Getting Started with Pear Deck

If you are new to Pear Deck, this article will give you a basic overview. 

The typical flow of a Pear Deck lesson has 4 main parts:

  1. Create your Pear Deck Slides
  2. Present your Pear Deck lesson and see student responses in real-time
  3. Extend your lesson with homework
  4. Review Student Responses and Provide Feedback

Create your Pear Deck Slides

The first step in making your interactive Pear Deck lesson, is to create your slides. You can do that in 3 ways:

  1. Create your slides from scratch in the Pear Deck Slide Editor (Learn How).
    This is best if you don’t have any pre-made content you want to reuse or if you want to focus on keeping slides simple and to the point
  2. Import slides from another program (like PowerPoint or Google Slides) and turn them into interactive prompts in the Pear Deck Slide Editor (Learn How).
    This is best if you have presentations from previous years or if you want to format your slides in very specific ways before making them interactive
  3. Directly Present your PowerPoint, Google Slides, or PDF and drop in interactive question on-the-fly as you teach (Learn How).
    This is best if you don’t have a lot of time to plan but you want to make a lesson interactive.

Present your Pear Deck Lesson

Before class starts, you can hook your computer to your projector and click “Start Presenting.” The very first slide will show your students how to join your Session

When you move to the next slide, your student’s screens will stay synced with yours. They will be able to see the slide content by either looking at the projector screen or at their own devices, which is really helpful for students at the back of the room who may struggle to see more detailed content.

When you come to an interactive slide, students will also see an answer input on their screen, which will look different depending on what kind of question you made. Learn more about the 5 interactive question types  here.

As your students answer, you can watch their responses in real-time on your own, private, Teacher Dashboard. From here you can see who’s stuck or confused and even star exemplars or misconceptions to discuss as a group.

When you are ready, you can project responses anonymously on the screen. This allows students to see different ideas and makes it easy to spark a discussion. At the same time, since the answers are anonymous, students don’t have to worry about being embarrassed. This can really help shyer students feel included in the discussion even when they don’t speak up.

Here's how the same answers display anonymously on the Projector View

Extend your Lesson with Homework

Sometimes you don’t make it through the whole lesson during class time. Sometimes students are absent and need to go through the lesson on their own. And sometimes you want students to go back through the content to review and reflect.  When you need to extend your Pear Deck lesson beyond class time, there are 2 great options:

  1. Set your Pear Deck lesson to Student-Paced Mode
    This is best when you didn’t complete the lesson during class or there were absent students. Student-Paced Mode lets students move through the slides at their own pace and all of their answers can be viewed in exactly the same way as normal so you can talk about their answers the next day in class.  Learn More.
  2. Publish Student Takeaways to give each student a personal notes doc. 
    This is best when you want students to review all the content from the lesson and be able to reflect on their own answers. Since a Takeaway is a Google Doc, you can easily share it with parents or tutors when a student needs extra help at home.  Learn More.

Review Student Responses and Provide Feedback

After your lesson is over, you can review and provide feedback in 3 ways:

  1. Export Student Answers to Google Sheets for Grading (Learn How).
    This is best when you’ve given a Multiple Choice or text-based quiz. You can even use the Google Sheets Add-On, called  Flubaroo, to automatically grade the quiz and send grade reports to students.
  2. Review Answers in the Pear Deck Teacher Dashboard
    This is best when you want to flip through the lesson slide-by-slide and see what each student thought. It’s also really helpful for identifying what material might need to be revisited the next day. Learn More.
  3. Click on the Deck you just presented
    Click on the Session you want to review
  4. Publish Student Takeaways 
    This is best when you want to provide individual feedback for students. Because the Student Takeaways are Google Docs, you can use the commenting tool to provide direct feedback about an answer; the student can get a notification and respond to you.  Learn More.

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