagement that comes from using Pear Deck is extraordinary. Students that are shy or quiet are able to easily participate, anonymously to their classmates, and you never miss a beat using your Dashboard. Pear Deck has both a free version with all of the great features discussed and a yearly paid version with even more options! There are always free trials for the Premium paid version too! Be on the lookout! Try Pear Deck and easily combine your already created Google Slides with Pear Deck and make this year a little bit more engaged!
I really hope you enjoyed learning more about Pear Deck and how it can transform your online learning! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Pear Deck FREEBIE! But you will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how to videos including the Pear Deck How To Video! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram. If you need anymore support, Pear Deck has a wonderful Help Library for teachers!
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