June 19th, 2014 by Dan Meyer
PearDeck is technology you should try out. Here’s how it works. Let’s say this image fascinates me:
It takes a certain amount of spatial skill to answer the question, “How high will the creamer be in the upside-down container? Will it be higher than the original? Lower? The same?” (I mean the volume is the same, after all.)
So I create a new PearDeck presentation and send the link out on Twitter asking just those questions. PearDeck then lets me capture the feedback of these students in realtime.
The teacher interface expands to let me know whose answers are close or not that close.
This sets me up for anything from an explanation of how to calculate solids of revolution in Calculus or a debate about covariation in Algebra.
If you’re an educational technologist and you think this is interesting, please notice that this is the opposite of individualized instruction. It’s socialized instruction. PearDeck would be much less interesting if you were the only person estimating, or if you were answering the question “Will it be higher or lower or the same?” alone.
Sometimes learning is less fun when you’re learning at your own pace.