Saturday, 6 June 2015

Pear Deck in the classroom

I recently bought a subscription to Pear Deck. Pear Deck is an instant response Assessment for Learning tool for 1 to 1 classrooms.

Pear Deck allows you to import Powerpoint and Google Slide presentations, as well as PDFs, and turns them into Pear Deck slides. You can then build questions from several types: multiple choice, text response, draw response, etc. I chose to run the session with a laptop and projector while controlling the presentation with my tablet in Dashboard mode.

The platform allows me to see who is answering what and I can project anonymous responses onto the screen. The teacher can lock responses but I have found the students get much amusement from realising they were incorrect and quickly try to change their answers before I can lock the submissions.

I particularly like the draw and drag question types. The drag type can be used with the thumbs slide that Pear Deck provide as a template; the students drag a red dot to wherever they believe it should be.

My lesson, on rusting and acids, went very well. The students were really engaged and trying to answer within the short timeframes I was giving them and then went to write more equations as posters in their groups. The lesson finished some recap questions and a couple of harder extensions; all-in-all, a pretty good lesson. I found that using the questions built into the presentation allowed me to finish exactly on time, whereas I can tend to overrun a little and not complete my lessons exactly as planned.

Question: do I continue to use Pear Deck regularly, risking the students getting used to it?

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