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Free Webinar: Advanced Teaching Techniques Using Doceri

The Webinar:

Advanced Teaching Techniques Using Doceri Whiteboarddoug

Description: Shift your classroom learning experience from direct instruction to guided inquiry with the Doceri iPad app. We will demonstrate time saving shortcuts that increase student engagement and encourages student centered discussions.

Doceri collab-classroom

Time: September 29, 2016 at  7pm EST, 6:00 PM (GMT-5:00) Central Time, 4PM PST (US and Canada)

Click here to Register for the Webinar.

Doug Devitre: Doceri Supports a Student Centered Approach

Doceri Supports a Student Centered Approach

Doug DevitreDoug Devitre is the author of a book called Screen-to-Screen Selling (McGraw Hill, 2015). In his book he outlines his method of conducting business consulting/ coaching online using video conferencing software and Doceri. Doug’s work applies directly to classroom teaching because the way he uses Doceri is unique.

He first fosters a conversation with his clients, finds out what they know, what they want to know, and works help them learn a new and more efficient way of conducting their business. Sound familiar (K,W,L Chart)? Doug preloads his iPad with all sorts of charts, graphs, infographics in his iPhoto and accesses them as backgrounds for annotation and recording during his online and classroom sessions. He is pioneering an intuitive and student centered education method in his field. This is a method we think any teacher can benefit from.

Doug is offering a free webinar on his student/centered approach on Sep 29, 2016 7pm EST, 6:00 PM (GMT-5:00) Central Time, 4PM PST (US and Canada)

Click here to Register for the Webinar.

Backflip into the New School Year

Coming back to school this year has caused me to rethink my entire pedagogy. Why? I have a unique opportunity and I know there is a better way (to teach). I teach at Lawrence Cook Middle School as a special educator in Santa Rosa, California. We are a developing community school. A community school is one where there are real wrap-around services available to both parent and student. There are non-profit support services on campus that support learning like a therapy service agency that serves as many kids in the school as possible. Another organization offers free services to the parents like English classes,  advice on finances, immigration law, and free preschool.


These are amazing things for a population where 98% of the families qualify for free and reduced lunch. The school is mostly made up of students from a Hispanic background. Many parents are from Mexico and the kids are 1st generation American. It is hard to connect with parents because they’re time and resources are impacted. The point is, my students have deep needs. We talk a lot during staff meeting about vicarious trauma. This is the stress taken on by working with students in chronic stress or trauma from their challenging home lives.

We have taken steps to alleviate their stress and bring more calm into their lives by installing quiet time (mindfulness sessions) into the bell schedule. It’s 15 min in 1st period and 15 min in 6th period. So far so good. I’d say they’re is a very different feeling in the school than there ever has been thanks to the mindfulness.

However, I am not writing this post to talk about mindfulness. I am writing this post to talk about the flipped classroom I am creating on the fly and the NEED for it. My students have a very difficult time taking notes and following lectures even with the notes projected. Direct instruction in whole group can be hard at times. Trauma becomes loud in kids’ brains when their surroundings quiet down and require sustained focus. I can teach in a direct instruction form, but I know there’s a better way, especially for the population I am trying to reach.


We decided that we needed another choice in a small group setting in our school. So, this year I get to start a Maker Space/ class for kids with IEP’s. My background is as a muralist. I am starting there. Last year we created a mural that I directed. This year my goal is to help my sixty kids with 4 special ed classes on their schedules learn how to create their own murals and be their own project director. In order to do this they need the following:

  • Basic drawing skills
  • Basic color theory knowledge
  • Measuring skills
  • Understand and utilize ratio and proportion
  • Be able to plan and implement a project timeline
  • Present a design and discuss it’s theme
  • Complete the project according to the mural process outlined in class.



To make this happen I could run the whole learning experience via direct instruction, practice, and reteaching. I have done this and student mastery is limited. Kids interrupt. Kids schedules with therapy and counseling interrupt OFTEN. Kids are often absent. It’s hard to get everyone up to speed the old way.IMG_1687

What I need to do is teach via video. Here’s an episode that I was inspired to go this way from the Flipped Learning Network Worldwide Podcast with Jon Bergmann. Doceri is already my number one teaching tool. I never want to teach without it again! I never want to stand in front of the class again. Doceri allows me to control my PC which is connected to my projector from anywhere in the room. I want to be near my students. However, it takes time to create videos.Recently, I have been hitting the record button during one of my four classes. I have already used the saved videos for kids transferring into the class to catch up. The stops on the timeline are SOOO helpful when I play back what I drew out in my 1st period class for my 4th period class. Just tap record set it up with my instructions, then hit play and all of my drawing plays out to the stop mark. Then, I pause the recording when I go to check kids work. At the end of period 4 I have a record of the lesson for the day. If period 4 was a bit chatty then I have 2 other classes to get a decent recording.


My next step is to create more basic drawing screencasts ahead of time so they can view them on their own using a class iPads. Yes. I have sixteen iPad 2’s. I told you I was in a unique situation. It will be a LOT of work upfront but will be so worth it. My goal? To become that guide on the side that every teacher has heard about. I want the kids to be more responsible for the synthesis of the lessons. Then, I can spend more time supporting and less time recording and creating lessons on the fly. My students deserve as much attention from me as possible. My students deserve me flipping my class with Doceri. I hope you enjoy this chronicle of the pitfalls and successes of my flipclass journey. This is a better way.

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.):