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EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

Pear Deck 101 + Q&A


Last week, I presented as a part of Pear Deck’s Pear Fair 2020. My presentation was Pear Deck 101 for Google Slides. During the presentation, there was a live chat. Many people said it went too fast for a 101 Session. Luckily, it was recorded so it can be rewatched.  Also, many said that they wanted to know how to build a Pear Deck first. I structured the presentation to show what Pear Deck was before showing how to make one. Perhaps that wasn’t the best structure. But, I’m going to stick with my philosophy of showing what something is before showing how to make it. The presentation, which can be watched below, was structured in several different sections

  1. What is Pear Deck? Providing an overview of the experience from the Teacher and Student perspectives.

  2. How do you build a Pear Deck in Google Slides?

  3. How do you start a Pear Deck presentation?

  4. How do you end a Pear Deck presentation?

Here is the Slideshow I shared during the session

Time really flew in the session. So, I was unable to keep up with the live chat or answer many questions in real time or at the closing. So, I’d like to use this space to answer some of the questions that came up in the Live Chat

General Questions

​Is this in Pear Deck itself or google slides enhanced by Pear Deck?

The first part of this presentation was a demonstration of Pear Deck’s 3 views. The second part showing how to build a Pear Deck was a Google Slide show in Publish View.

Do the students need to have PearDeck installed as an extension in order to be able to use the features a teacher implements when using PearDeck?

Students do not need to have the Pear Deck add-ons or extensions installed to participate in a Pear Deck. 

Creating in Pear Deck

Is it possible to create our own draggable icons? 

The ability to upload custom draggables is not currently a feature in Pear Deck.

For adding audio to a slide, is that 10mb per file or total for the entire Pear Deck lesson?

It is 10 mb of audio per slide.

I tried to create a drop the answer page but could only add 5 choices. Is there an option to do more? (I was dragging numbers to words to count syllables in words)

The maximum number of draggables per slide is 5. A drawing slide would be great for this.

​Is there any math type?

There is no math type. When responding with text, students can copy and paste symbols. Or students could use a drawing slide. 

​Does EquatIO work with Pear Deck?

While you cannot embed Equation in a slide. You can add a link to Equatio in a slide for students to access.

​Can you add your own personal video on the Pear Deck slides?

Videos can either be added to the Google Slide presentation that will be used or a URL for the video can be added to a website interaction slide.

Presenting a Pear Deck

How do I get to the teacher dashboard?

The teacher dashboard automatically opens every time you launch a presentation. You can also open it in a second window in the More Actions menu in Classroom View. It can also be opened for any recent session directly from the Sessions Page at your Pear Deck Home  

How do you look at the dashboard if you're sharing your screen over Zoom?

Here are 2 possible set-ups from the teacher side.

How do you incorporate into Google Meets?

If doing a live presentation in Google Meets, instruct students to keep the screen you are sharing open and a new window for opening the student view.

​Is the teacher dashboard viewed on an iPad and a laptop equally?

Yes, the teacher dashboard appears the same on a laptop or an iPad.

So is it necessary to have two devices for best use of Pear Deck?

It is not necessary for a teacher to have 2 devices to run a Pear Deck. But, if a teacher wants to view the teacher dashboard in real time, the teacher should either have a second monitor to bring it up or a second device. This ensures that student information remains private. If presenting virtually, that is not an issue as a second window can be used (see last question).

If we do not have two devices as a teacher it is tricky to give feedback this true?

True, it would be more difficult to give live feedback on one device during a synchronous face to face session. One solution would be to turn the projector on standby during a question while providing feedback so that students don’t see the teacher dashboard on a projector. If presenting virtually or asynchronously, the ability to not be sharing the dashboard makes it easy to provide live feedback. 

So I have some students who will be able to come to live class with me and some who would be doing it asynchronously .... for that would I use the student paced or instructor paced?

You would start 2 different sessions. Start the first and choose student paced. Share that link with learners completing it asynchronously. Then, when you are ready for your live session. Go back to the Google Slide show and start a new Pear Deck session from the sidebar for those completing it live. 

​Can you start synchronously & then move to asynchronous in the same deck part-way through?

From the more actions menu, the teacher can toggle student paced mode on and off.

​Is it possible to interact on the same slide the student is in if I see a student needs help on a task?

It is not possible for 2 people to create on the same slide. But, if you see a student with an incorrect answer or putting in some code for “I Don’t Know”, the feedback feature is a great way to offer assistance or start a dialogue.

​Do you only have access to the different views when you are in present mode?

As long as a session is live (not ended) both Classroom View and Teacher Dashboard can be accessed from your Pear Deck Home Page 

I want to make sure I understand the lock screen... it stops the students from answering the question until you're ready for them to do so?

Yes, students can only see what they responded with and are unable to change that response if the slide is locked.

​How does it function with slower internet connections?

If concerned with slow internet connection, have students work asynchronously in student paced mode.

​If I'm using it in class, I should have tabs for Presentation Mode/Classroom View open, Student's View open & Teacher Dashboard, but make sure I don't project the Teacher Dashboard?

As a teacher, you don’t need to have Student View open. But yes, do not project Teacher Dashboard. I would say have the dashboard on a separate device or separate window.

Can you give feedback in voice format? Or is it just in writing?

Feedback is currently only written text.


Currently the add audio feature is done by teachers before the session is presented. 

​When the students are working in student view only, they do not have to click submit when they finish their work, it will just be saved right?

There is no need for students to click any sort of submit button. Students' responses are live updated as they enter. 

​Does the timer tick time they have to answer or does it pause them from working?

When the timer expires, students can no longer respond until the teacher unlocks the slide.

​Is there a way for students to upload an image of work into a slide?

Currently there is no upload image submission for students.

​Can you explain more about using "Speaker Notes"? Do students see them?

Speaker notes can be brought up either on the Teacher Dashboard or Classroom View during a presentation. 

​When changing templates, can kids move background around?

Students are not able to edit slides during a presentation.

​Is it possible to check student responses in student-paced without closing the session?

Student responses can be checked in student paced from either the Teacher Dashboard or Classroom View in student paced mode.

​If you add a new prompt, does that new slide insert into the original slide deck?

If you add a new prompt, it does not affect the original Google Slides file.

​If students don't finish at one sitting, will it save what they've done to pick up later?

Yes, student responses and progress will be saved in both synchronous and asynchronous modes. They can exit the page and return to it later with their progress saved.

​Do students have to have an account? Do they have to log in everytime?

Students do not need to have a Pear Deck account to log in. But to join any session they will have to use the session code or session link to join or rejoin a session.

​If you use synchronous learning, students cannot go ahead, right? Only with asynchronous?

In synchronous mode, the teacher controls which slide all students are on. In asynchronous, students are able to move freely to any slide in the presentation.

​Can multiple teachers log into for one session and be accessible to the teacher's dashboard?

Currently, only one Google Account can be used as a teacher per session. If multiple teachers would like to access the dashboard, they can use the same Google Account to do so.

What happens to the student screen when you project answers, does their individual answer go away?

Students can still see their response and are instructed that the slide is locked.

​Do students need to flip between student view and classroom view? Or when you share the classroom view will that appear on the student view?

When students join a session, they are in Student View. It will be up to the teacher to project the Classroom View or broadcast it if presenting virtually.

​Can kids draw directly onto Peardeck slides if they have touchscreen devices?

Touchscreen devices work great for Pear Deck drawing slides.

Ending a Pear Deck

​Are student responses permanently recorded? Could I go back later and review student responses?

From the Sessions Page at your Pear Deck homepage (, you can open the teacher dashboard of closed sessions or download a spreadsheet of responses from the More Actions menu. If the session is still live, teachers can also open the classroom view.

​Is there a way to save the slides?

The sessions are saved and can be found at the Sessions page

​Do the take-aways show up when the session is closed?

When a session is ended by a teacher, Pear Deck will prompt to create takeaways.

​Will student answers be saved after you exit the slideshow? Also, will they refresh for each class?

Student responses can be found at the sessions page of your Pear Deck Home When you launch a different Pear Deck for each class, it creates a new session that can be viewed all on its own.

​And, are the takeaways only their answers?

Takeaways present each slide in the presentation along with any student responses if the slide was interactive.

​If I end a session can I then continue it next class?

If you end a session, it can be reopened from the Sessions Page

​When using Pear Deck, I get a lot of individual reports that show student's work... how do you manage this? AND the students don't always want a copy emailed to them... how do I stop this?

From the Setting Section of your Pear Deck Home Page, teachers can toggle Takeaways on or off.

​Is the Take Away generated by Pear Deck, or does the teacher create it?

The Takeaways are generated by Pear Deck when a session is closed.

​Can you view student work in your google drive?

Any session can be exported as a Google Sheet and saved in Google Drive once the session is closed from the Sessions Page at

​Do takeaways include teacher feedback?

Takeaways do not currently include teacher feedback.

Pear Deck Plans

​Can you talk about what the free version includes and does not include?

Click here to learn more about the different plans

Does someone know if the teacher dashboard is included in the free version? 

The teacher dashboard is available in the premium plans. 

​Is feedback available under 'free'?

Feedback is available in the premium plans. 

​In the free version can we see the students individual email addresses?

After a presentation is ended, teachers can download a spreadsheet of all individual student responses with names tied to responses in the free Pear Deck plan.


How to make a copy of the Slideshow?

To make a copy be sure that you are signed into Google. Then, go to File -> Make a Copy.

​Is there a user guide?

Here’s a link to the getting Started with Pear Deck ebook.

​Is the book a good starting point for a beginner?

Yes, but as a co-author I’m a little biased

Pear Deck 102

​Is Pear Deck able to be accessed using Canvas as the LMS?

Pear Deck has released a Canvas LTI app for districts with a Pear Deck licence. Learn more about it here:

​Schoology Integration?

Pear Deck has released a Schoology Integration app for districts with a Pear Deck licence. Learn more about it here:

​Is there a resource where teachers can share slides with each other?

The Pear Deck Orchard is a place to find Templates to use in class.


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