#RemoteLearning: A Peek Inside My AP Calculus Class Today (Using a @Wacom One + @PearDeck)

I’ve enjoyed having a chance to talk to so many educators recently about ideas for setting up class in a remote learning environment and sharing some of my lessons learned as an online teacher. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions asking what this all looks like.

This is a clip from my AP Calculus class today. My students are all logged into our Google Meet session. I can see them all on my screen but I’ve clipped that part out of this video and blurred all faces for privacy.

I am using the Wacom One to write and I’m signed into Pear Deck as a student so that I have the drawing tools within Google Slides. In my ideal world, all students would have a Wacom tablet that they could plug into their laptop which would enable them to draw with a pen. They would then be able to log into this Pear Deck with me and illustrate their thought process. But let’s be real — what’s “ideal” right now, we are just doing the best we can.

The power to draw cannot be understated, though.

In this clip, students are doing the talking & I’m able to draw out what they’re describing with my Wacom tablet so that we can visualize the solution process together. Many times, I have students draw with their mouse but this problem was too complex. So students talk & I write.

After class, I publish the Pear Deck Takeaways so all students have a copy of our notes.

Here is a look at my setup (though during the session, all student faces were actually on my laptop screen & I was using my Wacom One as a second display. Again, for student privacy, I’ve chosen not to show that here!):

Wacom One + Pear Deck

I hope that this short clip might provide some ideas. I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your students. And please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about my process.

5 thoughts on “#RemoteLearning: A Peek Inside My AP Calculus Class Today (Using a @Wacom One + @PearDeck)

  1. I love your blog- thanks for this post. I am loving the power of Google meet and Pear Deck when I’m teaching maths.
    I have to ask (apologies if you have covered this) how do you show all their faces in Google Meet? Thanks so much.

    • Thanks, Bridget! So happy that you’re also benefiting from using Pear Deck in your Google Meet sessions. It’s great!
      I’m using the Google Meet Grid View Chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-meet-grid-view/bjkegbgpfgpikgkfidhcihhiflbjgfic?hl=en-US It’s a game changer!! I understand it may be rolling out within Google Meet soon so it’s more widely available to all. But you can install the chrome extension in the meantime and you’ll be able to see all your students!
      When I’m doing the screenshare, I just have a window with my students in the grid view on the left 1/3rd of my screen and then my Pear Deck open in another window on the right 2/3rds of my screen.

  2. I’ve a concern that is keeping me from transitioning 100% to Pear Deck and that is the ability to WRITE on the slides and interact with them.

    I like what you’e doing above but, I’m concerned about the results as your writing/examples would not appear on the slides in the Student Takaways so, at some point, the students are having to copy down your examples somewhere?

    If you use the drawing slide as a “teaching slide” where you work through the examples, do you ask students to “copy” what you write onto their own slide (as notes)?

    Additionally, I have some lessons where I use manipulatives. In my old program, I had on-screen Algebra Tiles that I would drag and drop on the slide to model how to use them (or to model a student’s response). I’ve recreated these Algebra Tiles on my Google Slides and (in Google Slides) I can still interact with them but, in Pear Deck, the can’t be interacted with. Do you find that not being able to interact with the slides in pear deck is hindering some of your teaching methods?

    • Hi Latisha,

      These are good questions. I have students respond first before I show my answer. Sometimes, I give them time to revise after we have discussed the correct solution. I always publish my Takeaways and share that Google Doc with students along with any other lessons plans relevant to the day. So students can study from the Takeaways. In the first several months, I have students submit their revised Takeaways to me before any assessment. So they open their Takeaway and can use the “solution key” Takeaways that I’ve published to correct any mistakes they originally made. This is a good reflective process as they prepare for their assessment.

      Regarding your question about manipulatives, I mainly just do things with graphs (and I can embed Desmos graphs with sliders into my Pear Deck) or I use the draggable dots/lines to accomplish what I need. But I can see how Google Slides might be a better fit for something like Algebra Tiles. In that case, I might use a combination of Google Slides & Pear Deck.

      I hope those thoughts help!

      • Thank you! I’ve made a playlist of all your Pear Deck resources you listed on a previous post… I’m going to check those out. I’m so in love with this Pear Deck thing and I’m trying to find a way to minimize the “switching” between platforms/programs. Your response definitely helped and gave me a few ideas. So, thank you for sharing.

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