I knew in my AP Government class, I wanted to add more to the slides used during lecture. I wanted to be able to ask questions to my students, to have them expand upon concepts presented as well as provide a way to review concepts closer to exams. Enter Pear Deck which gives teachers the ability to not only present previously created Powerpoints and Google Slides presentations, but to include interactive slides where participants can write text and numbers, draw on a digital whitboard, answer multiple choice and drag to label an image. Even though I teach seniors, Pear Deck let’s them be kids again. I have had my students draw visual representations when asked about Constitutional Amendments. Even recent participants during a district PD took part in telling me what they taught and where:
Recently, Pear Deck launched a Google Slides Add-On which allows for editing and creating of both static and interactive slides, right in Google Slides. I’m blown away by the fact that I can create a slide, adding my own flair, and then add the interactive (draw, write, respond, drag) layer right on top. Even better, Pear Deck has included a library of starter slides, organized by beginning, middle or end of the lesson, which can be edited for your presentation. In my casual glance, there were ideas for the interactive slides I had not even thought of, including drawing/typing on a mind map.
Both of these forces combined allows for out-of-the-box and interactive presentations which can be used in any classroom to give students something different, beyond the standard presentation of facts.