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Doceri + Apple TV = Distraction-free Teaching

Since Apple introduced its Apple TV, educators have been discovering that the combination of an iPad, Airplay and Apple TV makes for a compelling untethered teaching tool. Sam Gliksman from iPads in Education called it the Hidden Gem for Education in IOS5 back in October 2011. Wired Educators’ Larry Reiff wrote about Using Apple TV in the Classroom this past March:

“I’ve spoken to a lot of administrators about what they look for when performing teacher observations.  One of the comments I heard over and over again was, “I want to see the teacher circulating among the students.”  You can’t do that if you’re attached to the interactive white board.”

Doceri + Apple TVWirelessly mirroring exact iPad content
to the screen at the front of the room is a boon for educators who want to untether themselves from the whiteboard and move around the room. The advantage is that
you can move quickly in and out applications easily to minimize distractions.

Eliminating Distractions
in the Classroom

The problem is, most iPad apps simply
mirror exactly what’s on the iPad screen – including screen rotations and app controls that can cause distractions. Doceri’s integration with Airplay for Apple TV insures that only the active presentation screen will be projected for the audience, not the controls – and Doceri protects the orientation  even when you rotate from portrait to landscape and back again. Students see only what you want them to see.

Los Osos High School science teacher Glenn Benham in Rancho Cucamonga California knows all about distractions in a high school classroom. “A fly goes by and you’ve lost them,” he says.

We spoke with Glenn about how he uses Airplay and Apple TV with Doceri in his classroom. Last year, Glenn used Doceri in his geology classes to annotate over photo examples of rock striations, for example. He connected his iPad wirelessly to his classroom projector via Apple TV, using Airplay to project Doceri.

“I could annotate over the images from anywhere in the room,” he said, “or have a student annotate the photo.”

Glenn BenhamGlenn will be teaching astronomy this fall, and plans to continue using Doceri – with a couple of important twists. He’s recently upgraded to Doceri 2.0, which includes special Airplay integration so that only he will see the Doceri user interface controls on his iPad. His students will only see the active presentation screen.

“Not having the controls showing to distract students is an important feature in the Doceri update” he says. “I don’t want to be pulling up controls that will pull student’s focus away. I’m also very impressed with how clear the picture is. There is no lag and all the movements are sharp.”

Doceri’s new screencasting feature will also play a big role in Mr. Benham’s astronomy class.

“I’m taking a hybrid approach to the flipped classroom,” he says. There are some lessons that I’ll create screencast videos for students to watch in advance. For others, such as the stages of the moon for example, I’ll want to get them exploring first before we get into why that works. For a lesson like triangulation, I’ll develop ongoing screencast tutorials that will reinforce what we’ve learned. We’ll use screencast videos before, during and after certain lessons, depending on what that lesson is.”

Glenn has promised to share some of his screencast videos this fall, so we’ll check back in with him. Until then, he has this advice: “If you are a teacher and you have an iPad, Doceri is the app you need.”


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