Pear Deck Extension Proves Valuable in Remote Learning

Carlmont students and teachers frequently spotted a pear-shaped icon in the top right-hand corner of their browsers, a small but significant symbol representing Pear Deck, an extension that quickly gained popularity during distance learning despite its initial obscurity.

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, many teachers harnessed the power of this extension as a valuable resource to foster student engagement during lessons.

According to its official website, the Pear Deck add-on offers audio instructions, descriptions, or examples to students while they read prompts and respond to questions within interactive presentations.

Social Studies teacher Charles Bauer recalls that before the shift to Zoom instruction, many educators were unfamiliar with Pear Deck. “I came across it during professional development sessions at the start of the year,” Bauer said. “We received Pear Deck training because many teachers were not well-versed in online teaching methods.”

Physics teacher Ian Hagmann also significantly increased his usage of the Pear Deck Add-on compared to previous years. “Before COVID and distance learning, I rarely used Pear Deck,” Hagmann said. “But this year, I use it in almost every class. One of its advantages is that I can see students’ answers in real-time when embedding questions, which wasn’t possible before.”

Like Bauer, Hagmann finds Pear Deck highly beneficial for engaging students. “Pear Deck guides my class. It serves as the focal point for discussions and transitions, making it an excellent organizational and curricular tool,” he added.

Many teachers appreciate the interactive elements Pear Deck offers, believing they enhance student engagement. Features like multiple-choice questions are especially helpful for assessing students’ understanding quickly.

However, one drawback of Pear Deck is the time teachers must invest in planning presentations, which can limit lesson plan flexibility. Bauer notes that adding new material during class can slow down the lesson significantly.

“For me, setting up a Pear Deck slideshow takes time. If I come up with new points or questions during class, it can disrupt the flow,” Bauer said. “Using Pear Deck more would require additional planning.”

On the other hand, Hagmann has encountered minimal technical issues or disruptions. He believes Pear Deck has significantly streamlined instruction during distance learning.

“Without Pear Deck, instruction would be less efficient during distance learning,” Hagmann said. “While it has its place in a traditional classroom, I now rely on it more than ever.”

Pear Deck has emerged as a crucial tool for educators, providing a seamless experience akin to having a physical whiteboard in a classroom, particularly during these challenging times.

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