Now that I’m back in the classroom I have access to some great technology. My district is piloting 1:1 iPads in one cluster and the rest of the clusters have an iPad cart. I’m in a cluster with the cart so we have to share our with three other teachers. Luckily, this hasn’t been too difficult. We setup a shared google calendar and whoever gets there first gets the cart.
Our students all have access to a google email and apps account so we have a lot of options. When I started out the year I tested out a few different formative assessment options. Using the cart in math class it is easy to just have students log in and practice. I love to use the iPads for formative assessment or as a combination formative assessment/connection builder.
Before we had technology for each student I used Mastery Connect. I used bubble sheets for each student and scored with an Ipevo document camera. I never gave more than 5 questions and used them to gauge how students were doing with new concepts. This gave me a snapshot of what each student understood within each standard. If my district bought into this system I think it would be amazing for assessing and keeping data. Alas, they didn’t.
When I started working with the iPads Mastery Connect was the first place I went. I knew that they bought Socrative and was excited to see how they would be integrated. Unfortunately, they didn’t really integrate the best part. I loved seeing the standards covered as we moved through the curriculum on Mastery Connect. There is no way to link Socrative questions to the standards, so I decided to keep looking. Socrative and Mastery Connect were a little clunky on the iPads and didn’t really give me an easy way to track student understanding.
Next, I tried Exit Ticket. If my students traveled with their iPads I think this would be the system for me. Students have access to their results from previous exit tickets. The teacher view can be switched to projector view so a whole group discussion can happen. Love it! Students can use the same account for multiple classes and store everything together in one place.
Then came Pear Deck…
Pear Deck takes formative assessment to the next level. I was intrigued when I realized it was integrated into google. My students wouldn’t need another login. (They can barely remember one password.) Pear Deck takes power points to the next level. I have a projector view, teacher view, and student view. There are different slide types for students to interact with: free response-draw, free response-write, free response-number, draggable, and multiple choice. I have the ability to insert images into the slides for students to graph or write on. I can switch the answers on so others can see answers anonymously. We can have a conversation about incorrect answers. I can see in teacher view how each student answered each question. At the end of class I can save every student’s answer to look at later. The possibilities are endless.
Pear Deck has changed the way I teach. I can quickly see who understands and who is still confused.
I’m sharing the Pear Decks I’ve made so far. Feel free to try them out.
I did pay for a premium subscription which does give me more access, but try it out anyway. You’ll love it!