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Engaging Every Student

December 8, 2022

5 Reasons To Use Pear Deck and Adobe Express

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Tim Needles

When I first heard about the partnership between Pear Deck and Adobe, I was immediately excited because I found both tools valuable in the classroom. Once I began diving into the projects, I was impressed with how versatile and engaging they were. I couldn’t wait to use them with students! 

As a high school teacher and K-12 educational technology coach, I’ve helped colleagues use Pear Deck and Adobe. I’ve seen the benefits of incorporating these tools into my teaching, as Pear Deck adds much-needed personalization, while Adobe Express has been a great tool for creating graphics, films, and websites in lessons. Even if you are unfamiliar with either of these tools, the collaborative projects help walk you through the simple process of using them in any class.

Unleashing the full potential of Pear Deck + Adobe

The 20 initial projects integrating Pear Deck and Adobe include lessons like creating a six-word story based on a historical event, designing a public service announcement, and creating cover art for a podcast about conservation. I found them extremely useful, as they taught my students and me more about the tools and what they offer while also being easy to use, organized, and dynamic. There was a synergy to all the projects, and I found I could adapt them to the content I was using easily and share them with other educators who I knew would benefit. 

Some projects helped students create infographics, videos, and websites that were creative and interesting, but simple enough so any learner could follow the process without any background knowledge.

Here’s what I have found to be the biggest benefits of these collaborative projects:

Interactivity is one of the biggest strengths of this collaborative partnership because Pear Deck’s slides allow teachers to connect with each student individually as they answer questions, give feedback, explore ideas, and even sketch out concepts visually in an organized way. What is terrific about these projects is adding Adobe Express allows for an additional level of collaboration and interaction as learners design posters, create videos, and build websites. The slides include directions and examples, as well as a link that brings students directly into Adobe Express to create.

Creativity is another tremendous benefit of these projects because students can express themselves and explore ideas innovatively in various ways. The projects contain fantastic challenges that allow learners to write, draw, design, film, and build in meaningful ways to support and heighten learning. Students can show their knowledge and communicate as they produce terrific visual projects that can be shared and displayed in the class, school, and community, thus elevating projects beyond the classroom.

Engagement may be the biggest benefit of the Pear Deck and Adobe collaboration. These projects are deeply engaging and activate students in their learning. This is the real magic of these projects because every learner can participate and share differently. It enables students to find their strengths and learn new ways to communicate as they learn. These are the kinds of projects learners benefit from but also love and remember as their favorites.

Flexibility is one of the elements that make this collaboration most powerful for educators. This is a collection of diverse, well-designed, successful projects created by terrific educators that can easily be adapted for different levels and content areas. You can use the projects as is or add elements to cater to your students. I also love using the projects as a template for future lessons. The projects infuse writing, design, creative thinking, and problem-solving in captivating ways while allowing educators to add, subtract, or edit any elements they want to best fit their class.

Fun is another huge benefit and one that shouldn’t be understated. I enjoyed doing the projects myself when exploring the different templates, and I could see how much students enjoyed them. It’s the kind of learning that impacts a classroom because it’s multimodal and gratifying for learners. It’s a great way to engage your classroom because kids enjoy it and learn a lot.

Even if you’ve never used either of these educational technology tools, they are well-constructed and designed to fit nearly any learning environment. I found them fun and accessible and appreciated how they integrate important educational elements — creativity, connection, collaboration, visual storytelling, and interdisciplinary learning — in innovative ways.

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Tim Needles

Artist and Educator

Tim is an artist, educator, performer, and author of STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum. He is a TEDx Talk speaker, a technology integration specialist, and teaches art and emerging media at Smithtown School District and Five Towns College. His work has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, Columbus Museum of Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Katonah Museum of Art, and Cape Cod Museum of Art. He’s the recipient of ISTE’s Technology in Action Award and Creativity Award, NAEA’s Eastern Region Art Educator Award & ArtEdTech Outstanding Teaching Award, and The Rauschenberg Power of Art Award. He’s also a board member of NYSCATE, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, an ISTE Community leader, the NAEA ArtMediaTech interest Group chair, and an Adobe Creative Educator and Education Leader.  He’s active on social media at @timneedles.

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