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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!

My 2nd Teacher’s Aid in the room: Doceri

Today I had two students come back from a few days of being sick. Of Course they were behind. I am a middle school special educator with an art credential. My classes are social studies integrated with art. Every day we begin class with about 10 minutes of drawing. My drawing lessons are the first drawing lessons that my classroom aid has ever had so her ability to reteach my lessons is limited at best.

Usually, I would have to abandon the kids that were ready to move to help catch up the late comers. Instead, I stayed with the kids that were ready to go, gave my iPad with the lesson from the past two days to the students, told them how to advance one stroke at a time, and let Doceri catch them up. It worked beautifully! With very little effort I differentiated my instruction. My aid helps the kids with visual and fine motor coordination issues, I moved the higher level kids along, and Doceri caught the returning students up. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Here’s a screencast recorded live from that two point perspective lesson: 


Teacher Feature: Kenny Bosch: 1.1

Recently Doceri Teacher, Kenny Bosch Flipped his Parent Teacher Conference made with iMovie and Doceri. It’s a great example of a teacher using technology to develop the parent/ teacher relationship. Kenny uses a Doceri screencast to front load his students’ parents with all the nuts and bolts of the class so he can give all meeting time to talk about student performance with parents.

Kenny said the screencast made the conversations move more quickly, and  allowed for more time to talk about the student. He even said he left his iPad in the hallway for parents waiting to talk to him. Kenny stated,”Those that could not watch the screencast at home watched it before they spoke with me. Doceri helped me to move conferences along by answering basic questions and it sparked ideas for questions. Our conversations were a little more rich and meaningful.”

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Teacher Feature: Benjamin Cogswell (EdTech Trainer): 1.0

proxy-image-1Name: Benjamin Cogswell

School: Alisal Union School District

Province: Salinas, Monterey County, California

Job Title: TOSA-Technology Trainer

How do you Doceri? 

Doceri is hands down my favorite app to use on the iPad. It was a game changer for me. I always enjoy sharing its awesomeness with other educators.

Doceri has allowed me to do many things: It draws attention and brings reflection to my own teaching through screencasts. Students gain voice and agency over their own learning. With Doceri Desktop, I have been freed from my desktop to roam around the classroom while still connected to my whiteboard. I can pause and hand a student my iPad as s/he works through a math problem while the class watches. My teaching becomes a rewindable and reviewable lesson that can follow students home.

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

“Amazed” is the reaction of staff and admin when I am able to annotate a YouTube video while in the back of the classroom. Parents love the fact that difficult lessons can be sent home to be replayed over again in the comforts of their home. Students love being able to approach their learning in a more creative way. It gives them a sense of pride and ownership when they get to see their video on the big screen.

One of the schools I worked with loves Doceri so much that it is on every single student’s iPad (K-6), every teacher’s iPad, as well as every teacher’s computer. Kindergartners have gone home with recorded videos of sight words, while sixth graders have made a video outlining the Hero’s Journey as referenced in The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

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

My students and I learned a lot lot that very first year of screencasting.I had just gotten the iPads and decided to jump right in. At first we tried to cover too much content by recording and writing at the same time. We learned to draw first THEN record. It was a humbling process as teacher and students grew side by side.

This process also changed the way I thought about assessment. Instead of grading a whole page of math where I couldn’t see the students thinking, I was now able to identify mistakes by having them do a single problem and articulate their thinking as they went through the problem describing each step as they wrote it. Furthermore, students were able to learn from each other during class. After discussions on constructive peer feedback, students were able to watch their classmates’ videos to help identify mistakes or learn from each other’s models. Student learning became visceral, rewindable, and transparent for both the teacher, the student, the student’s peers, and even sometimes the student’s family.

Not only have I engaged with students making new screencasts. I have also used it as a tool at home. My daughter has even used it to review for her Chinese class. Doceri is a very effective tool because when writing Hanzi, stroke order is very important. Doceri allowed my daughter to practice and review the characters that were on her test. Here are some of the videos that she made:

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

When I used to make notes on the whiteboard in the front of the class with my back turned to the students, I was just hoping that they were engaged and following along. I would do my example on the board and paused to check for understanding along the way. Of course as soon as I erased the board to start the next example, a student would raise his or her hand and ask a question about the previous example. 

So, how has Doceri helped?

Doceri gave me freedom as a teacher. I ditched my desk and can directly instruct in the back of the classroom or go stand next to a “squirrely” student using the age old technique of proximity. When a student has a question about a previous example, I can reverse the timeline to review the problem. I can even have another student explain the previous problem as it plays in real time.  For small groups, if a student is having trouble with a particular concept, I can make a video that the student can watch and rewatch again and even pause to work and think.

Have you flipped your classroom?

I have not flipped my classroom but prefer a blended approach. Creating content takes time, so I focus on the concepts that students really struggle with. Sometimes I’ll make videos and introduce concepts in class, and then let the students take those videos home as a reference.

In addition, I have found the benefit of making the screencasts is it helps give my lessons more focus. Since I am recording at home, and not in real time, it lets me really cogitate on how to scaffold student learning.

Doceri has also been useful in developing my own child’s learning. As a homework assignment, my daughter was supposed to watch a math video on a very popular instructional site. I loved the concept, but thought the video was above my daughter’s head. She was only a second grader. The video was made to meet a fourth grade standard. I decided to take matters into my own hands, but instead of explaining the concept to her, I made two videos that she could watch to fulfill her assignment.

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

Start small. Building skills with new tools takes time. Pick a small project and stick to it. It always takes longer in the beginning, but once you learn the tool, it moves much faster.

Don’t try to flip everything at once. Focus on projects and screencasts that will get the most bang for their buck. Pick concepts that are difficult for students to grasp.

“Perfect is the enemy of complete.” This is my work motto. Every video I make seems to have some kind of error.  Play around with the app. I think one of the reasons children supposedly pick up technology faster than adults is because of their innate curiosity and the ability to play. Be like a child and just have fun with the app.

Stick to the basic concept and keep the videos short. I definitely tried to stick too much content into my first videos, which can be overwhelming for both the creator of the video and the students who are watching it. And just enjoy the journey!

Compatibility Issues Between Doceri Desktop and EL Capitan

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.00.15 PMDoceri users are advised to DELAY upgrading their Apple Macs to OSX, El Capitan. Doceri Desktop will cease to work with the new OS installed. The compatibility issues will be resolved as soon as possible. SP Controls apologizes for any inconvenience.

Teacher Feature: Kenny Bosch 1.0

Kenny BoschScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.50.58 PM

School: Muskego High School, Muskego, WI

District:  Muskego-Norway School District

Job Titles: Grade 9, World History, Grade 11 American Issues Teacher – Graduate Course Instructor through- Midwest Teacher’s Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph, IN.

How do you use Doceri? Do you use Doceri Desktop as well as the iPad app?

I use both Doceri Desktop and the iPad app. I use Doceri to control my desktop computer, presentations and make recordings to use in my flipclass. I also use Doceri to add content on the fly in class and annotate over online and presentation materials.

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

Doceri always has an initial “wow” response followed by, “I want that!” when I show Doceri to staff. My students love how they are able to contribute to a class discussion or answer a question on the screen without having to leave their desk. Students even use my iPad and Doceri to present to the class. Students and parents love the recordings that I make to explain class content because they are able to review the lesson as many times as needed.

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

Most students are hesitant to start screencasting but over time they open up. I have gone to making one of the early projects of the year a mandatory screencast so that the students get over the fear. After they make their first one they enjoy making more.

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

Doceri gives you the freedom to move around the classroom and not be tethered to your computer or stand at the screen. I love the ability to add content on the fly as it comes to my head and annotate over anything. Doceri allows each presentation to truly become unique.

Have you flipped your classroom?

Yes, I flipped my classroom four years ago.

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

My advice is always to start somewhere. You do not have to go “all in.” You can flip any part of your classroom. I tell people to flip a favorite lesson or activity, or flip their least favorite activity. Find something to change that you will be motivated to complete the work. Also, flip one chapter or unit per quarter. Lastly, you do not have to be the expert in all or even most of the technology. Your students will know or will learn most of it and they can teach each other and even teach you how to use it.

Contact Kenny @kennybosch

Kenny’s books are available for sale on Kenny’s Blog and Amazon.com:

  • Flipping 2.0 Practical Strategies to Flip Your Class
  • Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development


Teacher Feature: Kim Laabs: 1.0

Name: Kim LaabsKLaabs

School:  San Marin High School

District: Novato Unified School District

Job Title: Mathematics Teacher / Department Chair

How do you use Doceri? Do you use Doceri Desktop as well as the iPad app?

I began using Doceri in 2013 to make screencasts in order to flip instruction in my math class.  Additionally, I  have made screencasts to respond to emailed questions from former students who have gone on to college.  Currently, with a more investigative approach to our curriculum, I make screencasts to help fill in some background information, answer homework questions, and to make connections between the current topic and the investigation done in class.  In the classroom,  I use Doceri iPad app to create PDF’s of the lesson and the Doceri Desktop to project the lesson.  This allows me to roam the classroom and not tethered to the computer, presenter or whiteboard.  As I roam, I am able to quickly capture a picture of what students are doing and project it for all to see, allowing student work to help direct our class discussions.  I can annotate, or have students annotate on the PDF lesson as well.  Then after class, I post these lessons online for students who are absent or need a reminder.

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

Students ask for specific videos to be created – they love the ability to watch at their own pace, replay difficult concepts, and rewatch for test/quiz review.  Students also like the lessons posted with the annotations from class, as during investigations and projects, the typical notetaking seen in teacher directed lessons is less emphasized in lieu of notes on the project or data collection.  When I have a lesson using the whiteboard with no posted lesson PDF, many students object saying how helpful it is to be able to go back and review what we discussed in class online. 

Several of the staff at my school have also begun to use Doceri, both the app and Doceri Desktop in their lessons including our PE Department.  I have done presentations and workshops for our district and there are teachers in elementary and middle school who now use both the app and desktop in their curriculum.  Most teachers note the easy learning curve for both products.  The Doceri Certified Training Course is fantastic!

I have received many positive parent comments to the videos and the lessons as well.  One parent was very excited as they told me that they felt as if they too were enrolled in my Algebra 2 course!  For Back-to-School Night, I posed a question to the parents and had them work in groups to find the area of a triangle.  It was to help demonstrate the investigative approach to mathematics, our use of group work, and explain that there can be many “right” ways to approach a problem.  The goal was not just to find the area, but to find as many ways possible to find the area.  Parents got very excited about the problem, and because it it was such a short time, and we didn’t have time for closure, I posted a video if they wanted to explore further.  Several parents liked it so much they turned in their own approach later!  https://youtu.be/63Ks7BrCK6A

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

A few of my students have created screencasts working out homework problems.  The ease of the app makes it fun for them to use.  Some of my STEM students have used the app in creating videos for their engineering course.  

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

Doceri has helped change my curriculum to be student centered and an easy transition to investigative, inquiry based instruction.  Our classes are more discussions with students making connections to previous work.  It also makes it easy for one group to present their findings to others. 

Have you flipped your classroom?

I did flip my classroom for a time, and then our district changed the math curriculum to be more investigative.  Whether or not it is direct instruction in the classroom or on a screencast, it is still direct instruction – teacher driven.  At times, this is a very powerful method of instruction.  I like the direct instruction to be done by screencasts with classroom time left for student directed inquiry and investigation.  This helps diversify the instruction students receive. 

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

 JUST START!  When working with my students, I remind them that pushing buttons will NOT make the iPad spontaneously burst into flames! Make a few screencasts – ask for honest feedback from a friend or two.  Find other videos on YouTube that you like, and see what it is that you can recreate. Take the Doceri Certified Training Course!!  It includes many many tips and features.

  • PINCH AND ZOOM – One of my favorite Doceri features is the pinch and zoom.  It allows me to write neatly (I have tried many many whiteboard and screencasts apps, and Doceri is by far the best!).  My handwriting on Doceri is so much better than it is on paper.  I tried out LOTS of stylus, as well as using my finger alone.  Finding what makes you most comfortable really helps.
  • Start with Bones, then Refine – Some people write out whole scripts, a kind of storyboard.  I find that as I write on the app, I start with the basic outline, then go back and edit.  I add examples, or make it more “artsy” as needed and if I have time.  The GREAT thing is that once done, I can use the same lesson over and over for multiple classes and even years – OR I have the option to edit as needed for different classes and the needs of the students. In Short – Keep the screencasts short.  I try to limit my videos to 7 minutes, but some are closer to 11 or 12.  I’ll go back and edit the longer ones – or split them into two separate videos.





Quick Fixes for Limited Issue Between iOS9 and Doceri

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With Doceri release 2.1.9 , we have come across some issues with 64-bit iPads and Doceri (iPad Air and newer and iPad Mini Retina and newer). The issues are easily remedied with just a couple of steps. SP Controls is working on a more permanent fix with an update. Here are the quick fixes:

Doceri is no longer writing : http://doceri.com/support/knowledgebase.php?article=50

Doceri Desktop is crashing after updating to iOS 9?:http://doceri.com/support/knowledgebase.php?article=51

-SP Controls


The Doceri Classroom: The 21st Century Learning Hub

The 21st Century Educational Technology VisionInteractive Learning

The vision of 21st Century learning laid out in a 2011 Edutopia article, Technology Integration: A Short History by Suzie Boss has become a reality.  Schools and Districts are pushing a wider scope of learning objectives such as the Four C’s: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking (outlined in the NEA’s Guide to the Four C’s.) There is no end to the number of articles and studies that support the integration of technology in classrooms. The Common Core State Standards even require the use and direction instruction of technology within lesson activities. The question is no longer if technology should be integrated in the classroom but HOW and what tools will be effective?

The Doceri ClassroomDoceri CLR Portal

Enter The Doceri Classroom. Have you ever noticed the little projector icon that is greyed out when you hold your iPad in the vertical position? Well, this is the portal to the Doceri Classroom. You may say, “Oh yeah, Doceri! The iPad Screencasting app.” or “Isn’t that the desktop control/ screen capture software?” and you would be correct. However, the tablet app and Doceri Desktop are just 2 out of the 3 pieces that make up the Doceri Classroom. Doceri is a classroom and instructional content and media control system. In other words, the Doceri Classroom allows a teacher to control all aspects of their presentations from software to hardware within their class from a tablet computer.

The Hardware 

Pixie Pro Wall Panel

Pixie Pro Wall Panel

With some additional parts you now have access to all of your AV resources anytime…anywhere.  The hardware: Ceiling mounted projector, ceiling mounted speakers, DVD players and Medial players like AppleTV without ever looking for a that hidden remote controller.  The Doceri Classroom replaces all those remotes with a wall mounted button panel, but also gives you all of that control through your iPad. Now you can control the volume, switch inputs on your projector from media devices like AppleTV to DVD to PC and back again all from the tap of a finger on the Doceri tablet app.

The Learning Hub

The Doceri Classroom allows for the instructor to operate the projector and all AV resourced without ever leaving Doceri. 

  • No more battery operated Remote Controls in the room to get lost or stolen.
  • IP based access to projectors throughout district to ensure projector lamps are off.
  • Email notifications for expected lamp expiration.
  • Email notifications for unscheduled disconnects and projector removal.
  • Email notifications for Tech Help.
  • Remote access and control from a central admin location.
  • Contact security for emergency situations.

    Networked Room Controller (NRC)

    Networked Room Controller (NRC)

The Freedom to Teach

Discussions can flow freely. Discussions can be recorded at will. Collaboration occurs naturally with the teacher facilitating where needed. Communication skills are developed by reviewing recorded discussions or augmented with a microphone wirelessly connected to the speakers. Student presentation styles are limitless; song, video, theatre. Critical thinking is fostered by students discussing presentations of their own screencasts to show mastery of content. Having this much control of the teaching environment gives the 21st Century teacher a hub that allows the information and idea exchange to flow freely. The Doceri Classroom gives teachers and students the ability to create and control their own content. The Doceri Classroom gives teachers the Freedom to Teach!

Welcome Back! Going Forward In The 2015-2016 School Year.

It’s back to school time and at SP Controls we are excited! This year’s going to be a bit different on The Freedom to Teach Blog. Usually, we highlight amazing things being created with Doceri from all over the world. We will continue to post Doceri instructional innovation. However, during the 2015-2016 school year we will be focused on the stories of a select few of our fantastic Doceri Teachers and Doceri Districts all year long! Here’s a quick look at who we have in store for you:

KLaabsKim Laabs – Novato, CA – San Marin High School – Math Teacher. Is going to be piloting The Doceri Classroom with the full regalia. The 1st and only full Doceri Classroom has recently been installed in Kim’s classroom we will be chronicling her experience as the first Doceri Classroom Teacher.

“I began using Doceri in 2013 to make screencasts in order to flip instruction in my math class.  Additionally, I  have made screencasts to respond to emailed questions from former students who have gone on to college.”

OTeAARV0Kenny Bosch – Muskego,WI – Muskego High School, Social Studies Teacher- Grade 9 World History and Grade 11 American Issues/ Graduate Course Instructor – Midwest Teacher’s Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph, IN “:

“Doceri always has an initial “wow” response followed by, “I want that!” when I show Doceri to staff. My students love how they are able to contribute to a class discussion or answer a question on the screen without having to leave their desk.” 

Ben_copterBen Cogswell – Salinas, CA- Alisal Union School District –  TOSA Technology Coach

“Doceri brings freedom to the classroom: I am not tied to down to a computer or whiteboard. My teaching becomes a rewindable and reviewable lesson that can travel with the students to home and back again.” 



Manor_Logo_1Manor_Doceri_certManor ISD – Manor, TX – Manor Independent School District – Instructional Technology Team

“With iPads being part of every teacher’s issued technology we looked for solutions to integrate whiteboards and mobile presenting through the iPad. Doceri was just the comprehensive and affordable solution.”