Mrs. Sam Shallcross, Head of Junior Computing, has featured in Hello World, a magazine for educators working in computing, about improving active participation in the virtual classroom.
According to Mrs. Shallcross, it was during the second wave of home learning that she began to investigate how to improve pupil participation beyond sharing in the chat window of a Google Meet.
After researching using breakout rooms in Google Meet and another tool called Jamboard, she was still searching for something that would engage all participants privately to support pupil voice for all.
Then she found Pear Deck which instantly made online lessons more inclusive and interactive. She used Google Slides to create most of her lesson content, sometimes sharing via Google Classroom so that the students can edit their own slides or follow along what she is sharing on the screen. She was able to apply a drawing feature to a slide that invited a student to annotate with a text tool or draw with coloured markers over the slide, as well as see all the pupils’ contributions to the slide in real time. There are a whole host of features and ready-made content to help build a more inclusive lesson.
Using Pear Deck gave every student in her class the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas independently, knowing that only she could see them. She has a better insight into the understanding of the quieter members of the class and can challenge the thinking of the more confident.
By using Pear Deck, Mrs. Shallcross have found a way to motivate, engage, assess, and connect with her pupils.
"I have always believed computing is a journey of discovery, awe, and wonder for primary-aged pupils."Mrs. S Shallcross, Head of Junior Computing