You. Guys. I’m back this week for the latest “EdTech Tip of the Week” featuring Deck.Toys and I am so excited about it! My friend Sarah (you should go follow her on Twitter, for real) heard about Deck.Toys from her Teacher of the Year friends and when I looked it up, I was blown away at how cool it is. I have not yet used this in my classroom, because I just heard about it, but I will DEFINITELY be using it this coming school year!
What It Is
Deck.Toys is a classroom engagement platform best described as a sort of digital “Breakout Games”! According to their website, “the lesson can now be transformed into an immersive, engaging experience for every student in the classroom”. Their focus on making this happen is on:
- Simple lesson creation
- Engaging real-time interactivity
- Instantaneous tracking
Um, yes, that does say INSTANTANEOUS TRACKING! Time-saver 🙂
- Game-Look: For students of all ages, the look of a “deck” is really engaging. When you create a lesson, you can create a rigid “path” that students must follow, by adding “locks” for them to have to break through by doing an activity or you can create a more choice-oriented deck where students can explore different activities (or you can make a combination of these!). You can also edit the deck background to make the deck look however you want! You can add colors, shapes, custom pictures, icons, text, etc. Here are a few example decks that are in the “Gallery” to demonstrate how different they can look:
- Interactive Slides: For each “slide” that you create in a lesson, you can add interactivity. You can add a slide with questions, a signpost, or a study set. Within each “slide with questions”, you can add an image, embed a video, add Google Slides, PPT, PDF or a website. You also have “apps” you can add on each slide like a buzzer, randomizer, timer, or lock. The students can have the option of responding with text, a drawing, by answering a poll. etc.
- Study Sets: These are exactly what they sound like…a set of terms, or concepts, that you set up to be studied! You can list a term, definition and picture to describe the term. The study sets can then be used multiple times and inserted into lessons. Here is an example from the Deck.Toys website:
- Teacher Sync/ Free Mode: Teacher Sync mode means every student’s deck is synced to the teacher’s screen. Free mode means that student’s can explore the lessons at their own speed.During free mode, teachers can also monitor a student’s progress in real-time!Having both modes means that Deck.Toys would be appropriate to use during many different types of lessons/stages of a lesson.
- Assessment with Class-Wide apps: At any time a teacher can run an “app” as a class activity. This allows the teacher to be able to formatively assess students in real-time to check for understanding/gauge progress on a topic. As students are finished with the assessment or question, they can continue on from where they were before the class activity was started.
- Reports: This could be my favorite part…REPORTS! Deck.Toys allows teachers to get a summary of not only students’ progress on specific activities, but also specific answers submitted by students. This makes it much easier to track information in a single view for however the data may be needed (to form small group instruction, for a whole class mini-lesson, etc.).
How It Can Be Used In Your Class
Deck.Toys can be used in any class at many different stages of a lesson and/or unit. Since it is compatible with Google Slides, PPT, etc. and students can respond and participate in different ways, any class can use this platform whether is is ELA, music, or math!
Deck.Toys can be used:
- To engage the entire class during a mini-lesson using a class-wide app and teacher sync
- To engage a small group in a rotation/station setting
- To remediate students/give extra practice with basic skills before they can move on to another activity
- To provide extra enrichment activities and choice to students who finish early or master content more quickly than the whole group
- To create competition/urgency/focus on a specific activity if used as a digital breakout game with timers and all (so fun!)
- Deck.Toys YouTube: Create a Lesson in Less Than 5 Minutes
- Deck.Toys Blog: Breakout in Every Lesson
- Deck.Toys Blog: A Math Lesson on Deck.Toys
Have you heard of Deck.Toys or played around with it yet? Let me know in the comments, or Tweet me! Also, my friend Shana over at Hello, Teacher Lady, has started a Facebook group for edtech enthusiasts called The Ed Tech Collective. Interested in joining? Click here!
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