This post first appeared on Free Technology for Teachers.
As more schools go 1:1, teachers often feel challenged to make their traditional lessons and activities more interactive. One of my favorite free tools is Pear Deck because it allows a teacher to take a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF and incorporate various student activities to check for understanding and engagement. Pear Deck is free for students and teachers (with a higher end, paid premium model) and it fully integrates with Google Apps for Education.
When you sign in to your Pear Deck account, create a new interactive lesson by selecting “New Deck.” You can then create a slideshow from scratch or import a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF. Once you have imported an existing document or created your presentation within Pear Deck, you can go through and edit the slides incorporating free response (text), free response (number), and multiple choice questions within the slide. If you have the premium option (they offer a free 30 day trial) you can also use draggable features as well as freehand drawing for students to demonstrate understanding, such as crafting an image, indicating a point on a map, and more.
This can allow you to do a quick check for understanding or have students engage with the material as you present. It’s also a great way to deliver engage students with bell ringer activities or an exit ticket. Check it out and play with it in your classroom!
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