Type of technology: Online resource
Grade level: Any
Subject area: Any
“As educators, we know how easy it is for students to slip through the cracks. So we’re on a mission to make it easy to hear from every student every day” (Pear Deck).
Pear Deck is a lot like Kahoot!; it’s interactive and engaging like Kahoot!, but it allows you to include written answers in long or short text, yes/no questions, and true/ false questions along with multiple choice questions. Participants will follow the path of inquiry and discovery as self-motivated learners because their answers are anonymous on the TV screen, but their names will show up on your computer screen so you can see who’s getting it and who isn’t.
Pear Deck will work with every subject: Art, Science, English, Music-you name it-it works!
I like Pear Deck because it makes it easy for us to ask questions that spark curiosity and challenge intuition instead of just delivering facts because students can interact with the screen.
With Pear Deck every learner can grapple with the question on his or her own screen. This means that everyone is considering your question, not only those who raise their hands. Studies show that when learners directly process the information and then create an answer, they will retain the information better than if they just passively listen. Additionally, you can ask them if they understood the information and they can reply with a thumb’s up or a thumb’s down, which is kind of fun.
Here’s how it works: You open Pear Deck and create a slide. The slide tells you where to type the question, and it asks you to specify what type of answer you’d like for the response (true/false, multiple choice, yes/no, long or short text). You can also drag and drop a photo onto the slide if you want to.
When you’re finished creating your slides, you’ll save it and when you’re ready to use it, you’ll open it by clicking on the “projector” button.The presentation code will then pop up on the TV so students can type it in. Each student types the code into their phone/ipad/computer so they can join (see picture below).
The beauty of Pear Deck is, as an instructor, I can quickly see what each individual thinks on the instructor-only session console screen. Noticing a lot of wrong answers? Adapt! Take a pause, back up, re-explain.
Here’s a link to one of the Pear Decks I created for my AP Literature class on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man:
I use this to check for understanding after I’ve taught a lesson or after they’ve read a chapter in a novel.
It’s also fun to have them create questions for their peers to answer. Once we finished reading Invisible Man, I knew there would be a lot of questions, so I had them write them, I put them into Pear Deck, and I had them use their critical thinking skills to answer the questions, as opposed to me simply giving the answers while they sat passively. This allowed for a lot of different interpretations of the novel, and it created an energetic, engaged discussion about what Ellison was truly trying to do in his novel.
Every time I use this, I get 100% engagement, both in my 10CP classes and in my AP classes. Bottom line-students like to be on their phones and they like to see what others think.
It’s good for me because I can easily discover each student’s level of understanding.
Another cool thing about Pear Deck is, once you’ve signed up, you’ll get emails with a lot of interesting ideas and suggestions from real teachers who have used it. The owners of Pear Deck also offer you one free month of the upper level “Prime” membership, which allows you to use other tools like “Draggable” and “Drawing”, shown below for an Art class.
Here’s an example of a Draggable for a P.E. class:
Bottom Line: I don’t know why it’s named after a pear, but I like it.