I’ve been trying to decide whether to purchase the premium account for either Pear Deck or Nearpod. I trialed a premium Pear Deck account this year, but was unable to use it much, so I didn’t get a sense of if it would be better for me than Nearpod.
I’ve used Nearpod premium before, when my district had a districtwide account, which we no longer have, and I generally like it. I didn’t like the limited template options in Nearpod, nor that the previous PPT importer just took a screenshot of your slides and put them as a background image in a Nearpod presentation, so any interactivity you worked hard to add, was stripped out when it was imported into Nearpod. I wished there was a way to have the open flexibility and animations and transitions of Google Slides and the interactive components in Nearpod.
This last issue led me to explore Pear Deck. I like that Pear Deck has an add-on for Google Slides, so you can create your main slide deck in Slides, then use Pear Deck’s interactivity features, to extend it. Since I have so many Google Slides slide decks, I thought this would be the route to go. The main drawback for me was that it doesn’t appear you can share student submitted work, back to the student devices. It looks like you can only project it onto a screen.
One of the reasons I’m looking at either tool is to eliminate the need for a projector. I push into teacher classrooms and I cannot always rely on them having a working projector, a screen, a space cleared on their whiteboard to project, etc. I’m hoping to make slides in Google Slides to project to teach, but use Nearpod or Pear Deck as a backup when projecting is not an option. I also like the interactive features of both so perhaps I’ll be moving away from projecting to a screen entirely to get more student engagement in the slide decks.
I added the Chrome browser extension Nearpodize, this is supposed to make it easier to add Google Slides into a Nearpod presentation. No problem so far. I chose 2 slide decks that have videos in them and animations, so I can see how this extension handles them, or doesn’t. I tried to upload it, signed into Google, allowed Nearpod access, and then I got an error message. You have exceeded your storage space of 50MB so this slide could not be uploaded. Upgrade to Gold to increase your storage space to 3GB.
OK, I guess I can’t continue the test. Let me see if any of the slides were uploaded and the animations kept intact. Not even some of the slides in that presentation were uploaded, so I won’t know if the animations were kept and the embedded videos. Hopefully they will reply to my tweet and maybe give me premium for a week so I can test. I definitely won’t purchase the premium version without testing it to see how it has improved.
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