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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.

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.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of our Teacher Feature on Doceri at East Bronx Academy.

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.

IMG_2151

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.

IMG_2152

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.

 

The Single Most Effective App for the Interactive Classroom

Here’s the secret: There isn’t one.

From our Spring 2014 Doceri teacher survey data and conversations with educators at all levels we know that Doceri can have a huge impact on a teacher’s practice and classroom. Many teachers began using Doceri primarily to control their computers remotely from their iPads, so they could move around the room and be closer to their students while they teach. In fact, 92% of survey respondents said this is true for them. However, as impactful as Doceri is, no app operates in a silo. In fact, in order to reach the status of an interactive classroom many apps must be employed with Doceri.

You’re a teacher. You’ve been using Doceri to create your screencasts but there are a few problems to solve to make this an effective learning system. You will need the following:

A safe place to post screencasts for assignments/ review

A safe place to hold online/ backchannel discussions

A way to make your screencasts interactive

A way to collect data about student comprehension of screencast viewings

A way to increase engagement through video enhancement

A way for students to create their own screencasts within the classroom.

If there is a need – to quote the Apple ad – “There’s an app for that.”

In my subsequent posts I will talk about a few possible solutions for each problem.

 

2014 Doceri Teacher Survey: iPad Whiteboards in the Classroom

Once again, at the end of the US school year, we asked for input about how teachers are using Doceri. What we’ve learned is not surprising – the more teachers use Doceri, the more integral it becomes to their classrooms.

 

K-12 Teacher Survey Highlights

Though the survey itself was open to everyone, these results are based on the 500 responses of K-12 teachers in North America. Of these, just over 60% began using Doceri within the past year, and just fewer than 40% have been using Doceri for 2-3 years.

K-12 Doceri Use

There are a lot of options with Doceri! Many teachers began using Doceri primarily to control their computers remotely from their iPads, so they could move around the room and be closer to their students while they teach. In fact, 92% of survey respondents said this is true for them.

Doceri as a mobile whiteboard using a computer and projector continues to be the primary application among users. Since we incorporated screencasting in 2012 teachers can use the iPad app without connecting to a computer to create and record lessons. There is a significant advantage, however, to having access to all the pedagogical resources housed on the teacher’s desktop or laptop computer. Therefore, we are still seeing that connection through Doceri Desktop as a key driver.

 

What Subjects is Doceri Being Used to Teach?

K-12 subjects

 

No surprise, Doceri remains popular with STEM teachers because it makes it easy to hand-write lessons using the language and structure of math and science that has been difficult to create with a standard keyboard. Language arts as a core subject area is not far behind STEM. In fact, it’s elementary teachers that are the largest users of Doceri with the students for English language arts lessons. One way we’ve heard many ELA teachers using Doceri is to grade papers via screencast. They mark their comments on the student’s work while explaining verbally. This creates a video screencast that the student – and the parent – can review. What a great idea!

 

 How are iPads Being Used in K-12 Schools?

While we were on the subject of iPads, we wanted to find out what’s really happening in the trenches of schools around the US.

 K-12 iPad use in school

Almost two-thirds of the teachers surveyed said their schools have provided iPads either to all faculty, select faculty or for students in a 1:1 classroom. 14% of those who responded said they currently work in a 1:1 iPad classroom.

What’s really going on in the Doceri classroom?

We asked teachers whether they are using Doceri exclusively to present lessons in class, only to create screencast videos, or both. As much interest that has been generated in the flipped classroom, and creating video screencasts, the results show the overwhelming use for Doceri remains as a mobile interactive whiteboard, for presenting lessons in class.

 K 12 Doceri Teachers Use

 

Breaking down the data shows that 88% of teachers surveyed use Doceri to present lessons in class, and of those, nearly 30% also create Doceri screencasts. Only 12% of teachers surveyed use Doceri only for creating screencasts.

 

What is being presented in class?

We asked teachers about their primary use of Doceri in the classroom on a day to day basis.
We asked this question a slightly different way last year, but the results were about the same with 91% of teachers using annotation in some way this year, vs. 89% last year.

 

K12 Doceri Reachers Present in class

To Flip or Not to Flip?

This year, 46% of teachers answering the survey told us they had at least experimented with the flipped classroom model. That group breaks down to 8% saying at least one of their classes was fully flipped, 17% saying they had used flipped classroom techniques but did not fully flip any of their classes and 16% who said they had experimented with the flipped classroom approach. In addition, 41% said they are interested in flipping their classrooms but haven’t tried it yet and 13% said they are not interested in flipping their classrooms.

K 12 Fllipped Classroom

How are Screencast Videos Made Available to Students?

We asked those teachers who create Doceri screencast videos how they make them available for students and parents to view. The answers spread across the spectrum of possibility – which makes us realize that we were ‘right on’ when we decided not to lock Doceri users into uploading their work to a proprietary website for viewing. Doceri teachers clearly want control over whether their work is public or private, and want to choose the best way for their students and their parents to view their videos.

K 12 Doceri Screencast Availability

Sending the Whiteboard Home

In addition to videos, many teachers use Doceri’s PDF and Image export to ‘send the whiteboard home’ with their students. Of those who said they use this technique, social media was not a primary choice, with Twitter, Facebook and Google+ combined accounting for only 4%. Use of email was more prevalent than with screencast videos – presumably because the file size for images and PDF files is smaller than for videos.

K 12 Send Doceri Whiteboard Home

What do Teachers Feel are the Advantages of Doceri?

We are always so thrilled to read what teachers have to say about Doceri, and use the Wordle.net tag cloud create to see a visual of all the comments, which you see below. In addition to the open comments, we asked teachers in the survey if they agreed with these statements, if they disagreed, or if they hadn’t had this experience.

  • Using Doceri, I can move around among my students while I teach rather than being tied to the whiteboard at the front of the room - 92% agreed
  • I am able to create engaging lessons with Doceri’s annotation tools - 73% agreed
  • My Doceri screencasts help my students because they can review the material as often as they need to - 48% agreed; 51% had not had this experience
  • Doceri has changed the way I teach - 71% agreed

 

Doceri Survey Wordle 2014

Garland ISD Adopts Doceri in 3,800 Classrooms District-Wide

LakeviewHS-TWeet

[Click here for Official Press Release]

The school year is winding down in the US, but in the Garland Independent School District in Texas, teachers and students have already gotten a taste of what their classrooms will be like next year.

In mid-April, Lakeview High school was among the first schools in the district  to roll out iPads along with Doceri software, campus wide.

Before students return in the fall, Garland’s Teacher iPad Initiative will be fully implemented across all 3,800 classrooms in the district - 49 elementary, 13 middle and eight high schools in the communities of Garland, Rowlett and Sachse Texas, just outside Dallas.

GISD-logoAdopting Doceri as part of the district’s new iPad initiative provides mobile, interactive whiteboard functionality in every classroom. Teachers can move around among their students rather than being tied to a whiteboard at the front of the room, and can engage students in the lesson as they remain in their seats. In addition, teachers can easily create screencast lessons for students and parents to view outside of class.

On July 24, 2014 Garland ISD teachers will share and collaborate on innovative ideas for using the iPad in their classrooms at the district’s first GISD iCon one-day conference.

“Doceri makes sense at Garland ISD because it allows the teacher to control their computer from anywhere in the room,” Said Jim Hysaw, executive director of technology for Garland ISD. “The teacher also has the ability to hand the Doceri-controlled iPad to the students. Thus the students become the teacher.”