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The 2015-2016 School Yearbook: Thanks for the EDUInnovation!

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The 2015-2016 school year was one crazy year! Here’s a collection of some of the highlights. Glad you were there to share all of the amazing EDU innovation with us. Have a great summer! See you at ISTE 2016! Booth #2732.



Doceri + Apple Pencil+ iPad Pro: Like Butta!

imageHave you ever cut into butter with a warm knife? Slides right through, right? (like butta!) Using Doceri with the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro feels just like that. Previous to the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro I was using Doceri on an iPad2 with a Jot Script stylus and I thought that was great. Boy was I wrong! The only thing better than using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro is paper and pencil. It’s the best stylus/ tablet combo I have tried thus far.

The Pencil connects to the iPad Pro via Bluetooth 4.2. It only works with the iPad Pro series. The pencil is rechargeable by sticking the non writing end into the charging port. Amazingly, to fully charge it only takes 30 minutes. I often forget to recharge after my classes but if I charge it for about 20 seconds it’s good to go for a class or two. image

The butta’ part is the smoothness in drawing. It feels well balanced in my hand where as the Jot feels heavier in the back compared to the tip. The pressure sensitivity seems great on the Pencil. The palm rejection is 98% of the time accurate. I have actually attempted to make marks with my palm while drawing but it’s actually hard to make, which is great!

Reliability, consistency, and feel in your hand; Apple Pencil is superior to every low cost and expensive stylus I have used before. It just feels natural, which is quiet an accomplishment for a high tech drawing solution. If you’re thinking of flipping with Doceri; go all in. The combo will make your screencast development easy. Just go to the Apple Store and give the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil a try. Ask them to download Doceri and demo the tool set for yourself. You will be glad you did! Below is one of my first screencasts with Apple Pencil and Doceri “A Brief History of Muralism.”


Doceri + Minecraft = Math Engagement: Benjamin Cogswell 1.2

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.13.24 PM“Minecraft in the classroom is AMAZING!” states Benjamin Cogswell,  Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Alisal Union School District. He goes on to say, “There are so many teachable moments within this flexible learning environment. Constructing the setting of a book, mixing chemicals to understand science, and manipulating blocks to understand fractions are just a few examples of the possibilities.” However, he did encounter a problem during this math exercise development, how to keep their students accountable for using Minecraftedu. Teachers needed to see student work to show their thought processes without the teachers looking at each individual iPad. The solution: Doceri.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.12.35 PMBen said that in March he was lucky enough to experience Minecraft in the classroom for the first time. As a TOSA he collaborated with three 4th grade classrooms on implementing Minecraft in the classroom to help build understanding of basic number sense. 

Their first lesson focused on understanding benchmark fractions like ½ and ¼ and their equivalents. Ben said, “We built fraction blocks in Minecraft, and with a simple screenshot using Doceri, we were able to annotate our fractions.” At the end, a class recording using their final screenshots was produced. Next, Ben said he posted the class video on YouTube so students would have an example to take home. “The class recording is by no means perfect, but it is real, reviewable, and rewindable. I think that’s pretty awesome!,” Ben stated. According to Ben the effort and experimentation was well worth it to see the students so engaged in math.

Kenny Bosch 1.2: Is Doceri a smarter choice than a SMART Board?

Recently Kenny Bosch, Doceri high school teacher wrote a blog post titled Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.50.58 PM

Educators Embracing Doceri In it he describes how Doceri has replaced his colleagues’ SMART Board and why. Even Kenny’s administrator is exploring flipping the staff meetings.

Click on the above link to go to Kenny’s full post. Below are highlights from the post.

“I have been  using Doceri for the past four years to transform my classroom by freeing me from being tethered to my computer or SMARTboard, providing creative freedom to create content on the fly, and creating flipclass videos to make the best use of class time with my students.” - Kenny Bosch

“The main problem I had with my SMARTboard was that I have always felt constricted to my computer space located at the front of the room. After learning how to use Doceri, I have found myself roaming to help students, teaching from the back of the room so that I can see the SMARTboard from the students’ perspective, and next year, I will finally be able to arrange my room in a way that frees me from my SMARTboard. Thanks Doceri!”

--Becca Hirtz, English Teacher, Muskego HS 

doceri pic“Doceri has provided me the opportunity to engage students by literally bringing the Smart Board to them. My students love being able to participate and share their math understanding from the comfort of their small group. Students are able to work together and learn from each other in a much more efficient and interactive way thanks to Doceri, Not to mention, they love seeing their work on the iPad appear on our Smart Board.”

Kim Nordlie, Math Teacher, Bay Lane Middle School

“An application of Doceri is the voice-over feature.  Mr. Bosch uses it to deliver flipped lessons in his history classes to allow students to access material at home. His flipped Doceri lessons allow him to ensure all his students have access to lessons (even twice if needed!) and helps him to use his valuable class time to check for understanding, create engaging activities, and differentiate his instruction as needed.  Powerful stuff. Outside of the classroom I have even seen Mr. Bosch use Doceri to improve his coaching…”

--Associate Principal Andrew Bavlnka, Muskego HS 


Flip Class Research Results Episode From the podcast The Flip Side with Jon Bergmann

Does the Flipped Classroom help the learning process?1Tonks The results of a new flipped learning study of 12 UK schools with over 2,400 students where staff had flipped their school suggest that flipped learning has a large impact.

The study was carried out in the subject of math in the UK by Kirsty Tonks’ team. The results of the study directly support the practice of flipped learning as a way to get to a deeper level of understanding due to less time being spent in lecture and more time in problem solving with students. Listen to Kirsty Tonks on the Flip Side Podcast with Jon Bergmann. Tonk’s suggestion at the end of the podcast: “Don’t waste your time with flipping one class; flip the SCHOOL!”



The Flipped Classroom = The Freedom to Teach

SP Controls created Doceri for one reason: to help educators engage and connect with students. Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 4.12.21 PMThe flipped classroom was developed by Jon Bergmann so he could spend more face to face time with his students. The flipped classroom teaching methodology is best defined on the Flipped Learning Network as the Four Pillars of Flip.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 4.14.45 PMIt is SP Controls’ hope that the Doceri Classroom gives teachers more control in their classroom in order to relinquish more control to their students. Flipped Learning is about being student centered; allowing teachers to differentiate instruction, give students the freedom to go at their own pace, and giving teachers the ability to create their own sharable content instead of relying on publishers. Our hope is that through our technology used in combination with other apps that teachers are able to minimize a teacher centered lecture/ worksheet class and become an interactive classroom. SP Controls believes that teachers should spend more time supporting their students and less time stuck at the front of the classroom lecturing. Flipped learning provides a structure whereby a teacher moves away from the stand and deliver method, makes their information multisensory and digestible in the form of a screencast, and gains face to face time with their students.

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 SP Controls knows from our talks with teachers and administration that learning is not about the tech but about how teachers choose to use tech to enhance their curriculum. Choosing to make screencasts for students that could move at a faster or slower pace is a choice that places student need above the required pace of the curriculum. To foster this kind of interactivity between teacher and student SP Controls will be sharing the stories about Flip educators on Jon Bergmann’s podcast, The Flip Side. We believe in what these teachers are doing and want to spread the word about their amazing work. Enjoy the episodes and please share the shows. SP Controls supports the flipped classroom to encourage freedom of thought in the classroom. Doceri is available to flipped teachers to give teachers more Freedom to Teach!




Review of Doceri on iPad Pro: Is it worth it?

Wook-EYE by Jason Gilmore

Why the iPad Pro?

Recently I purchased the iPad Pro. One of the first apps I opened on the oversized iOS device was, of course Doceri. Previously, I purchased a wonderful (and expensive) stylus to help me make screencasts for my special education history/english/art classes. The stylus is the Adonit Jot Script 1. One selling point of the Script was it connects with devices through Bluetooth. If you are lucky enough to have a newer device with Bluetooth 4.0 the Script rejects marks made by your palm. Thus, it was an easy decision to upgrade to the latest and greatest for the connectivity. The other major plus was the amount of real estate that I can now draw on.

It IS about sizeIMG_0194

On top of being a special educator I am also an artist. Specifically, I am a muralist. The difference between drawing on the iPad2 and the iPad Pro is as different as drawing in a sketchbook and on a 15 ft wall. More space to create is 1000 times better! As far as having more space to create screencasts on Doceri the near $1000 purchase (129GB version) was completely worth it for what I want to accomplish with the machine. I will be producing more screencasts and so far I have been able to produce them faster because I don’t have pinch, zoom, and reposition the screen nearly as much. This is a minor set of actions, but when you’re doing that action 100 x’s per screencast the time adds up.

The Machine

IMG_0193The machine is beautiful! It’s thinner and lighter than my old iPad2. Thus, presenting in class is actually a lighter/ freer experience.  It’s also FAST!! Downloads and uploads of files are screaming! My aim was not to replace my district issued laptop but to add to my arsenal of productivity. I did purchase the backlit keyboard from Logitech. It’s light and easy to type on. So far, a win. I did also purchase the Apple Pencil. It is on back order until February (I ordered it on Dec 31st!) It will be very interesting to compare the Script to the Pencil. I highly recommend moving to a bigger and brighter new iPad screen if you’re going to be screencasting on a regular basis. It is worth it to me to spend more money on the stylus as not making errant marks with your palm saves time. My lesson making and drawing life is now 1000 times more enjoyable. Who knows what new developments this larger format will bring to production. For now, the iPad Pro and Doceri are helping me connect with my students and saving me time. What’s that worth?

This is my first screencast using the iPad Pro (An example I made for my kids who are expected to make their first screencast to teach the class about Native Americans specific to a region of North America (pre colonization) using the text from TCI’s History Alive.): 


Doceri Screencast Film Festival: Benjamin Cogswell 1.1

I remember in grad school one of my professors telling me, “You don’t really know a concept well until you teach it to others.” This is an idea that stuck with me throughout my teaching career. It is the whole notion of making the students the teachers – pushing kids into the creating phase of Bloom’s taxonomy, and also kicking it up a notch when they are teaching an audience the concept. Above all, equipping the students with the tech tools of Doceri and screencasting, the students are given a venue to teach others as well. It has given the opportunity for all students to become a reviewable, rewindable, and some-what anonymous teacher for both their classmates and a larger audience as well.

Enter Ms. Carey’s fifth grade class in Salinas, CA, a 1-1 class full of iPads and the power of Doceri. On November 3rd, Ms. Carey and I decided to have students participate in a Doceri Math Film Festival with the grand prize of being featured on Coach Ben’s Youtube Channel.

The Game Plan

In groups of 3, students were tasked to make a 3-5 minutes video as a team that reviewed one of the Math concepts that they had learned so far. Students were to make a screencast with a title slide, an objective, an example, and a credit slide. First, student’s brainstormed a list of all the math concepts they had learned so far. In groups of 3, each group chose a topic they felt comfortable teaching and screencasting. Then, they had had to work together and plan their screencast. Finally, they began their presentations in class. A few weeks later, the official film festival took place. Students took notes, and gave feedback to their peers, and in the end the winners were given the “Oscar.” The winners are posted here.

Post Game

Ms. Carey and myself were happy with the overall results of student learning. We viewed this as a type of pre-assessment of screencasting skills. Students had some previous knowledge of Doceri from 4th grade. However, at the start of this year, students have been given little instruction on screencasting. Our plan is to do a few more film festivals throughout the year to measure growth, review key math concepts, and give students a chance to become the teacher.  At the end of this assignment, we asked students what they had learned from screencasting. Below are their responses:

Student Responses:

Alondra: I learned that working with other people is better than yourself only. I also learned how fun it is to make videos with other people.

Diana: I learned to work in a team. It was fun. It was more like a review of everything that we have done in math.

Jacob: I learned how to work better with peers.

Brandon: What I learned from the film festival was that you have to aline the decimals on all problems,which are multiplying,adding,subtracting and dividing.And all the ways you can do that.

Stephanie: Making the video was a pretty simple and quick, but showing it on the board was difficult. 1 classmate made me feel better by saying they didn’t really see anything wrong, but I still thought I could improve. While making the video I learned how to explain my topic much better than I used to. The video improved my explaining skills slightly.

Jesus: What I learned is that I need to do it more correctly.

Jenna: What I think I learned from the video were just about all we learned this year and more information and better understanding, and what I learned from making the video was a better way to make a video and even my example gave me a better understanding.

Natalia: What I learned about the math videos is that there is to many ways to solve a problem!!!!!!!!!!

Support and Access In the Doceri Classroom: Kim Laabs 1.1

High School Math teacher Kim Laabs is the first teacher to have the full Doceri Classroom installed in her classroom at San Marin High School in Novato. Kim’s students have been privy to high quality audio enveloping the room in crystal clear sound. When she’s playing one of her own videos for the whole class they won’t miss an instruction. “The kids are actually commenting on the quality of the sound!, stated Mrs. Laabs.” They also enjoy when they are working and Mrs. Laabs puts on music to work by and they can actually hear it.

The other piece of equipment that is impacting the flow of Kim’s teaching is simple but has made life while teaching more enjoyable is the Pixie Pro Media Wall Control Panel. Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.05.23 PM

She easily switches from her document camera to computer and back again. No lag in changing devices while in mid lesson means engagement can be kept active. Kim says that it’s just been luxurious to not have to be stuck at a media center in the middle of the room and absolutely lovely to be using speakers that work and sound like a concert rather than sound from two tin cans and a string.

As usual the Doceri iPad app and Doceri Desktop has been a fabulous aid in allowing her students access to calculus, algebra, and prealgebra lessons. She records her lectures daily unless she has prerecorded the lesson. Either way the material that she is expecting her students to learn is posted on her school website and on her YouTube channel. Often she will receive an email from a student or two asking for clarification on a concept and she can easily point them back to the video she has posted. Kim says,”The Doceri Classroom has been an invaluable tool for my students especially the ones who need more time with the material. I spend a lot less time reteaching due to the quality of support I can pour into my videos.” Mrs. Laabs goes on to state,”I truly do expect all teachers to be making videos in the future especially since it’s so easy to do! The amount of time it gives me with my students during class is very worth the time I put into making screncasts. Doceri is giving me more quality time with my students and I can see the difference in their understanding.”


Mrs. Tishler’s Hard to Fail Approach

Here’s a screencast with a whole set of directions to produce a math foldable Perfect Square Chart for an interactive notebook by Mrs. Tishler. How long would this have taken to go through in class? How many kids would have to be redirected if these directions were spoken live? How many students would be lost a quarter the way through? With a Doceri screencast a series of directions can be replayed at will. So many differentiations accommodations covered in one action. It would be hard to fail Mrs. Tishler’s class!