Monday, December 4, 2017

Supercharge Google Slides with Pear Deck Add-on

On the first day of Tech-Mas my true love gave to me… an add-on for a Pear Deck.

Note: This post is part of my "12 Days of Tech-Mas" series for 2017. You can see all of the posts for each day as they get released in the main post here: "12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017".

It is no surprise that "Death by PowerPoint" is a well-known expression. Whether it be PowerPoint or Google Slides or any other multimedia presentation tool, we all know the potential boredom that can come from presenting with and learning from a slideshow.

Certainly we do our best to be engaging presenters, to include humor, interesting information, and maybe some animations to keep the audience's attention. Still we know that our students will learn more if we can engage them and make the presentation more interactive.

Well thankfully we have just the tool for that! Recently when Google rolled out add-ons for Slides, one of the first add-ons to be released was Pear Deck. This tool was already a popular resource on its own, but now with the improved integration with Google Slides it is easier than ever to add true interactivity to your slideshows.

See below for directions on how to add and use the Pear Deck add-on for Google Slides. For more details on this, also be sure to catch my upcoming webinar in January all about Google Slides add-ons.

What is Pear Deck?

Pear Deck is a tool that integrates with existing slideshows to add interactive elements that allow the audience to participate with the following:
  • Multiple choice - Students are given a question with multiple answer choices and choose their response
  • Text entry - Students are able to type in text to response to a question
  • Numeric entry - Students can enter a number in response to a question
  • Drawing - Students are able to use drawing tools to sketch out their response
  • Draggable - Students are given an image that they are able to drag anywhere on the screen to respond to the question
When the presentation runs, the slideshow displays on each student's device, with each slide advanced only when the teacher determines.

The teacher is able to show the students responses when desired. Responses can be shown individually or aggregated together to look for patterns.


The Pear Deck Add-on

In the past you would have to go to Pear Deck's website and import your existing slideshow, and then add the interactive elements. Now with the add-on, you can build everything right inside of Google Slides.

To install the Pear Deck add-on do the following:
  • Open a Google slideshow as normal.
  • Click the "Add-ons" menu at the top.
  • Choose "Get add-ons" from the drop-down menu.
  • This will open the "Add-ons" window where you can browse through the available add-ons.
  • When you find "Pear Deck" click the "+FREE" button.
  • You will now need to choose the Google account you are using, and then agree to the permissions by clicking "Allow".
  • The Pear Deck add-on will now be installed and available in your "Add-ons" menu from now on.

Using the Pear Deck Add-on

To use the Pear Deck add-on to make your slideshow interactive, you will want to start by building your presentation in Google Slides as normal, or by using an already existing presentation. After you have the slideshow ready like normal, you can go back through and add in the interactive Pear Deck elements.

When adding the interactive Pear Deck elements, you have two main choices:
  • Add a premade interactive Pear Deck slide to your slideshow
  • Add Pear Deck functionality to an existing slide
We will look at both options below.


Option 1 - Add a Premade Pear Deck Slide

With this first option, the Pear Deck add-on provides four premade slides that you can add to your presentation. These will be inserted as new slides, rather than changing the slides you already have. To use this option do the following.
  • Go to the spot in your slideshow where you want the new Pear Deck slide added.
  • Click the "Add-ons" menu.
  • Choose "Pear Deck".
  • Choose one of the following options
    • Add Warm-up Slide
    • Add Reflection Slide
    • Add Temperature Check Slide
    • Add Exit Ticket Slide

Here's how each works:

1) Add Warm-up Slide

For this slide the students will be asked the question, "What are 2 things you already know about today's topic?" When the presentation runs they will be able to use the Pear Deck drawing tool to sketch in their responses.



2) Add Reflection Slide

For this slide the students will be asked "What was hard about the homework?". When the presentation runs they will be able to type in their responses.



3) Add Temperature Check Slide

For this slide the students will be asked "Could you do this on your own?". When the presentation runs they will be able to drag the red dot to the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" images to indicate their responses.



4) Add Exit Ticket Slide

For this slide the students will be asked the question, "What is the most important thing you learned today?" When the presentation runs they will be able to use the Pear Deck drawing tool to sketch in their responses.



Note: An important thing to realize is that you are able to edit these pre-made slides. You may want to use them just the way they are, but if not, you are allowed to change anything on the slide except for the very bottom section where the Pear Deck banner is located.

For example you could:
  • Change the question being asked.
  • Add images to the slide for the students to draw on.
  • Delete the "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" images and add your own image for the students to drag the red dot onto.

Option 2 - Add Pear Deck to an Existing Slide

Instead of inserting a pre-made Pear Deck slide, you can add Pear Deck interactivity to an existing slide. To use this option do the following.
  • Go to the slide you have already made, which you want to add Pear Deck functionality to.
  • Click the "Add-ons" menu.
  • Choose "Pear Deck".
  • Click "Advanced".
  • Choose one of the following options
    • Draggable
    • Drawing
    • Text
    • Number
    • Multiple Choice
    • Web Slide


Note: The "Draggable" and "Drawing" options are not available through this option in the free version, but instead are premium paid features. However, you can still use these features somewhat by using the pre-made slides as described in the section before. The "Draggable" option is included in the pre-made "Temperature Check Slide" and the "Drawing" option is included in the pre-made "Exit Ticket Slide".

Here's how each of the non-premium options work:

1) Text

If you choose the "Text" option, when the presentation runs students will be able to type in their responses. For an example, I asked students to give an example of perpendicular lines in the real world.



2) Number

If you choose the "Number" option, when the presentation runs students will be able to type in a numeric response to your question. For an example, I asked students to give a possible measure for an acute angle.



3) Multiple Choice

If you choose the "Multiple Choice" option, you will need to type in a question and possible answers. You will probably want these to match whatever you have already typed on your slide. When the presentation runs students will be able to choose an answer to your question. For an example, I asked students to choose what type of angle was being shown.



4) Web Slide

If you choose a "Web Slide" you will be asked to paste in the web address for a site. When the presentation runs the students will see that site embedded in the slideshow and will be able to browse the site.


Running the Pear Deck Slideshow

Once you are finished adding the interactive Pear Deck elements to your Google Slides presentation, you are now ready to run the slideshow as follows:

  • Click the "Add-ons" menu.
  • Choose "Pear Deck" from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose "Present with Pear Deck"
  • You may need to click "Allow" again for additional permissions.
  • Your slideshow will now be imported into Pear Deck, which can take a while if you have a lot of slides or large images.
  • You will now get a screen labeled "Step 1 of 3" where you need to make sure Pear Deck is showing up properly on your classroom projector.
  • You will now see a screen labeled "Step 2 of 3". This screen will have directions for your students to join your Pear Deck session.
  • Students will need to go to peardeck.com/join and type in the code displayed.
  • Once your students have joined, you are now ready to do "Step 3 of 3" which is to begin the presentation by clicking the arrow in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • As you click through the presentation, your students screens will show the current slide in sync with what you are displaying.
  • When you get to the interactive slides, the students will be able to type or draw or drag as needed on their devices to respond to your questions.
  • You are able to show the students responses when desired by clicking the "Project Student Responses" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Responses can be shown individually or aggregated together to look for patterns.



Here are some sample screens showing student responses to my questions.

When I asked the "Text" question to give an example of perpendicular lines in the real world.


When I asked the "Number" question to give a possible measure for an acute angle.


When I asked the "Multiple Choice" question to choose what type of angle was being shown.


When I asked the "Drawing" question to draw an example of a quadrilateral (by editing the "Exit Ticket" slide)


When I asked the "Draggable" question to show an example of a counting number (by editing the "Temperature Check" slide)



Conclusion

With the Pear Deck add-on for Google Slides there is really no longer any reason to ever have a non-interactive presentation again. It is very easy to add engaging elements to the slideshow to allow your students to participate and to provide you with powerful feedback which you can use to adjust your instruction.

To see this in action, be sure to sign up for my free webinar coming up in January where I will be demonstrating the Pear Deck add-on as well as many other add-ons for Google Slides. Details are below:

Supercharge Google Slides with Add-Ons
January 18, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm EST
Webinar link - http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd/20180118-slides-addons (click to register and watch live webinar)
Description: Google Slides is already pretty awesome, but with free Add-Ons you can make it even awesome-er! Learn how to find, install, use, and manage Add-Ons for Slides including tools for finding and inserting free images, creating a photo slideshow from a Drive folder, creating interactive presentations with Pear Deck, batch formatting of text and images, and more.


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1

4 comments:

  1. Hi Eric, So excited about your Tech-mas! Is Pear Deck free?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eric, I always enjoy your posts! I look forward to the next 11!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does Pear Deck work with Power Point or Power Point Online?

    ReplyDelete