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Using Pear Deck for Student Engagement

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Pandemic Pandemonium


The pandemic has taught us all so much. Many continue to uncover deeper meanings to things previously taken for granted: health, relationships, flexibility, and resilience, to name a few.


COVID has also shaken the world of education in ways no one could see coming. Educators around the world have been forced to redefine the very foundations of our systems.


  • How can we differentiate our supports in providing individualized resources necessary for each student to learn?

  • What is consistent attendance during a pandemic?

  • How does time factor into learning?

  • How can we ensure grades reflect learning?

  • What can we do to effectively monitor and support student progress in each of the three learning models?

And the question that continues to ring loud and clear-- now more than at any time in public education's history. . .

How can we design learning experiences that are actually engaging for kids?


 

Looking the Beast in the Eye


The truth is that we should have been asking this question of systems and ourselves long before COVID hit. Until recently, we as educators have--in effect-- been presented with captive audiences. We taught how we chose to teach, and students really didn't have any say in the ways in which we "delivered" instruction.


The focus was on teaching. And teachers for the most part were at liberty to make instructional decisions unilaterally.


Enter COVID-19.

Seemingly overnight, the traditional "teacher presence", complete with unspoken rules of learning, classroom routines, and expectations in brick-and-mortar classrooms, all but vanished.


Students were no longer bused to their buildings and shuffled into classrooms at the behest of a bell.


Teachers couldn't see their students in a physical space.


How are we supposed to be able to teach kids when we can't even be with them?


This seemed like an insurmountable challenge. And yet the collective professional growth our nation's educators have experienced in these last twelve months has been astounding.



The Great Inundation


Educators and support agencies responded in the only ways they knew how. They started compiling LISTS.


Lists of learning games kids could play at home.

Lists of free resources for educators.

Lists of subscriptions school and district staff had access to.

Lists of Learning Management Systems.

Lists of phone numbers and email addresses to contact students and families.

Lists of links and resources for staff saliva testing and COVID leave protocols.

Lists of professional organizations supporting teachers.

Lists of tools, websites, and apps.


AND THEN MORE TOOLS, WEBSITES, AND APPS.


Educators, students, and families alike were overwhelmed. And is it any wonder?



The "Weeding Out" Process

Landing on One Great Tool That Works


Inevitably, educators, schools, districts, and charters had to embrace the new-- and sift through the proverbial mountains of information presented to them in order to identify a manageable collection of resources-- little nuggets of gold-- to support effective and engaging instruction for student learning.



In my role as a secondary English/Language Arts teacher, I can't talk up Pear Deck enough.



 

Back to Beginning


Top 10 Reasons Pear Deck Is My #1 Go-To:



Reason #1: Students tell me they love it.

Reason #2: It's designed on the principles of Learning Science.

Reason #3: It works seamlessly with my Google Slides content.

Reason #4: It helps me ensure I'm incorporating essential building blocks in each of my lessons.

Reason #5: It works for synchronous AND asynchronous instruction.

Reason #6: Students leave each session with a "Takeaways" report of the lesson and their responses.

Reason #7: Ask questions on the fly.

Reason #8: There's something for everyone.

Reason #9: No more asking students to sift through excessive links in the chat!

Reason #10: The professional support is amazing.


 

Back to Beginning


Reason #1: Students tell me they love it.


Want to know what draws students in? What keeps them engaged?


ASK THEM.