The Power of Pear Deck

My new favorite assessment tool is "Pear Deck". Pear deck is a presentation platform that allows a teacher to give lectures with videos, content, but also intersperse formative assessment questions to engage students so they're not sitting passively.

The Pear Deck Dashboard
Pear Deck is free but the premium account allows teachers to see student responses during a presentation. There are times when I've used "Pear Deck" and I don't want my student to see another student's response in which I'll toggle in an out of presentation mode.

The Pear Deck dashboard. Lessons are boxed together for editing. 
Getting Started
Strangely, the best way to get started with Pear Deck is to create an account in "Google Drive" as teachers will have the ability to send responses to a students Google drive account, and for this, Pear Deck needs to be enabled. Go to "Google Drive", hit the red button that says "new" and go down to "connect more apps" and search for pear deck and install.

Once students have done this, direct them to the Pear Deck website and select "student login". DO NOT select "Sign in with Google" as this will sign them into Pear Deck as an administrator.

Pear Deck in Action
For this lesson below on how nutrition affects the body, I asked students for some background knowledge using an long, open ended response. On the left window, I can see students and their responses, but in the center, they can publicly see what each other wrote. You can select the green eye below if you want (or don't want) students to see each other responses before submitting, so Pear deck does have applications as a community learning tool, but also for summative assessment. Another fun feature is the "lock" button which will shut out students ability to respond after a designated time.

Presentation Mode
Below you will see the format for videos. A video inserted will not play as a session dashboard, but as a teacher you can go back and forth between projector view and session dashboard.

Running Records
As you insert questions with the question icon, all information from users is collected and put into a spreadsheet that can be emailed and send with "another email merge" or "autocrat" for reference.
A spreadsheet of responses. 

A Final Word
I had to practice Pear Deck once with my advisory students before I felt competent enough to manage pear deck with a lesson. The different presenting modes, inserting question types were all a little daunting for a first time. However, after using my 11 students as guinea pigs for an advisory lesson, I got a handle on things and was ready to go!

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