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Doceri The Talent Integration App

How exciting can one teacher make the basic mechanics of writing seem to 7th graders with literary challenges?

The answer is the same with teaching every tedious academic skill – it’s what the teacher makes it.IMG_0766.PNG

I recently created a screencast called How to Create a Great Topic Sentence for my 7th grade Special Education RSP English intervention class. I said to myself, “Self! This is some boring subject matter by itself. Especially, because the kids have had it over and over again but still aren’t getting the concept for numerous reasons. How can I make these instructions digestible? What do I have to offer?

I answered myself with, visuals! I can draw! Illustrated instructions are what I need to offer. IKEA instructions rule over all text- based instructions every time.

I realized I wasn’t using my biggest asset and was relying on text and audio instructions. Big mistake when you have 10 kids with good cases of anxiety, ADHD, and/ or learning difficulties. So I created this visually enhanced version of a lesson that I had done before with just text. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The kids actually clapped in one class! One kid with major wiggle issues even asked to see it again!

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I followed up the lesson by helping the kids create a picture of a Martian alien in a flying saucer in their journals by using Doceri Desktop to step them through the drawing. One kid said, “Wait you’re going too fast!” So, I backed up the drawing and replayed it on the slow setting a few times.

Try that with an analogue whiteboard! It helps to have an image that the kids create themselves to use as inspiration for writing. Once the picture was complete we created a topic sentence on- screen together. They took the writing from there and finished a paragraph story describing the illustration.

To recap, I spiced up a drab subject for my students with an illustrated screencast that I created. The kids loved the fact that their teacher created a video that was on YouTube.

The screencast offered a visual and auditory prep for a kinesthetic activity to cement the concept. Even the hardened struggling learners softened a bit at this educational offering.

Yes – screencasts can be used for an English class. Doceri allows me to integrate my artistic talents into my academic lessons which in turn allows me to connect with my struggling students in ways I would never have imagined possible.

Hopefully, this will be the last time my students will have to suffer through the dreaded topic sentence lesson.

 

Columbia University Technology Innovation Showcase Kicks off Featuring Doceri

On October 16, the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning is launching the first in a series Innovation Showcases featuring presentations on what’s new in teaching and technology as well as fostering conversation between ed tech peers at Columbia. The first session will feature Doceri by SP Controls.

Columbia CNMTL

The CCNMTL helps integrate educational technology to everyone in the university. This year, its theme is Blended Learning.

“We feel that all classes are blended – even face-to-face classes” says Faculty Lab Manager Ellen Maleszewski. “All faculty members load their syllabi and other resources online, which means all classes have an online component.”

The October 16 Innovation Showcase is open to all the CNMTL educational technologists as well as the many other departments within the university that manage technology.

“We’re kicking off this technology symposium series with Doceri because it is a great resource for our ed tech departments to know about,” Maleszewski adds. “Doceri allows for greater mobility in the classroom and makes recording lectures very easy.”

Teacher Feature: East Bronx Academy Part 3, Kevin McCormack

In Part 3 of our three-part feature on the Doceri teachers at East Bronx Academy, music and computer science teacher Kevin McCormack explains he uses Doceri for how to videos for his students.

Kevin McCormackKevin McCormack – Music Tech and Wind Ensemble
Kevin teaches music tech and wind ensemble. This is his seventh year at East Bronx Academy.

Like fellow East Bronx Academy teachers Erick Odom and Carrie McCormack, Kevin also appreciates the freedom of movement that Doceri affords in the classroom.

The Doceri sweet spot that Kevin has found, though, has been in creating screencast videos for his students to explain the steps they need to use to complete assignments using MIXX DJ software and other online tools such as SoundCloud and Blogger.

“Because I can show the steps students need to take to complete their assignments outside of class, they can review them at any time,” explains Kevin. “When working with challenged readers, the visual and verbal explanation really helps.”

Kevin turns on Doceri’s record function as he goes through the steps with students in class, then makes the video available on his YouTube Channel.

Doceri at East Bronx Academy

In October of 2013, EBA teachers Erick Odom (social studies), Carrie McCormack (language arts) and Kevin McCormack (music) discovered Doceri through the New York Schools Gap App Challenge.

East Bronx Academy is a grade 6-12 public school in the poorest Congressional District in the United States. Over the years, various grants and gifts have equipped the school with technology including a wireless Internet infrastructure upgrade last year.

 

Read Part 1 of this Teacher Feature Series, on social studies teacher Erick Odom

Read Part 2 of this Teacher Feature Series, on language arts teacher Carrie McCormack

 

Teacher Feature: East Bronx Academy Part 2, Carrie McCormack

In Part 2 of our three-part feature on the Doceri teachers at East Bronx Academy, we look at how – in addition to the freedom to move around the classroom – Carrie McCormack is saving time and increasing engagement with her students by using live video grading.

Carrie McCormackCarrie McCormack – Language Arts
Carrie teaches 11th and 12th grade English, including AP English. She has been teaching for 20 years and is starting her eighth year at East Bronx Academy.

Carrie has experienced two big changes as a result of using Doceri. First, like fellow EBA teacher Erick Odom, she’s free to move around the classroom so she’s able to interact with and help more students one-on-one during class time.

“When a student in the back row asks if I can go over something from earlier in the lesson,” she explained, “I don’t have walk back up to the front of the room to access the projector. I can do it right from my iPad while I’m still engaged with that student. “

Because her students know they have better access to her – and she to them – it keeps everyone on their toes.

“I can snap a quick photo of a student’s work to provide an example for the class,” Carrie says. “Knowing that I can be right by their side at any time with the iPad keeps them more focused.”

Tremendous Time Savings when Grading Essays

In addition to more efficiency and better engagement in the classroom, Carrie has discovered that recording Doceri screencasts to grade her students’ essays not only saves time, but also affords the ability to give better feedback.

High school English Composition requires a lot of writing – especially the advanced placement sections. When Carrie began using Doceri for grading, she found she was able to get through more than 100 essays in less than a week. Before using Doceri, it would take at least two weeks to grade the essays in writing.

“Grading essays by recording my comments with Doceri takes me less than a half the time as it has in the past, when I wrote out all the comments,” Carrie says. “It’s also more personal. I can explain more, and provide the inflection in my comments and corrections to encourage students and explain how to improve their writing.”

Doceri at East Bronx Academy

In October of 2013, EBA teachers Erick Odom (social studies), Carrie McCormack (language arts) and Kevin McCormack (music) discovered Doceri through the New York Schools Gap App Challenge.

East Bronx Academy is a grade 6-12 public school in the poorest Congressional District in the United States. Over the years, various grants and gifts have equipped the school with technology including a wireless Internet infrastructure upgrade last year.

 

Read Part 1 of this Teacher Feature Series, on social studies teacher Erick Odom

Read Part 3 of this Teacher Feature Series, on music teacher Kevin McCormack

 

Teacher Erick Odom Here

Teacher Feature: East Bronx Academy Part 1, Erick Odom

East Bronx Academy is a grade 6-12 public school in the poorest Congressional District in the United States. Over the years, various grants and gifts have equipped the school with technology including a wireless Internet infrastructure upgrade last year.

In October of 2013, EBA teachers Erick Odom (social studies), Carrie McCormack (language arts) and Kevin McCormack (music) discovered Doceri through the New York Schools Gap App Challenge.

This series explores how these three teachers have implemented Doceri in their classrooms.

Erick_Odom_East_Bronx_AcademyErick Odom – social studies

Erick teaches US History, Economics and American Government, AP Government and a Legal Studies elective. He’s been teaching for ten years; this is his 7th year at East Bronx Academy.

The biggest difference in Erick’s classroom now that he uses Doceri, is that he can walk around and interact with students more closely while he’s giving a lesson, keeping tabs on students more closely.

“Normally, when lecturing from the front of the room, teachers can’t tell that a student is having trouble understanding the material until their homework is turned in – and then it’s too late,” he explains. “Using Doceri I can move around among my students, create a more interactive lesson and correct misconceptions as they happen.”

Accessing his classroom computer wirelessly from his iPad using Doceri, Erick not only has access to all of his files and materials, he can also remotely project presentations, images and websites for the class and annotate them as he moves around the room. He can take a picture of a student’s work with the iPad camera, import it to Doceri and project it for the class as an example.

“My students love the ‘new projector’ as they call it, and have been more eager to share their work using the classroom iPad,” Erick says.

Erick also creates Doceri screencasts for test prep and when students are absent, so they can catch up quickly. Students who don’t have computers and Internet access at home can use school facilities to watch the screencast lesson videos.

 

Read Part 2 of this Teacher Feature Series, on language arts teacher Carrie McCormack

Read Part 3 of this Teacher Feature Series, on music teacher Kevin McCormack

 

Back to School Twitter Chat Sept. 18, 2014

Untitled 35Doceri Chat is back!

Doceri Education Community Advocate Jason Gilmore will facilitate a Back to School edition of Doceri Chat on Thursday Sept. 18 at 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern.

What are your goals for Doceri in your Classroom this year?

Join us on for Doceri Chat on Twitter to share and discuss with other Doceri teachers. Use the hashtag #DoceriChat to follow along and participate.

We highly recommend using TweetChat to get the most out of participating in a Twitter Chat.

This Doceri Screencast Explains how to participate and how to use TweetChat. We’ll see you Thursday September 18!

Back to School: Mobility Matters Most!

by Doceri Education Community Advocate Jason Gilmore

“The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

It’s back to school time and I am in a good mood! I’m at a great rural middle school with a fantastic community spirit in Sonoma County, Calif. A good mood even though the tech is LIMITED.

We have a fast wired network but… GASP!! NO WIFI! After two years in the wireless tech-rich land of Silicon Valley schools I feel disconnected. My Internet iPad apps are missing me.

However, my classroom is not totally bereft of tech. I have two Windows 7 desktops, an ancient XP laptop, an ancient XP desktop, 2 computer Labs, computers in the library, a projector, an Elmo, and my off-line lonely iPad.

The iPad will of course be useful in two ways: making screencasts on a Doceri and controlling the computer connected to my projector. My feeling is that we can get along just fine with this assortment. Plus, the other great thing is I have procured wonderful antique movable desks with the help of our magic custodian.

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My room is now ripe for collaboration with the mobile furniture I have installed (with the help of a fabulous custodian). A large community table on wheels is also a benefit. I hope to have my students up and discovering or rediscovering content together.

We may have limited access to the internet but we will have access to each other.

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Mobility in the classroom is the first step to establishing an environment that fosters discussion, investigation, and support. Without being tied to the front of the class I will be able to work with students where they are.

This class will not be about me. It will be about students trying, failing, and succeeding as a team.

I’ve connected my iPad to my crusty rusty laptop with Doceri Desktop via a WIFI signal from an old Apple Time Capsule. Internet is not necessary for using Doceri with Doceri Desktop; I just need a WIFI signal that connects the computer and iPad.

My hope is to create my intervention number sense, pre-algebra, and intervention reading and writing lessons for 7th and 8th grade Special Education RSP students in screencast form, place them on Edmodo, have the kids view the individualized lessons via projector and computer in the classroom. This will free me up to work in small groups with kids working on the same skills. With this method we just may be able to fill a few of those basic skill holes yet.

First step? Get to know the kids. Build the camaraderie. Play games. Build the rules and procedures together, and then get to the assessment.

If I can gather momentum in the beginning it should carry us until the holidays, at least! We’ll see what we can get accomplished with a few bones of key tech pieces like Doceri, Edmodo, Zaption, Class Dojo, NewsELA, Reading Plus, and Aleks and a good dose of community spirit to fuel effective collaborative learning. Stay tuned….

Doceri Discontinues GoodPoint Stylus

SP Controls, maker of Doceri, has announced that effective immediately it will no longer manufacture and sell the GoodPoint intelligent stylus. Orders that were placed and confirmed prior to August 7, 2014 are being fulfilled. No new orders are being accepted.

The Doceri GoodPoint stylus was created with intelligent aspects that work with the iPad version of the Doceri whiteboard and screencasting software. However, demand for the GoodPoint stylus has not created the necessary economies of scale to bring manufacturing costs in line.

Any stylus will work to create hand-written lessons and hand-drawn graphics with Doceri. The intelligent features such as the innovative eraser tip and WYSIWYG pen tip and palm rejection will not be accessible without the GoodPoint. However, the Doceri toolbar includes an eraser function and the software itself includes a palm guard that slides up from the bottom of the screen to eliminate stray marks from the users hand resting on the screen while writing.

What Stylus to Use?

It really comes down to personal preference. We do recommend avoiding rubber-tipped styli for writing and drawing because they do not glide across the glass screen as smoothly as other materials. This can be very frustrating.

– The Pogo Sketch is very popular, but uses a thin, flexible tip that can be delicate – which is why replacement tips are available.

TruGlide feels more like a pen and uses a conductive fiber tip that glides smoothly over the glass.

– If you’re looking for a thicker pen, more like a dry erase marker, try the Cosmonaut.

Please let us know what third-party stylus you like to use with Doceri on your tablet.

Doceri and Edmodo: A Powerful Combination

From our research it seems our heaviest users export Doceri screencasts to a Learning Management System (LMS) of some sort. Just about two thirds of the Doceri teachers surveyed chose to use Edmodo, a class webpage or another LMS to post and store their screencasts. Other popular choices for an LMS are: Schoology, School Loop, and Blackboard.

I’ve had experience with all three. For me, Edmodo was the easiest product to set up and use both for teachers and students. While both Schoology and School Loop are great systems they are usually employed by districts rather than individual classroom teachers.

The beauty of Edmodo is that it is easy for an individual teacher to implement without district or even school IT involvement. Thus, for teachers without a district supported LMS teachers do not have to wait for districts to purchase and implement the product. It’s free and easy for an individual teacher to begin to use right away. Once you have created your account you’ll be able to establish a ‘classroom library’ where you can post your screencasts to provide your students, students families, and even a teacher’s aid  access to your instruction at anytime.

Beyond screencast storage and distribution, there are myriad uses for an LMS such as class discussions, scheduling your screencasts as assignments, and monitoring progress of your students work.

Doceri is Available in the Windows App Store

Mobility in the classroom – the ability to move around among students while presenting a lesson on the whiteboard – has been the number one reason teachers love Doceri since it was introduced for the iPad in February 2010.

WindowsStore_badge_black_en_large_120x376Now, schools that have standardized on Windows tablets can provide their faculty and students with the same mobile advantage using Doceri for Windows.

Whether used with a projector or a traditional interactive whiteboard, Doceri provides the mobility to foster true interactivity between teacher and students. Teachers move around the classroom, and students participate right from their seats.

Doceri turns your Windows tablet and computer into an Interactive Whiteboard. Imagine the freedom to move around the room, interact with your students and never turn your back to the class. Through Doceri, you’ll have access to all of your pedagogical tools. You’ll have the freedom to launch, present and annotate any document, presentation, Web page or application remotely from your Windows tablet.

Using Doceri for Windows, teachers can

* Have annotation and whiteboard functionality without the expense of a fixed interactive whiteboard – all you need is a Windows tablet, computer and projector

* Access and annotate over any file resident on the classroom computer, including PowerPoint presentations, pictures, documents, Web pages and specialized curriculum materials

* Access any brand of existing interactive whiteboard from your Windows tablet

* Create original hand-written lessons, right on your Windows tablet, and project them for the class

* Save and edit any annotated lesson file for use in another class

Doceri’s screencasting capabilities currently available in the IOS version will be added to the Windows version in a future release.

Doceri Windows PowerPointAnnotation
Annotate on-the-fly over documents or images you have saved on your computer, start fresh with a background of your choice or open a Web page. Draw, write, or highlight over the image on your tablet, and see your annotations appear in real time on your computer monitor or projected image. Save your drawings and annotations for later playback and sharing.

Creating Slideshows and Editing with the Doceri Timeline
With Doceri, you can create hand-written or hand-drawn Doceri projects on your Windows tablet, using sophisticated drawing tools and the innovative Doceri Timeline.

Each project drawing can be played back as a slideshow or animated sequence, allowing you to create and embellish presentations all within Doceri. Doceri allows you to go back and edit any drawing stroke and any inserted photo or hand drawn object at any point in your project. Create, edit, replay and perfect your hand drawn or annotated presentation before you get to the classroom. Once you’ve created a lesson, you can save and can edit it for various classes.

Standardizing on Doceri throughout your School, District or University
Deploying Windows tablets equipped with Doceri means every classroom has the same advantage of greater teacher-student interaction. Public school districts such as Garland ISD in Texas and universities like Penn State have already standardized on the IOS version of Doceri.