Numerous teaching technology tools are available to assist teachers in interacting with their students and generating interactive lessons in-person or online.
Two popular digital teaching tools, Nearpod vs PearDeck, can be conveniently accessed via Google Classroom and enhance the learning experience for students. While choosing between the two tools is subjective, we will examine their top features and determine which is superior.
Nearpod vs PearDeck: Platform introduction
In 2014, Pear Deck was founded in Iowa and quickly gained recognition as an exceptional tool for educators.
It has received numerous technology awards and was honored with the "Top Ten School Tool" award by the education journalism initiative EdSurge. Installation of the tool is effortless, as it can be installed directly through Google Slides using the Add-ons tab or by downloading the app from their website.
Pear Deck integrates with Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint, allowing users to choose their preferred suite. Its goal is to achieve "100% Student Engagement" through interactive slides and lessons, which is an ambitious claim.
However, Pear Deck has implemented several innovative design ideas to encourage student engagement, such as enabling anonymous projection of students' answers to the class.
They offer a variety of question types and slides that provide real-time feedback for each student, as well as classroom feedback, such as the spread of multiple-choice answers and the average time taken to answer questions.
Established in 2012 in Hallandale, Florida, Nearpod has facilitated over 120 million lessons in the past decade, demonstrating consistent growth. In 2017, a team of full-time educators joined to create an all-in-one education platform. In 2019, Nearpod merged with Flocabulary, an educational hip-hop company, to expand its platform.
Nearpod is dedicated to providing educational access to K-12 learners and offers a diverse range of question types and formative assessments to equip teachers with various tools.
Nearpod has an extensive library of over 8,500 lessons and videos that can be integrated into a lesson plan anytime, sourced from education brands like SciShow Kids and Crash Course. This saves teachers time, allowing them to focus more on their students and less on slide preparation.
Nearpod vs PearDeck: Feature comparsion
1. Ease of Use
The effectiveness of any system depends on the user, and a tool that can perform multiple functions is only helpful if you know how to operate it. To quickly create slides and tests, it is essential to have a user-friendly tool that is easy to use and edit.
Furthermore, ensuring students can use the app correctly to get the whole lesson experience. Nearpod and Pear Deck are user-friendly, provided you are comfortable with Google Suite.
If you prefer PowerPoint, you can choose Pear Deck or opt for Nearpod Gold. Nearpod enables users to launch their lessons with Zoom, allowing them to teach and chat with students face-to-face in one window.
However, navigating Nearpod on mobile can be challenging as tabs tend to pop up in various places. It may need to be clarified for younger students. Pear Deck has a similar layout to Nearpod and offers additional features on its slides. It may seem overwhelming initially, but it is easy to figure out.
Interactive questions and formative assessments are available in the Pear Deck sidebar on Google Slides, making it easy to drag and drop wherever needed. Although both tools are user-friendly, Nearpod wins this round due to its simplicity and ease of integration with Zoom.
2. Learner Engagement
The crucial factor for any educational tool is how it engages learners. It's essential to consider how students will react to the platform you choose.
Nearpod uses a gamification approach to engage students in their lessons. They aim to make the learning experience enjoyable and engaging but need more question types, making questions repetitive and uninteresting over time.
Nearpod offers 'Live Lessons' or 'Student-Paced' lessons, allowing students to learn independently.
On the other hand, Pear Deck offers a broader range of testing options that add variety to the learning experience. Pear Deck's Student-Paced mode is handy for remote learning, allowing students to view presentations and work through the content independently.
Both platforms provide real-time feedback and grades for student answers. But Pear Deck has a " takeaways " feature that lets you export this information and share it with other educators or parents.
Overall, both tools are suitable for keeping learners engaged during distance learning. Still, Pear Deck offers more diverse testing options and is more versatile in exporting information, making it our top pick.
Comparing the free versions of Nearpod and Pear Deck can be complicated. But both offer educators the ability to create content and assess their students using Google Slides add-ons.
While Nearpod's yearly subscription is cheaper than Pear Deck's. Pear Deck's free version has the added benefit of supporting MS PowerPoint. However, Nearpod's Gold subscription is essential for this functionality.
Nearpod's free version has a limit of 100Mb, easily reachable if you incorporate videos or audio files. At the same time, Pear Deck integrates with Google Drive and One Drive, making space less of an issue.
Overall, Pear Deck edges out Nearpod regarding the features available in their free version.
Nearpod vs PearDeck: Conclusion
After considering both options, it's clear that Pear Deck is the better choice. It provides more opportunities for free and is better at keeping students engaged in the lesson.
So, both apps are effective for teaching, and you can go right. Nearpod may work better for some teachers. But it's hard not to recommend Pear Deck due to its ease of use.
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See also: 9 Leading Student Engagement Platforms for Online Instructors.