DL: Pear deck

One of the problems with showing presentations in distance learning is the lack of interaction with students. One program that takes a step in the right direction is called "Pear Deck."  This is an "add-on" to your Google Slide presentations that allows you to, for example, ask questions for all students to answer, sort of like you would do in class.

Below is a sample lesson using the "answers" feature.  Below I also give my own thoughts on the limitations of the program.

Setting it up

The first step is going to the Pear Deck site and making an account.  The activity below works with the free account. If you click on the link to Pear Deck for Google Slides, there are directions there to download an add-on which is then used in Google drive.  Be sure to download and install the add-on in your browser by following the directions.  Once you have done this once, you do not have to do this again.

After you have installed the add-on, it is best to log out of Google and then log back in.

After creating a new Google Slides presentation, you need to go to "add ons" in your menu bar and select "pear deck for Google Slides Add-on".

When you do that, you will see the sidebar on the right that is in the image above.

When you create a new slide, you may add an "interactive question" to the slide.  To do this, scroll down the menu on the right until you see ""ask students a question."  For example, you can choose "text" and then write a question on the slide.

When you have finished your slideshow, you are ready to go.

Running the presentation

When you run your presentation, you should make sure that you have opened the Pear Deck add-on. (See directions above).

I do this live in Zoom with my students so that I can talk them through some slides and they then them interact with the questions.  When you want to start the presentation, do not choose the normal Google Slides "present" button, choose the Pear Deck "start lesson" button.

After you have started the presentation, you have to add students.  You will see a link on the page (see image below) that allows you to invite students.  You should send your students this link. The link for the presentation is always the same for the presentation.

As you run the presentation, when there is a question, you can see the responses that students are giving. If you open the Teacher Dashboard for the presentation, then you can see who has written which comment. This information, however, isn't projected for  students to see - they only see the responses. This means you can do a follow up with particular students if they've misunderstood a concept.  I wait until all have answered and then I show the answers to the class.  We discuss the answers together - first identifying the correct answers and then discussing why some answers are not correct.

Here you can see a sample presentation that I used with my students.  Please feel free to make a copy and edit it for your own students.

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.