At Pear Deck, we strive to bring you the fresh, authentic voices of educators in the trenches. Throughout the remainder of the spring semester, we’ll be highlighting the insights and experiences of some of our Pear Deck Certified coaches who are using Pear Deck in their classrooms and training their peers on best practices in student engagement and formative assessment.
This week’s blog post is brought to you by Pear Deck Certified Coach, Erin Fisher. Erin is a classroom teacher-turned-Technology Integration Facilitator at East Bridgewater Public Schools in Massachusetts. She loves working with teachers to “change the game” and reach all kids. Erin is married to Scott and is a mom to three little boys. Check out her blog on tech in the classroom at www.fishinonamission.com and follow her on Twitter @MrsErinFisher.
Seriously, is there anything better than hearing from students that, YES, I do have a voice!?
Pear Deck allows for differentiation, collaboration, data collection and engagement all in one fabulous tool. It’s centered around students and teachers, and was developed by teachers with a student-centered classroom in mind.
Launch a presentation and control it remotely. Move around the room, engage with students, all while presenting and questioning. Preview and display answers from the back of the room or even from home. Pear Deck is active learning at its best, and it truly is a gamechanger for a classroom teacher.
Before I found Pear Deck, I would teach from the front of my room, chained to my board. I was up to thirty 12 year olds in my sixth grade math class. The ones in the back couldn’t even SEE my board, nevermind understand what I was teaching. I would ask a question; some students would raise their hands. Or, I would ask a question, then pull a stick from a cup to make sure I got answers from a variety of students. I would teach in isolation, writing on my board and erasing it before the next class came in, only to rewrite it again over the projected, pre-planned notes (snore).
And then, this tool came on the scene. Tired of fighting this uphill battle day after day, I asked a colleague in another district, “do you have anything that allows you to project your notes to student devices so they can actually see — and maybe even learn?” His response: Pear Deck. It was new to him, and he hadn’t really explored it, but knew it could project to student screens. I had to check it out.
And with that, the game just changed. It started slowly as students were mesmerized they could SEE the notes and they could CHECK the homework which I also projected. Then, it got better…oh, so much better — like, come from behind and win in the last quarter better, only it was even better than that! I could ask questions and get responses from ALL my students, not just one. I could embed video of me modeling the math, and play it from the back of the room — anywhere in the room — while walking around…not CHAINED to my board. I could begin my class with all students at the same starting point, then pull a group who needed help while the rest, using Student-Paced Mode, could go on independently through the questions I had made. I could share my decks with colleagues, and now we all taught an engaging and interactive lesson. Now, with Pear Deck’s add-on for Google Slides, we can all even edit and contribute to a deck simultaneously, which is fantastic!
But, the greatest aspect, the number one, hands down, touchdown times 20, aspect of Pear Deck that will forever be in my heart was when my selectively mute, sweet, shy, wonderful, brilliant student wrote me a note that said “Thank you for giving me a voice with Pear Deck.” THAT changed the game, forever.
I ❤️ Pear Deck.