Pear Deck

Use existing Google Slides, or create new ones, to engage and assess students both asynchronously and synchronously, in-person or remotely. Students can engage with your content in a variety of ways.

Why Use Pear Deck?

Pear Deck can...

  • Engage every student consistently throughout a class or activity

  • Help teachers check for understanding

  • Give all students a voice

  • Review homework in a more active way

  • Provide virtual students the same experience as in-person students

  • Assess content where appropriate

  • Add fun and excitement to your existing content

  • ...And more!

Brief introductory "commercial" from the Pear Deck creators.

Bri Lazarchik is one of our Pear Deck advocates on campus, and she is always happy to answer your questions or talk more about how to leverage the power of Pear Deck in your classroom: lazarchikb@gilmour.org.

Pear Deck Basics

Never used Pear Deck? Before you do anything else, go to peardeck.com and create an account by logging in with Google, using your Gilmour account. It's important that you do this instead of a personal account because your Gilmour account will unlock premium features!

The primary tool of Pear Deck is the Google Slides Add-On. Once you are in a regular Google Slides window, you can access it by selecting Add-Ons --> Pear Deck for Google Slides Add On --> Open Pear Deck Add-On. There's also a Chrome extension for Pear Deck that gives slightly quicker access, if you feel so inclined.

This add-on provides access to the necessary options for both creating and presenting a Pear Deck. It looks like this, and there is more information in the below videos.

Click here for an introductory video from Dan Adiletta, showing how you can get started.

Introductory/Basics from Bri, part II of the above video from Dan:

In-Class/Synchronous Learning

Pear Deck can be used to present and engage live with students, whether you are on Zoom or live in the classroom. For this, you will click the green Start Lesson button in the sidebar, and then choose Instructor-Paced Activity.

More on Instructor-Paced mode here:

Virtual/Remote/Asynchronous Learning

Pear Decks can also be shared with students, as a link in the portal, to work through and complete on their own time. For this, you will click Start Lesson and then choose Student-Paced Activity. Grading/monitoring this option is more heavily reliant on the main Pear Deck site, which enables you to see completed student Pear Decks and responses.

A brief overview of this mode, its functions, and your view as an instructor:

For more detail, below is a full-length webinar from Pear Deck on how to utilize Pear Deck for a distance-learning, asynchronous setting.

Pedagogy

What are some of the practical applications of these great tools? Here are a few sample ideas:

  • Homework Review: Instead of calling on students individually (i.e. "Who would like to share what they wrote for Question 1?"), all student responses to given questions can be displayed and discussed as the teacher wishes.

  • Agree/Disagree Activities: Students vote on four options (Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). They can see how their response measures up to the others in the class, and you can invite further discussion if you wish.

  • Class Discussion/Participation Points: Through either live or after-the-fact monitoring, you can more easily see which students have been actively participating in the discussion or activities along the way.

  • Checks for Understanding: You could add 1-2 Pear Deck questions at the beginning or end of your sides to serve as "do now" or exit tickets, with responses fully exportable to view later on.

  • Wellness/ Social-Emotional Check-ins: Remember, student responses are always private unless you, the teacher, choose to share them. You could place a question or two at the beginning or end of class to ask students to write, draw, or circle statements or concepts about how they are feeling.

  • Assessment: By either presenting a Pear Deck and never using the "show responses" feature, or sending it out as a student-paced activity, you can also use Pear Deck as a formative assessment tool. I would say the best way to grade these assessments would be to export the completed work to a spreadsheet, otherwise this might be easier for smaller groups, but there are definitely a lot of possibilities here.

Again, please reach out to me (Bri) if you have any questions or want to review any of the above components in more detail. The more I use Pear Deck, the more I find ways to adopt it to a variety of lessons and learning activities, and the students really love it. I am happy to help you find a starting point with this great technology or help you determine how best to work it in to what you already do!

Pear Deck for SEL

As mentioned above, Pear Deck is a great tool for social-emotional check-ins with your students at any point during class. You can incorporate SEL questions into an existing presentation in which students are engaging with content in Pear Deck, OR you can just have students log in to Pear Deck for 1-2 check-ins before returning to your regularly scheduled pedagogy.

Both of the above approaches definitely have their merits. This is also to say - you DON'T have to build out an entire class worth of Pear Deck content just to try out the check-in questions. Students may really enjoy the change of pace if they stop their group work/worksheet/etc. to log into Pear Deck and digitally connect with the class for just 5-10 minutes. It's worth the investment of time!

Here is an awesome video from one of the Pear Deck staff members that details how you can quickly incorporate Pear Deck SEL checks:

She has a link in the bottom of her video to a library of Pear Deck Templates, which can also be found here!

More resources

Here's a presentation from our account representative to a different school

Portal (LMS)

Don't forget you can give online assessments over our portal! Check it out: