I wanted to share a project that I recently posted on my school’s Technology Blog. I had the opportunity to work with one of our English teachers as her classes discussed the principle of existentialism. Pear Deck was introduced to allow students to begin rating the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement “I am an existentialist.” Pear Deck provided a medium for the teacher to project cumulative responses from the class as the basis for further discussion, while preserving student anonymity. Because students responded on their laptops, privately, they weren’t swayed by the response of their friends or classmates.
If you’d like to read more about the complete activity, please read on!
In studying Albert Camus’ The Stranger, students in honors English IV learn how authors use literature to explore a philosophical stance, specifically in this case the principle of existentialism. This year the students also used two technology tools to explore whether or not they self-identified as existentialist. The tools provided students non-judgmental and private environments to begin exploring where they aligned, personally, on an existentialist spectrum. Both tools succeeded in opening students up to anonymous self-identification and led to lively, educational and productive class discussions on a topic that can be difficult to grasp.