Wednesday, August 27, 2014

All Hands on (Pear) Deck!

One of my favorite new finds this summer is Pear Deck!  My friend Susan from The Digital Scoop and I were blown away when we saw this web tool used this summer at the Great Plains Google Summit.  Pear Deck allows you to plan and create interactive lessons for your classroom.  Slides can be created directly in Pear Deck or imported from your Google Drive presentations.   You can create slides that are content driven in which students are seeing only what you want or interactive slides where kids can move a marker to certain areas (draggable) to show understanding or provide instant feedback to a question (multiple choice or free response).  The best part is all of your Pear Decks are stored in your Google Drive!  You can even import pre-existing PowerPoint and Presentations directly into Pear Deck as PDF's.

Students will need a device (computer, tablet, phone) with an internet connection and the unique student code to access the deck. They simply go to and type in the code and then wait for the teacher to begin the presentation.  As the teacher progresses through each slide, the images on the students device change as well.  

Teachers project the Classroom view on whatever display is in the room.  What's fun about this is when each student chooses an answer or moves the draggable dot to certain areas of the screen -- all answers show up on the Classroom view while the student only sees their response.  Instant feedback!  Great opportunities for discussion!

I have used Pear Deck as an introduction and review of classroom procedures, content review of various skills and programs used in the computer lab, and am happily creating more and more!  The students LOVE them and it's a great way to get quick data on how much students are understanding and retaining.  

Pear Deck is now in Public Beta and available to any Google Apps users using the Chrome browser.

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