Student engagement is a hot topic these days and, let's be honest, sometimes lectures/direct instruction aren't very engaging for our students. BUT that doesn't have to be the case! Pear Deck is one of my favorite tools that makes connecting with students during a lecture easy. Students can answer interactive questions and engage in the lecture from any device - even their own.
Pear Deck allows you create slide decks or vocabulary lists - very similar to PowerPoint and/or Google Slides. The difference is that Pear Deck has embedded options to encourage student interaction - you can add multiple choice slides, free response (text & number) slides as well as website slides. As you progress through the presentation, your students follow along with you and interact throughout the lecture. You can also import slides from pre-existing PowerPoints, Google Slides, or PDFs so you don't have to start all over with your current presentations!
In addition, there is a library of pre-made slide decks that teachers can use, copy, and edit for free. There is a premium version that allows for even more options; however, the free version is a great place to start!
Poll Everywhere, Nearpod, and Padlet are also great ways to increase student engagement during your lectures/direct instruction. You can provide links to activities that formatively assess student understanding and engagement throughout your lecture. You might even try a back channel like TodaysMeet to empower your students - even the quietest students - to ask questions, contribute the discussion and more! Google Slides presenter view has an embedded back channel where teachers to take questions or comments from the audience during their presentation!
Feel free to reach out if you have questions about any of the tools mentioned or have questions about other technology tools you would like to integrate into your classroom.
Pear Deck is a communication platform that lets teachers create interactive assessments and presentations that students can follow along on their devices. It aims to help teachers efficiently understand individual students’ progress in the classroom. Teachers create a presentation, or “Pear Deck,” in their Google Drive; students interact individually with questions within the Pear Deck while teachers monitor both individual and class progress. Pear Deck is available in free and paid versions. http://www.peardeck.com
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Secondary Technology Integration Coach for GFPS. Former high-school history and psychology teacher. Montana native, and avid user of ed-tech!