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Teacher-Centered vs. Student-Centered Education

Anthropologist Margaret Mead said “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

It’s messy. It’s frustrating. It takes longer but student-centered teaching model can turn passive learners into interactive partners in their own development.

The traditional, Teacher-Centered Approach

Picture a class learning how to  multiply mixed fractions. Traditionally a teacher stands at the front, writes step by step instructions and verbally tells students how to complete the algorithm. Then, students practice on their own or in groups. Some will succeed quickly. Others will stumble. Two days later some will have forgotten the steps while others will have moved on.

Girl-Baking-CookiesThe Student-Centered Approach

Now picture a 4th grade class tasked with baking cookies for the whole class. The teacher gives them an individualized recipe that yields about 6 cookies; only enough for two cookies per students. The recipe needs to be doubled so they can feed a group of 6 students. The group of 6 students attempt to double the recipe.  Multiplying 1 cup? 2 tbs? easy. Multiplying a mixed fraction 2 3/4 cups of flour? Not so easy. Here’s the really messy part. The students attempt doubling the recipe with no prior training. Did their ratios stay the same? Some probably did not. Wonderful!

Now the class is into ratios. After baking there’s a taste test. Cookies with too much flour to sugar, bleah! Cookies with too much sugar to flour, Oh my teeth hurt! Some who guessed correctly, yum! But can they reproduce the success?

Now a mathematical method is needed and a context for the algorithm exists in the students’ minds along with motivation for further investigation.

The teacher then walks them through the mathematical process on Doceri. Why Doceri over a whiteboard, other program, or smartboard? Watch this to see the advantage of the timeline. The students reproduce the process and make their own screencasts (if multiple iPads are available) to reteach their group. If they can teach others then you know they really have the process. Now it’s time to try their calculations on their recipes.  They can refer to the teacher’s video, their notes, or their own video. Finally, groups use the new measurements to make their cookies. Hopefully this batch has more consistency.

Finally the class reproduces the algorithm correctly in a Doceri video to reteach each other. One batch with the correct measurements ratios are produced and everyone enjoys the spoils of the investigation of multiplying mixed fractions.

The Difference

The difference? The students drove the investigation – not the teacher and her algorithm. Which process do you think students will remember more; the paper and pencil teacher-centered approach or the student-centered process where kids find out how to learn how to make cookies for each other? To me, the choice is clear. Guide students to drive students to experience their own learning.

Doceri User Shout Outs: April 18, 2014

We love hearing about how Doceri is being discovered and used in classrooms, board rooms and conference sessions all over the world. Would you like to be featured on the Doceri Freedom to Teach Blog? Email us at pr@doceri.com

Use the hashtag #DoceriChat to share your Doceri lessons across the social landscape!

 

#DoceriChat Archive: April 16, 2014, Guest Deb Porcarelli on #CCSS and Doceri

We asked Deb Porcarelli from the AIMS Foundation to join us for #DoceriChat on Twitter, to talk about the Common Core State State Standards, and the Doceri lessons she has created and presented on the Math & Science Sandbox blog.

#DoceriChat for April 16: Common Core Aligned Doceri Lessons with Guest Deb Porcarelli

Join us for #DoceriChat on Twitter, Wednesday April 16, 5pm Pacific – 6pm Mountain – 7pm Central – 8pm Eastern. Our guest this week is Deb Porcarelli of the AIMS Foundation. This tutorial explains how to participate in our Twitter Chat.

Deb-Porcarelli

AIMS is a non-profit education foundation that exists to enhance the teaching and the learning of the concepts and the relationships of mathematics and science through activities and units that actively engage students in learning as they explore and do hands-on mathematics and science.

The Math & Science Sandbox Blog provides teachers at grade levels K-8/9 with free resources as well as opportunities to hear from and engage with staff at AIMS about math and science content, about the teaching and learning of math and science, about common core math standards, and about next generation science standards.

Deb Porcarelli from the AIMS Education staff will join us for #DoceriChat to discuss the common core-aligned lessons she’s prepared and written about on the blog.

Fifth Grade Fraction Activity

Fraction Lesson Using Doceri in Presentation Mode

More for the Classroom Using Doceri

Doceri: A Powerful Classroom Tool

 

About Deb Porcarelli

For the last seventeen years Deb has facilitated math and science workshops for the AIMS Education Foundation, and currently is the Trainer/Liaison. Sharing with other educators is her passion. Following her blog may give teachers new thoughts or ideas to use in the classroom.

 

Teacher Feature: Mark Willis, Bangkok Patana School

Mark-WillisName: Mark Willis

School: Bangkok Patana School

Subject: Mathematics (Years 7-13 British system)

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Mark Willis first learned about Doceri at an International Baccalaureate mathematics workshop.

“I had an iPad,” he says, “and I wanted to use it in my classroom. I had tried other apps with only limited success, because was extremely difficult to write using either a finger or an iPad stylus.”

The workshop leader, Jennifer Wathall, told Mark about Doceri. “I installed both the app and desktop there and then, and the next day I was helping workshop leaders present their material in a theatre with more than one hundred people present.”

We asked Mr. Willis how Doceri has changed the way he teaches – and how his students learn

“It’s been a year and a half since then, and I have never looked back,” he says. “I have used Doceri as both a presentation tool and to record screencasts and it has transformed the way I teach.”

This video shows Mark explaining an Higher Level (HL) exam question on the intersection of two planes, connecting to his host computer to access Autograph graphing software for the diagram.

“I love to be able to wander around the classroom and use the pointer tool to explain mathematical concepts. An important function is that you can seamlessly flip from a Doceri presentation to a desktop application such as the TI-Nspire [graphing calculator] emulator or a PowerPoint on my Mac Book Pro, and back again.”
Mark-Willis-Screen-ShotHe creates and shares revision videos for his students in his Cambridge IGCSE and International Baccalaureate (IB) mathematics courses. “It is so easy to take a screen shot of an exam paper in the Safari app, crop it and import it into Doceri,” he says. Once the photo has been imported into a Doceri project, he writes down the solution, adding in stops and recording a screencast. He uploads the screencast to YouTube for his students to view.

Mark has made nearly 1,300 Doceri videos which he has posted on YouTube and shared with his students via virtual learning environments such as edmodo, Haiku and Firefly.

“My students love it,” he says. “They are able to use their study period to do their homework effectively without the teacher being there, and can also watch the next lesson before class. After each test I make a screencast on each question and this allows the students to concentrate on the questions they got wrong rather than me going through the whole test, which might demotivate some students.”

“Recently I made a revision treasure hunt using QR codes on different aspects of the IGCSE – including a Doceri video presenting both the question and the solution. Three classes worked on the treasure hunt simultaneously, with students accessing the videos using their own smart phones and working on areas of the course they found challenging.”

Mark asked students to provide feedback via PadLet, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. View Mark’s student’s comments here on Padlet.

As an example, one of his Year 13 students remarked: “I find the videos are helpful for a few reasons. The first is that we can see a step by step solutions of questions we’ve done, which can be re watched as many times as needed and allows us to focus on the parts we’ve had problems on. Also the fact that we can see the solution outside of class means we have more time in class to do extra work or find any problems that arise that aren’t explained by the videos as you aren’t tied up repeating the same explanations to each student or entire double period going through the test. Thank you Mr. Willis”

What advice do you have for new Doceri teachers?
“If I have any advice for teachers using Doceri,” Mark says, “it is do not be nervous about making videos for your students – they will love it. Please do not be frightened to listen to your own voice, after all your students have to everyday. Also, let them point out any mistakes as it easy to record again.”

Sample Screencast: Solving a Trigonometric Equation Analytically and with a TI-Nspire graphing calculator

“This screencast is for IB Mathematics Standard Level (SL) or HL showing how to use a Pythagorean identity to solve a trigonometric equations both analytically and using the TI-Nspire graphing calculator,” Mark says. “The TI-Nspire software is on my Mac Book Pro and this video illustrates how easy it is to flip from the Doceri work page to any software on your desktop and back again. My students use the screencast to help them with their homework or to recap the main points of a lesson.”

 

What’s next for Mr. Willis?

“The Internet provides a wonderful opportunity for all students in the world to assess educational materials which might not be available to them due to their circumstances,” he says. “Universities are now offering their courses for free on the Internet through Coursera, edX and Apple iTunes U. I am currently working on an iTunes U course which will help potential IB Mathematics students bridge the gap in Algebra from IGCSE to IB. You can be sure that Doceri screencasts will feature heavily in this project!”

 

5 Ways to Untether The Classroom

We talk to a lot of teachers.

On Twitter, Facebook, via our Doceri Community, phone support line and email, teachers tell us over and over again that what they love about Doceri is that they can move around among their students. That’s why this blog is called Freedom to Teach. The phrase we use, and hear back from Doceri teachers is “untethered teaching.”

This whole idea of untethered teaching came about when the iPad was introduced. Doceri chief architect Paul Brown immediately recognized the iPad as the technology that would deliver the much sought-after universal remote.

In reality, the Doceri presentation system is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to untethering the classroom.

5 Ways to Untether the Classroom with SP Controls and Doceri

DoceriClassroom1. Classroom teachers can access and control the room projector and/or displays remotely via tablet.

2. Display sources can be easily switched to show any device in the room such as a document camera, media player like Google Chromecast, DVD/Blue Ray player or Apple TV – and their functionality can be controlled remotely.

3. The technology department can proactively manage the equipment including monitoring projector bulb life and schedule shut down times remotely to insure classroom technology  is available when needed.

4. Features that allow requests for technical support or emergency assistance can be programmed to be submitted directly from the teacher’s tablet.

5. And, of course, all programs, files and pedagogical resources on the classroom computer or teacher’s personal laptop can be remotely accessed and annotated from anywhere in the room, using Doceri Desktop and the Doceri tablet app.

The power of Doceri to create and deliver engaging lessons is only part of the story. The Doceri Classroom truly delivers complete untethered teaching. Find out more about the Doceri Classroom here on our web site.

Today’s schools have limited budgets and staff to support technology, which makes our Doceri Classroom must-have infrastructure for any school. Our system, when used with Doceri, offers a centrally managed, locally controlled solution that enables you to monitor, control and provide security campus-wide using existing networks and computers. Plus, of course, teachers can control the AV equipment while moving freely around the room, using an tablet as their presentation tool.

 

#DoceriChat for April 9: Doceri screencasting and Zaption, EduCanon, TedEd

In last week’s #DoceriChat we focused on screencasting. Several teachers were keen to try using Doceri screencasts together with interactive online lesson platforms Zaption, eduCanon and TedEd. This prompted this week’s focus on interactivity, assessment and analytics for screencast lessons. We’ll continue the discussion, and check in with the teachers who have experimented with these interactive learning platforms – and welcome folks from eduCanon and Zaption to the discussion as well.

Join in on the discussion live at 5pm Pacfic – 8pm Eastern on Wednesday April 9, using the hashtag #DoceriChat. Our Education Community Advocate, Jason Gilmore, will lead the chat using the questions below.

We like to use TweetChat to moderate and participate in Twitter Chats. Our Twitter Chat screencast Tutorial explains how.

Do Now: I wish I could _____ in my screencasts. Then I my students would_____
Q1: Do you use any apps to embed questions or checks for understanding into your #screencasts?
Q2: What kind of feedback have you gotten from you students?
Q3: Please share a video with embedded enhancements.
Q4: How do you use analytics that you get back from the screencast data from your students?
Q5: Do you use the open ended question format more, less, or equal to multi-choice of fil in blank?
Q6: Do you grade these responses or is it more like a check in gradebook that they did it?
Q7: Does screencast data drive your instruction/ remediation?
Q8: Could you create a screencast test? Nice UDI format for assessment, yes?
Q9: I wish there was a service that added _____ to my screencasts
Exit Ticket: I hope to try ______ before the next #Docerichat

 

 

Teacher Feature: Oommen George

Oomen georgeName: Professor Oomen George

School: Professor at San Jacinto College, Pasadena Texas

Subject: Physics

“In my search for whiteboard apps, I hit a gold mine when I found Doceri. It has all the necessary tools to create a good interactive presentation.

Doceri has made teaching and learning for my students easier. The time spent in teaching has been greatly reduced since I have the lectures (including all the math) made before class.

My advice for new Doceri users ( I have trained many at my college) is to keep at it since it will transform the way you teach!”

Screencasts:

SmartPhysicsOomenGeorgeProfessor George’s YouTube Channel - Smart Physics - has nearly 300 subscribers and more than 22,000 views. You can also follow him on Google+. Here’s recent example of one of his Doceri screencasts, on temperature and kinetic theory:

 

DoceriChat Archive: Apr 2, 2014 – Screencasting

Lively #DoceriChat this week on screencasting!

Upload-Doceri-To-Edmodo

Click on image to enlarge

word-cloud-April2-doceri-chatTerrific ideas on length, pacing, flow and how to assess students’ progress. We answered the question of how to upload Doceri screencasts direct to Edmodo – as well as other apps on your iPad – with a screenshot example on the Open In function. Everyone got excited about using Zaption, EdTed and EduCanon to take their screencasts to the next level of student interactivity.

See you next week, Wednesday April 9 for another #DoceriChat on Twitter. We’ll continue the screencasting discussion. On April 16, Deb Porcarelli from the AIMS Foundation will join us to talk about the Common Core aligned lessons she’s created with Doceri. Have an idea for a future #DoceriChat? Tweet us @TeamDoceri.

 Click here for a tutorial on how to join our weekly Twitter Chats.

#DoceriChat Questions for April 2: Screencasting Tips

DoceriChat-graphicJoin us Wednesday, April 2 on Twitter for #DoceriChat.

Our Education Community Advocate Jason Gilmore leads this weekly chat among Doceri teachers that spans Doceri tips and tricks to discussions about the interactive classroom. This week we’re talking screencasting.

1. What’s the ideal length?
2. Do you prepare your lesson and voice over all at once, or lesson first then voice over?
3. Do you intersperse questions, or pause for students to try what you are explaining?
4. Where do you host your screencast videos for students to view?
5. How do you address students’ needs who don’t have Internet at home?
6. How do you assess your student’s progress with your videos?
7. Do you use a service like Zaption to make your screencasts interactive?
8. Do you use Edmodo or an LMS?

Depending on where these questions take us, we may make this a two-part discussion, continuing on April 8.

We’ve found TweetChat the most convenient way to participate in a Twitter Chat. Watch our Twitter Chat tutorial here.