• Mary Klucznik

On Deck (part 2)

The final project for our Pear Deck inservice was to revise an existing slide deck. I chose to completely revamp a Beginner Email Etiquette lesson that I do for ELA 9. I also decided to focus this particular lesson for a student that is remote. I used the audio feature in Pear Deck to easily narrate the slides and included a few interactives.

The end result, it was okay. I struggle with developing questions and assessments. I world benefit from an entire course on this alone! We also had the opportunity to review other classmates slide decks. This was very interesting and helpful. I can see that sometimes interactives might be overwhelming for a student too much to do independently. As I was building the deck I didn't really have a sense of what it would look like from a student's perspective. Perhaps this is easier the more you use the tool.

There are two things I thought of after using the tool: privacy and pricing. Our district works hard to comply with NYS Education Law Section-2D and protecting student privacy is paramount. I consulted with our Coordinator of Instructional Technology and learned that parts of Pear Deck are as fine as long as students do not enter Personal Identifiable Information. Students can join with an access code and nickname. Pear Deck can also connect with a student's google account but this is the side of Pear Deck that should be avoided. I also think that the instructor can share a link (class code) directly with the students and that would eliminate any privacy concerns. If you stay within these boundaries student privacy will be protects and you should be good to go!

The other concern is cost. As part of the inservice we signed up for the premium version which includes additional features. It's likely that the free version is adequate but as a librarian I hesitate to recommend a product that requires a fee for additional options. Invariably the teacher will like the tool and want more options that it can provide. From my perspective, that's the downside to Pear Deck. Here's a link to the Pear Deck pricing page (district pricing is available).

The tool is fairly easy to use, especially if you keep it simple. If you're looking to create a quick interactive assessments it's great. If you want something more, my advice is to talk to your technology integration specialist, Director of Technology and/or Principal.

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