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Engaging Every Student

June 25, 2020

Case Study: New Tool Becomes Essential Remote Learning Resource

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Pear Deck Team

Background

When Clay County District Schools in Clay County, Florida, closed their doors for what would become the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, district-wide Pear Deck access had just gone live. While groups of teachers in the district were familiar with Pear Deck, the technology services team agonized over whether or not to include this “new” tool in their list of recommended resources, not wanting to overwhelm teachers by adding unfamiliar tech tools to an already-unfamiliar situation.

How Pear Deck helped

In the end, the district technology team opted to promote Pear Deck among their recommendations. “It answered a lot of the questions that people had been sending to us,” says Sabrina Thomas, Technology Services Supervisor. Questions like ‘how do I make this paper worksheet interactive?’Linda Schriver, eLearning and Integration Specialist, developed a unique way to quickly get teachers familiar with Pear Deck — she created professional development “backpacks," a virtual toolkit about a particular tech tool available to district teachers. When a teacher wants to learn more about a tech tool, they come to Linda for a backpack, and each backpack contains a Pear Deck to check for understanding. So, if a teacher comes looking for support on Google Classroom, they’ll participate in a Pear Deck lesson as a student.

Results

In May of 2018, Clay County’s Pear Deck usage maxed out at about 50,000 moments of student engagement. In May of 2019, the moments of student engagement topped off at just under 150,000 moments of student engagement. By late May 2020, Clay County’s moments of student engagement with Pear Deck skyrocketed to nearly 350,000.

Still more heartening, Clay County’s usage of Pear Deck’s social-emotional learning templates tripled across the district. That means that teachers were three times more likely to offer space for stress checks and moments of silence as students adjusted to their new learning realities.

“The beauty is, it doesn't matter [what happens next school year]...the same tools that we are using right now are exactly translated, and we'll be using them when we walk through those doors.”

Linda Schriver, eLearning and Integration Specialist

Future plans

District leaders are now formulating plans to address learning loss that will undoubtedly affect the student population in the coming school year. Again, Sabrina and Linda are turning to Pear Deck to help mitigate the losses. Teaming up with their learning specialists, they're creating Student-Paced Pear Decks for supplemental learning, and talking about using Student-Paced Decks for virtual tutoring sessions to help students get caught up in time for the new school year.

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Pear Deck Team

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