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The Doceri Classroom

Doceri Classroom

You think you know Doceri? Did you know that Doceri is a 3 part system? You probably know about the iPad screencasting app with the brilliant timeline and smooth drawing tools. Doceri Desktop, the desktop control system that allows a user to control their PC with the iPad app is also familiar to you. However, there is a third part of the Doceri interactive teaching system. The third part consists of an audio visual control system that includes the Networked Room Controller (NRC), a wall mounted control panel called the PixiePro, AmpLinc amplifiers that connect to ceiling mounted speakers, and the Doceri iPad App.

Welcome to the Doceri Classroom! The main point of the Doceri Classroom is CONTROL. All  teachers desire control in their classrooms especially control over their media. Control over media gives the teacher a fighting chance to create that lesson FLOW. What kills a flow?  Manually switching from DVD to computer and back again, walking over to turn the lights on or off, messing with subpar computer speakers, etc. In the Doceri classroom the PC, the projector, the built in high quality speakers, the peripheral media players, and even the room lights can all be controlled from anywhere in the room using the Doceri iPad app.

We will detail all the benefits and the nuts and bolts of the Doceri Classroom in later posts. We are highlighting our full system now because our first Doceri Classroom user is having her classroom outfitted with the control equipment as we speak in order to be ready for next school year. Math Teacher Kim Laabs has been featured on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel many times. She produces extremely well organized high school level math screencasts and has folded Doceri Desktop into her daily pedagogy at San Marin High School in Novato, CA.

Next year she will have a whole new level of control in her room. That lesson FLOW will be literally at her fingertips with the full suite of apps and hardware installed in her classroom by SP Controls.

The real treat for all of us is that Kim will be keeping us regularly updated on our blog throughout next school year! Kim’s experience with the Doceri Classroom will be broadcast for all of our Doceri users right here on the Freedom to Teach Blog. You’ll get to know Kim a bit better on the next Teacher Feature. Summer is time to be savored but fall promises to be exciting and innovative in quest of the FLOW! Stay tuned…

 

 

Teacher Feature: Quinn Swartwout

QuinnName: Quinn Swartwout

School: Warren Street Elementary

District: Greater Johnstown School District

State: New York

Job Title: 6th Grade Math and Science Teacher 

Part 1 of 2

How does Doceri enhance your curriculum?

Doceri is instrumental to my daily math and science pedagogy. Two years ago I installed Doceri and have never looked back! The ipad app is my, “go to” app and is used as an interactive whiteboard for my math module lessons. I have created colorful and standard-focused Doceri presentations on every math module lesson I teach. I also use Doceri Desktop to pause and interact with BrainPop videos, to demo math skills while using IXL, and to pull up pictures and websites that add to my science instruction. All while moving about my room and not being chained to my projector cart or the board.

What has been the reaction of your students, other staff, and, parents to your use of Doceri? My 6th grade students have enjoyed using Doceri’s whiteboard app alongside with me. Several of them have downloaded the app to their devices and choose this method for their own science presentations. I have trained some teachers and plan on training more, but the ones that are now using it love it’s simplicity. Yet, they are amazed at how much it can change your teaching.

What was your experience getting students started on creating their own screencasts? Piece of cake! My 6th grade students love using Doceri! They have basic technology capabilities, so creating on the iPad app is easy for them.It’s so much fun for them to learn new tricks, like adding pictures and using the lasso tool to copy and paste all or part of the strokes on a slide. Some even go so far as to add voice to their slides to create screencasts! We do a lot of redo’s and cuts with a lot of giggling. Kids + Doceri = FUN!

Teacher Feature: Part 3 of 3 – Timothy Wayne Boudreau

This is the final installment of Canadian Middle School Math teacher, Tim Boudreau.Tim Boudreau

How has Doceri changed how you interact with your students during lectures/ presentations/ small group instruction?

I tend not to give too many lectures in the classroom, but when I do, I often do the live screencast format. Knowing that everything is being recorded actually reduces the amount of student distractions, and classroom discussion tends to be much more on-topic.

Have you flipped your classroom?

Yes, and no.  I still introduce some concepts in the classroom, but even those lectures often are live screencasts which are then uploaded to Edmodo.  I can’t rely 100% on flipped videos for instruction simply because I don’t believe it is the most equitable way to teach; many students simply do not have access to tech and internet at home.  The flipped classroom model also expects a great deal of responsibility from students, and Grade 8 students are not all ready for that level of responsibility, in my opinion. I choose to introduce the concept of the flipped classroom, introduce them to the idea of seeking out information online and choosing where and when to view that content, but I do not rely on it exclusively for the above stated reasons.

Do you have any advice for teachers new to using Doceri, creating screencasts, or integrating tech into their class routines?

Try not to focus on all the different things that people use Doceri for and focus on just one specific task you want to use it for.  Do you want to start making videos to flip your class?  Do you want to use it to live screencast lessons for later review?  Do you just want to use it on the LCD projector to make your lessons more interesting?  Do you want to introduce it to your students as an additional presentation tool for projects?  Pick one task you think will work well in your classroom and focus on integrating it into your program.  Once you are confident you’ve mastered that use for Doceri, try introducing a different application to your program.  I find that teachers who try to do too much with technology feel overwhelmed and are much more likely to give up when things go wrong.

Expectations for integration of Doceri

Things will go wrong whenever you try to introduce something new, try not to get discouraged and consider changing how you are using Doceri if necessary.  If students seem confused, for example, spend a bit more time letting them play and experiment with the app before having to use it for projects.

Don’t expect your own screencast projects to be high quality, especially at first.  I poke fun at myself constantly when sharing my videos with students; I find it helps them relax and not take their own Doceri work too seriously.  Using Doceri is really fun! So  just enjoy playing with it.

More Pre Algebra Doceri Screencasts by Tim

 

 

Teacher Feature: Part 2 of 3 – Timothy Wayne Bourdreau

This is part 2 of 3 of the Teacher Feature on Tim Boudreau in Feb 2015.

Tim Boudreau

What have been the reactions of your students, other staff, admin, parents to Your use of Doceri?

Student Reactions

This is only my second year using Doceri in the classroom, but since I teach multiple classes a year, I have introduced the app to over 300 students in that short time.  Since I teach so many students I come into contact with a diverse range of social and academic aptitudes.  It amazes me how quickly my students just start using Doceri to create screencasts to explain new concepts.  I provide a brief introduction to Doceri before having students create for assessment purposes. Showing a few basic tools and then giving students the opportunity to “play” and “explore” the app to create anything they want. Some students will use the art tools to draw detailed pictures. Some students experiment with the timeline to generate simple animations and some create simple slide shows.  No matter what their academic ability, all of my students demonstrate an enthusiasm and a willingness to create and learn using the Doceri app.  Many students will then go on to ask other teachers if they can use Doceri for their assignments in other subjects.

Staff Reactions

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.51.19 PMSeveral teachers at my school currently use Doceri, or allow Doceri to be used by students, in the classroom.  Doceri is used in French classrooms, Math, Language, Science, and Social Studies. Teachers at my school have a range of aptitude and comfort using technology in the classroom, but most teachers I have spoken to about the app are excited by Doceri’s potential, and are willing to allow students to use it to create projects instead of using more traditional formats.  The greatest roadblock for staff is simply having enough devices in the school so that we can use great apps like Doceri in the classroom on a regular basis.

Admin Reactions

The principal and vice-principal at my school all love the potential of using Doceri in the classroom.  They agree with me when I say that Doceri is a great tool for making student thinking visible and are excited about the use of it in the classroom.Doceri iPad Student work

Parent Reactions

Recently my school hosted a Numeracy Night, where students were encouraged to bring their parents so that we could show them some of the things we are doing in the classroom to support student learning in mathematics.  I hosted a session on using Doceri in the math classroom, where I introduced the app with a screencast. Parents were then given a math problem and an iPad with Doceri to work on a solution with their children.  Many parents commented to me that they thought Doceri was a very good way to help their child explain their thinking, especially those who experienced difficulty with writing tasks.

What was your experience getting students started on creating their own screencasts?

Creating a screencasts can be hard work.  I found that it was extremely important to “chunk” the task for students so that they didn’t feel overwhelmed by the screencasting project.  Usually I broke the process into 4 parts for them that we worked on separately in class:

  1. Write your script – everything that you and your partner will say in the screencast
  2. Create a storyboard – plan what visuals will appear on each “slide” of your presentation
  3. Create your slides – before doing any recording, take the time to setup each of your slides, and to insert any necessary stops on the timeline.
  4. Record – Now that you have a script and a storyboard, you’ve created your presentation, it’s a simple matter of following the plan, and recording your voice.

Most students react very well to this framework. Soon they are well on their way to creating their screencast within a couple of work periods. As with all school tasks, students require extra time to figure it all out, extra time to work out the kinks, and extra reminders to stay on task.

 

 

 

#Docerichat: Ask Tim!

Twitter_logo_blue copyJoin us on Twitter (#docerichat) on February 19th, 2015 at 4pm PST. Doceri Tech Support Specialist, Tim McGrew will join Jason Gilmore and Doceri educators for an open discussion with Doceri users.

If you have any burning “how-to” Doceri Desktop or Doceri App questions, bring them to Tim on Thursday. This is your chance to connect with SP Controls’ own Doceri guru!

 

Teacher Feature: Part 1 of 3- Timothy Wayne Boudreau

Tim BoudreauPart 1 of 3 

Name: Timothy Wayne Boudreau

School: Lougheed Middle School

School Board: Peel District School Board

Province: Ontario, Canada

Job Title: 8th Grade Core French and Math Teacher

How do you use Doceri?

Flip Video Creation

I use the Doceri iPad app to create flip class videos (screencasts) to cover concepts that are important for student understanding, yet don’t want to spend class time discussing.  Instructional videos are usually created in combination with other apps such as iMovie and post on YouTube. Finally, I post the link to my screencasts on my class Edmodo site.

Not Pro Quality

The videos are not oscar winning material. They are fairly rough. However, I’ve gotten myself to the point where I can create and post a video in less than 30 minutes, and students find it so useful to be able to review material at their own pace.

Archiving in-class instruction – at home reinforcement

I also use Doceri Desktop in conjunction with an LCD projector as my interactive whiteboard.  Usually, I use Doceri to deliver a new lesson or to review a concept before a quiz.  I record my voice as I am conducting the lesson including student questions and responses, which I post on Edmodo.  Students who have difficulty remembering oral instructions have the chance to review material at home.  It’s also great to have my audio and visual class notes available for students that were absent.

Making thinking visible

Doceri helps my students make their thinking visible.  One common area of student need is the ability to properly read, understand, solve, and communicate solutions for math problems. There are various strategies teachers use to help students develop their problem solving skills, but the real challenge is answering the question “How will you know students have learned mathematical problem solving?”  Having students create Doceri screencasts as part of the problem solving process helps them visualize a new concept. Plus, it makes it easier for me to assess students’ problem solving abilities.

Usually, I introduce a new concept with a screencast. Next, I encourage students to use Doceri to work on a solution to given problems. This gives them the opportunity to write, draw, and display any visuals that they deem necessary to properly show all their work and calculations. The Doceri timeline allows me to back their work up and see their thinking unfold. It’s easy to isolate the trouble spots for each kid.

Peer interaction

Students create video explanations of  solutions to a problem.  Then they give feedback on peers’ chosen method of problem solving. It’s amazing to watch the exchanges that come from this visual thinking process! Doceri is a great thought catalyst.

Next entry (2 of 3) Tim focuses on how the school staff, administration, parents, and students have reacted to Doceri in his classroom.

#Docerichat on Twitter is Back! on 1/21/15 at 5PM PST.

#DoceriChat Returns January 21st on Twitter

Happy New Year!! The first #docerichat of the year will be THIS Wednesday, January 21st 2015 at 8PM EST 7PM CST 6PM MST 5PM PST. Join us as we discuss possible themes for our first ever Google Hangout On Air broadcast of our February #docerichat. The GHOchat will include a panel of Doceri Teachers featured on the Freedom To Teach Blog.Twitter_logo_blue copy

#DoceriChat Wednesday, January 21st

5pm Pacific – 6pm Mountain
7pm Central – 8pm Eastern

Just use the hashtag #DoceriChat to follow and join in on the conversation.

 

Teacher Feature: Rebecca DeLozier – Part 3 of 3 – Screencasting Doceri Style

Triceratops Profile - Rebecca DeLozierWhy Doceri?

Rebecca tried all manner of screencasting apps but ended up choosing Doceri because it gave her the complexity and control to plan out her lessons. The writing is smooth and the editing system gives many options. Once she became comfortable with stops and the timeline the videos just flowed and she was hooked on Doceri. “No other app lets me sit and write out my lesson at my own pace yet allows me to plan for the delivery by controlling the speed while recording.”

At first, Rebecca wasn’t sure her students liked the video style or found it helpful, but every once in a while due to time constraints she will post a link to a video made by someone else, or one of my old pre-Doceri videos.  “The next day, I will hear complaints about having to watch those videos, so I am taking that to be a vote of support from the students.”

Rebecca further explained, “Doceri has made my transition from Sage-On-The-Stage to Guide-On-The-Side pretty painless.  It has also made me refocus on what we consider core content and what is just bloat in the curriculum.  If we want students to gain a real understanding of concepts we need to make the supporting lectures for those concepts transparent with as few examples as possible (two at the most.) I try not to get bogged down in minutiae.  This allows me to use class time to support students putting new concepts into practice and tease out the intricacies of the content.”

Screencasting Tips

Rebecca discussed her video creation process and explained that the hardest thing about screencasting for her is the planning stage. It’s a challenge to develop a specific outline that has everything she wants to include in the video.  She says, “It doesn’t all have to be written out explicitly first, but I do need a list of all the examples, experiments, and terms I want to discuss. The goal is always to reduce the content down to approximately approximately a 6-7 minute video.

She went on to discuss the recording, “After I have a content list I park myself on the couch with my iPad and a stylus and start writing and drawing out the lesson.  This includes a lot of revising on the fly, which is why I LOVE the timeline! For physics, I just record from the Doceri interface directly and upload to YouTube.

My physics videos were recorded almost 2 years ago.  For AP Biology I make a title slide in PowerPoint, then I use ScreenFlow to record the opening credits. The students requested the picture in picture talking head so I airplay into my MacBook, then record the Doceri lesson and myself from there.  It seems like an overly complicated method but it allows me to hand write the lessons without having to write while talking, OR having to sync up the talking head to the Doceri recording later.”

Rebecca stated,”I do a small amount of splicing and editing on the videos for AP Biology. I never start over from scratch, I just pause and start talking wherever I feel like I messed up.  The videos aren’t perfect, but neither are lectures in class. When I first started screencasting I would spend hours on a video, now if the lesson is previously written in Doceri I can record, edit, and have 5 published in under 2 hours!”

Just Start!

Rebecca’s advice for beginning Doceri screencasters is to start small with something that is just a single concept, or perhaps a quick compare and contrast. She further explains,”Take your time writing out what you want it to look like and then replay that slide while recording. The most important advice I have is, Just start! You can’t improve if you don’t start. Oh, and invest in a decent stylus.”

 

 

 

 

Teacher Feature: Rebecca DeLozier – Part 2 of 3 – Flipping with Doceri

In November 2014 we posted Part 1 of our 3 part feature on Rebecca DeLozier, AP Biology and Physics teacher as a Doceri Teacher who completely flipped her classes.

Triceratops Profile - Rebecca DeLozier

Not all Doceri teachers flip their classrooms. In fact, from our  2014 user survey  only 8% of Doceri teachers surveyed said they have fully flipped their classes. However, 41% of those surveyed stated they are interested in flipping their classrooms in the future. Rebecca has shared her journey to the total class flip for those aspiring to remove lecture from the classroom and save class time for group work, 1:1 work, and discussions.

Initially, Rebecca flipped her AP Biology class because the content was overwhelming and the classes just didn’t have time to complete the labs that, “get at the real meat of the content.”   As she started making her own videos she discovered how hard it is to pare down unit content.  Ms. Delozier said, “We as educators tend to overwhelm students with material that isn’t necessary to get at the learning objective.  Writing my own videos makes me focus on what is CRUCIAL and how I can present that in under ten minutes. Also, handwriting all of my lessons helps me narrow the video focus too. If I expect students to take notes from a video then I only want to present the noteworthy content.  We still have discussions and elaborative examples daily in class. However, my lessons are the cliff notes to our curriculum.”

At first, Rebecca wasn’t sure students liked the video style or found it helpful, but every once in a while due to time constraints she will post a link to a video made by someone else, or one of my old pre-Doceri videos.  “The next day, I will hear complaints about having to watch those videos, so I am taking that to be a vote of support from the students.”

Rebecca’s AP Biology is 100% flipped.  Students have assignments to watch anywhere between 1-5 short videos a week (they are typically under 7 minutes, always under 10 min). There are pages from their text associated with the video listed in each assignment and they take notes on the video. Each video is followed by a question or two applying the knowledge covered in lesson.

Physics is a whole different strategy for Ms. Delozier. Students in her physics class work at their own pace and while there is a rough flow of assignments they can skip around within each section of the course.  So, on any given day of the week she may have students working on lab, projects, taking quizzes, reading, watching the lessons…all in class. “The fact that I’m not lecturing lets me move from group to group and help out with whatever they need (lab set up, calculations, reteaching, etc),” stated Rebecca.

Rebecca goes on to explain, “I don’t do a lot of direct instruction in class. I spend about 10-15 minutes each class clearing up misconceptions from the previous day¹s lessons or clarifying concepts for that day¹s lab.  These are student driven, and when all goes well, student generated discussions take place. I have a prompt ready but we just go where the conversation takes us for a few minutes each day.

The third and final post in this series will detail Rebecca’s screencasting method and how Doceri makes her job that much easier.

 

 

Doceri Certified Educator PD Program Launched!!

Capture

The Doceri Team is proud to announce The Doceri Certified Educator Professional Development Course!

Ever wanted to be able to have all the functionality of an interactive white board in the palm of your hand? Do you have a desire to create  instructional videos for your students to access at their own pace? Doceri Desktop and Doceri iPad screencasting app is the learning system that can enhance any curriculum to increase student engagement, mobility in the classroom, and provide access to your lessons.

Through the newly launched Doceri Certified Educator professional Development program you will be introduced to the basics of Doceri and guided through the more advanced features to become a Doceri Certified Educator. No matter if your goal is to flip your lessons, gain more control in your classroom, or create a library of PD screencasts for your staff; this self paced online course will prepare you to be a Doceri pro.

Course Details

Go to the Doceri Certified Educator Training Course 

Cost: $30 Includes a license key for Doceri Desktop. If you already own a Doceri Desktop license key the course is FREE!

Time: The course is estimated to contain about 3 hours of video instruction.