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Iowa AEA's Partner With Iowa-Based Pear Deck



AEAs across Iowa are providing access to Pear Deck's flexible instructional technology to improve student outcomes during an unprecedented start to the school year.


Together, Iowa's fast-growing edtech startup Pear Deck and Iowa's Area Education Agencies are ensuring that every district educator in Iowa has access to powerful instructional technology to keep students learning and engaged this year, whether in class or from afar.


Knowing the unprecedented challenges facing Iowa's educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa's AEAs are sponsoring statewide access to Pear Deck's flexible instructional tools, which are designed to improve learning outcomes in the classroom and in hybrid learning environments. Iowa City-based Pear Deck, founded in 2014, designs technology that improves equitable student engagement and achievement through active learning techniques and enhanced visibility into student progress.


Pear Deck first caught the attention of Iowa’s AEAs during a presentation hosted by ICR Future, a coalition assembled by economic development organization ICR Iowa, and the Iowa EdTech Collaborative, a network of EdTech companies working collectively to grow human-centered K-12 and lifelong learning in the state of Iowa.


"Every year the AEA System purchases tools and resources to help supplement the resources available in our local school districts, and our multimedia support for districts is more important today than ever before,” explained Grant Wood Area Education Agency Chief Administrator John Speer. “We found Pear Deck to be a cost-effective resource that's easy for teachers to use regardless of the grade level.”


All of the AEAs in the state elected to purchase the resource for its partnering school districts for the upcoming academic year.


While Pear Deck was originally created to support in-class instruction, last semester's pandemic-driven school closures presented a unique opportunity to assess and adapt the technology for hybrid learning environments. As a result, Pear Deck added support for 250,000 new educators and 6 million students in remote classrooms around the world, as well as a period of rapid growth and innovation for the company. A survey of more than 1,000 Pear Deck users during the spring's school closures revealed that over 91% of teachers considered Pear Deck to be an effective and essential tool for remote teaching. 


“We’ve seen the ways that Pear Deck has enabled educators to keep students engaged, learning, and connected remotely during this unique time in education, and it’s been humbling to see the impact that it’s made,” says Riley Eynon-Lynch, co-founder and CEO of Pear Deck, and a former Iowa teacher. “It’s very meaningful to us to be able to help Iowa students and educators in the same way, many of whom are our friends, families, and children. We’re so grateful to ICR and the AEAs for helping create this partnership.”


Both Pear Deck and Iowa's AEAs are driven by missions to create equitable engagement for students and improve the efficacy of educational experiences. To learn more about Pear Deck's research-based instructional solutions, visit www.peardeck.com. To learn more about Iowa's AEAs, visit http://www.iowaaea.org.

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