Last year I came across, via twitter, an online presentation medium that lets the teacher present content live while viewing student responses from the phone and having anonymous student responses via the classroom projector. It’s called Pear Deck and it aims to make the live classroom more engaging and fun while not impeding on the already busy teacher timetable.
Episode 1 – Pear Deck for Active Engagement
The students love the instant feedback and fun, engaging mode of delivery.
Pear Deck has ‘Friction less Google Integration’ that suits the Google classroom but also, as I have experienced, works pretty seamlessly within our school network. The students simply sign in with a gmail account and enter the short code and wait for teacher instruction. Once the class is ready to go the tool bar at the bottom of the page allows for a range of ‘on the fly’ additions to ensure that the next ‘aha’ moment is right around the corner. The mode of presentation allows students to draw, vote, answer multiple choice questions and respond with short and long text answers, all the while monitored by the teacher and shared on the projector screen. In addition, you can block silly answers or lock the current screen so no more answer can be submitted. I often find myself giving students a set time to respond to questions then locking the screen after this time.
Once the slides are presented there is a pretty cool little button that allows the students to access their responses via a google spread sheet once the Pear Deck is over. My students have found that this ‘takeaway’ option allows them to quickly paste the Pear Deck slides from google docs into their current unit of work in OneNote enhancing what they were already doing.
Not only is this awesome for differentiation and instant feedback for students, but as a teacher you get weekly updates from the Pear Deck team informing you of the level of engagement from your sessions throughout the week. This kind of visual satisfaction often makes up (slightly) for the hours I spend marking papers after the sun goes down.
When you are using the mobile phone interface drawing and dragging slides tend to crash the browser. I have not had any issues with the other types of slide but this is a bit annoying. Also I have had some issues with embedding YouTube clips. For some reason or another they just don’t want to go in there. At $100 a year for a teacher it’s pretty affordable but I cant help but think there may be a better way to get more for your money.
Find out more at https://www.peardeck.com/