Learning Tools

Britannica Social Studies Lessons to Add Interactivity from Pear Deck

Two education technology companies are working together to add more interactivity to social studies learning. Britannica Digital Learning, the education arm of the company that produces Encyclopedia Britannica, has launched new features using tech from Pear Deck.

Britannica's LaunchPacks social studies program for grades 6-8 will include interactive Pear Deck-produced presentations that provide assessment activities in a sidebar to the main presentation. Several flavors of interactive questions--multiple choice, short answer, drag-and-drop and on-screen drawing--are included in each presentation.

Teachers can use the new activities as they are or customize them, edit and add new slides and make them more interactive using the Pear Deck for Google Slides. While the educators present their slides to the class, students join the session from their own devices. As students progress through slides that include the interactive activities, teachers can monitor their responses to gain insight into their levels of comprehension.

"Pear Deck is a popular tool with teachers, so we're confident this new feature will be widely embraced," said Karthik Krishna, CEO of the Britannica Group, in a statement. "Teachers can use the activities to get students thinking about the content, engaging with the materials in LaunchPacks, and then reflecting on what they've learned individually and as a class."

"Teaching that draws out excellence from every type of learner is really hard, so we're always thinking about new ways to give teachers simple but instructionally effective resources to do that," added Pear Deck Chief Educator, Michal Eynon-Lynch. "This is a compelling partnership because Britannica has an incredible legacy as a trusted, go-to resource, and pairing that with engaging in-class instruction is a powerful combination."

Britannica stated that it expected to double the number of content packets containing Pear Decks lessons in the next two months.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.