Bringing a Growth Mindset to Product Development

Illustration by Kate Moore

Illustration by Kate Moore

Every day educators from the Pear Deck community email, tweet, and pull us aside at events to tell us about the incredible, creative things they’re doing in class. You also send us your suggestions for how to make Pear Deck even better and we love it. Our VP of Product (hi, Dan!) keeps a running list of requests that we use to develop our product road map. We test every new feature with real teachers and use their feedback to inform how we change Pear Deck.

While most product changes stem from teacher requests or suggestions, sometimes we get thrown a curveball. Earlier this year we learned that a Google API used by our old Pear Deck Editor would be shut down at the end of the year. We hadn’t planned to change the old Editor, but over the past year we launched the Add-on for Google Slides and the Power-up which together let you do everything you could do with the old Editor (and more!).

So we paused and looked at the numbers — a fast-growing majority of our teachers were using the Add-on and only a small slice were still creating new decks in the old Editor. That made it easier to commit to retiring the old Editor. But to do so, we’d need to give teachers an easy way to get their content into Google Slides.

Convert Your Old Decks to Google Slides 

Voila, enter the converter! Now with one click you can transform Pear Deck files created with the old Editor to fresh, new Google Slides files. The converter offers teachers a speedy way to transform old files and take advantage of the power of Google Slides’ built-in design tools and Pear Deck’s interactivity and ready-made teaching templates.

Here’s what to expect:

The converter is available now and will remain live as long as there are old files to convert. Teachers will be able to use the old Editor until December 1. It’s important to note that you’ll always be able to Present your old decks even if they were created with the old Editor.

Between now and December 1, whenever you open an old file you’ll be given the choice of converting the file to Google Slides, skipping the conversion process and Presenting, or going to the old editor. After December 1, you’ll have the choice to convert or Present, but you will no longer see the option to go to the old Editor when you try to open an old file.

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If you choose to convert your files, the converter will spring into action! When the conversion process is done, you’ll be taken to your shiny, fully-editable Pear Deck in the Google Slides editor.

Expected Formatting Changes

The converter is designed to preserve your Pear Deck content so that it looks and functions exactly as intended, but you’ll be able to edit and tweak the new deck as needed. A few elements might look a little different in Google Slides.

  • A tutorial slide will be added to the beginning of each converted deck. This slide can easily be deleted.

  • In GSlides, a header will be placed on every slide. If the original file didn’t include a header, a placeholder will be added.

  • If drawing or draggable slides used a different image for the student screen, both the projector and the student screen will be translated into new slides. Teachers can choose which elements to keep.

  • If ASCII math was used in the original Pear Deck, we create an image of the ASCII Math formula with the slide contents on one slide. The next slide contains the formula text so teachers can use their favorite ASCII iMath tool to recreate the equation easily.

  • If you have an animated GIF or video file, install the Chrome Extension to maintain the full-fidelity of that content.

We know change can be hard, but we’re working hard to help make this transition as seamless as possible. If you need more information, check out these help articles or join one of our webinars. And of course, we will always answer your questions through our help desk, just write! We want to hear your questions and suggestions.