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Interactive slides with the Pear Deck app

As a teacher, we like to vary the activities offered to students (quiz, identification, classification, short answer, process, etc.). With digital, in class or remotely, it's child's play! Ghislain Mireault, Secondary 5 teacher in the social world at Académie Lafontaine, introduces us to the Pear Deck tool, which makes Google Slides and PowerPoint slideshows interactive, in addition to offering interesting monitoring and feedback options.

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As a teacher, it is interesting to offer interactive activities to students (quiz, identification, classification, short answer, process, etc.) from web platforms. Thus, equipped with their electronic device, the students can follow a more masterful lesson while being invited to carry out short activities as the session progresses.

After having tried several tools allowing to add interactive activities to his presentations, Ghislain Mireault, teacher of 5e secondary school in the social universe at the Académie Lafontaine, adopted Pear Deck. He also presented the tool live during a CréaCamp Découverte last October 21.

Why add interactivity to your presentations? “This allows, among other things, to keep many traces of learning. Also, we can check the understanding of all students instantly and give immediate collective feedback accordingly. Individual feedback can then be given in private since the responses of each student are collated, ”says Mireault.

He mentions having noted a higher level of engagement on the part of his students as well as an increased participation. In short, it's a way to get students to stay active and maintain their focus throughout a lesson. 

“It can be as simple as asking students how they feel at the start of class. Immediately, the teacher can orient his lesson according to the general mood of the group, ”he explains.

Pear Deck features

Concretely, Pear Deck is an add-on that is added to Google Slides or PowerPoint. It allows you to make the presentation slides interactive by adding activities. Existing presentations can be edited, so there's no need to recreate everything.

Once the module is installed, a list of activity templates is available on the right of the screen in Google Slides or PowerPoint. Several types of activities (text, multiple choice, numbers, website, drawing / handwriting, move / drop) can be created / modified: complete sentences, demonstrate a mathematical process, classify events in chronological order, identify places on a map, etc.

When the presentation is ready, the teacher clicks the button Start Lesson and can choose synchronous or asynchronous broadcast mode:

  • synchronous (real-time): the pupils connect to Pear Deck, enter the code provided by the teacher and the interactive pages which scroll on their screen are controlled by the latter;
  • asynchronous (student-paced): Students log into Pear Deck, enter the code provided by the teacher and can complete the activities at their own pace.

Pear Deck, in English only at the moment, is available for free with basic functions. With the premium version (paid), a practical control panel for the teacher is added as well as reports for the students. Importantly, to be able to see the answers given during a session live, you need the premium version. Otherwise, we can go and consult the answers once the session is over.

Here is a tutorial to know more!

Can also review training from October 21 here.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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