Since Livescribe took down the Echo community site where I had over 500 pencasts stored, I have completely quit using their product. Instead, I now use a much better product, which is a free app on my iPad called Doceri.
Doceri allows you to use colors (any color and any size), highlighters, graphics, and the best part is you can edit your writing!
I had created a work-around using my smartpen to place the test below the pencast to write test keys, but that was cumbersome and is no longer possible.
Here is a video where I took a screenshot to answer a student’s question and then wrote over the document using Doceri on my iPad to create an animation/video to answer their question.
If you don’t want to add sound, then Doceri automatically creates an animation from your writing. However, I strongly recommend adding audio. Once you add audio you can upload the video to YouTube to share with your students. In the near future I will try to find some time to write a How – To post on using Doceri to write test keys.
Things have been crazy busy since I retired last May from teaching at Mesa Community College! I sailed in the Virgin Islands for 3 weeks, then had several projects waiting for me when I returned. Life has been very good. But I have not had time to do any more research on technologies for the classroom.
I am working steadily from home (and the sailboat) now, and love having the time to do more research on technology in education. If you have a product or application you would like me to review, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do some research and write a blog post about my findings.
For many years I have had companies wanting to sponsor me and have me, in turn, place a link to their website on my blog. I resisted in the past since I had a full time teaching position and wanted to do the research for my own students. Now that I no longer have students, I have decided to accept sponsors to help fund my research on the best technology for teaching math. If you are a company, or know someone who would like to sponsor my blog, please reach out at email@example.com.
I wanted to share a blog post I wrote for my new business, On Demand Curriculum (www.ondemandcurriculum.com). Normally, I don’t plan on posting the same content on both sites, but this one seemed appropriate here, since I am talking about the technology I used to create the Common Core in Action videos.
I recently finished designing and creating a set of professional videos for Pearson Higher Education called “Common Core In Action”. It was such a fun project! The videos are going to be used with math content texts for college students studying to be K-8 teachers. This particular set of videos shows how to teach some of the topics in elementary mathematics, to align with the Common Core Standards.
These videos would be a great resource for parents trying to understand their child’s homework, which could utilize many of these methods. Therefore, I am working with Pearson to try to get permission to set up a site where parents could view these valuable resources. Stay tuned!
I was given permission by Pearson to show a couple of screenshots from the videos. I will talk about each screenshot in a separate blog post. The first video screenshot I want to show you is from a video entitled “Common Core in Action: Addition Algorithms”.
To align to the Common Core State Standards when teaching addition, teachers often have the students use Place Value Disks. In this video I created a set of place value disks, where white disks are worth 1 (one) unit, and red disks are worth 10 (ten) units, to match the actual physical items elementary schools are using. I also included 5-frames and 10-frames to help teach addition involving regrouping, which used to be called “carrying” when I was in elementary school.
I used Hyperstudio to design and build the background to my video because I wanted to be able to interact with the place value disks during the video, as I taught the lesson on adding whole numbers using place value.
In the screenshot of the video, the bottom row is comprised of the movable objects:
I have created multiple copies of each object, sitting on top of one another. During the video I “pick up” place value disks or 5-and 10-frames, as needed, and move them onto the place value board. The eraser on the side of the screen (see the original screen shot) is used when I create subtraction videos, so that I am able to “erase” objects I am removing, or subtracting.
As I talk through the process of adding 28 and 34 in the video using place value disks, I actually move the disks into the appropriate columns in the place value chart shown.
The screen shot shows the point in the video where I have 2 ten disks plus 3 ten disks. I also have 8 one disks plus 4 one disks, but in this screenshot I have already regrouped 10 of the one disks to create a set of 10 ones inside of a 10-frame. This left me with one 10-frame of one disks and 2 one disks left over. The next step in the video would show me trading the 10-frame for 1 ten disk, and moving the ten disk into the “Tens” column. This allows me to explain in arithmetic where the “carried 1” comes from.
When I complete the process, and have the final tens and ones disks in the place value chart, I relate the place value disks to the final numeric representation of the sum by hitting the button on the screen labeled “Sum”. The screen will then show the number 62 (which is later in the video than this screen shot), where the digit 6 represents the 6 red ten disks which will be on the screen and the digit 2 represents the 2 white one disks that will be left on the screen.
If you would like me to create a video showing how to use classroom manipulatives to teach a topic in your curriculum, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to work with you!
I apologize for not writing more posts this semester, but I have been swamped with work and play 🙂
I just received the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY today and I promise to write a blog post soon about the features and how I plan on using it. Wi-fi opens the potential of the smartpen to be even smarter!! I can’t wait!
I have been using Doceri 2.0 along with the Mobi 360 w/ clickers in my math classes and plan on updating all of you on how well that is going (it is going REALLY well, by the way) and how I have used them with my students.
This is the 2nd semester I am flipping my Intermediate Algebra classes. The students are required to access the online ebook and take notes BEFORE coming to class. I have Livescribe pencast examples available for them to view on the course calendar as well. For more information on how I am flipping my classes, see the article I wrote for eCampus News.
Flipping the class frees me up to have the students do group work and activities during class to reinforce the topics from the lesson. I can more easily work individually with students having difficulty, while the rest of the students are helping one another.
I was awarded a chance to teach in the iPad classroom this semster, so I have been looking for ways to have my students create and share on the iPad, rather than just use it as a calculator or to search the internet.
Today my students were working in groups on a handout. After completing the page, each group was assigned 1 of the problems and required to write their solution or graph on an iPad to share with the class. The application we are using on the iPad is called Doceri 2.0 (previous blog post about the app). It enables students to show their solution as an animation or video. Students can even edit their work before exporting it as a video. Since the classroom can get pretty loud, I had them record the animation, while picking up the sounds from the classroom (then I deleted all sound before uploading the following videos to YouTube, to protect the students’ privacy).
To present their animation, each group had one member connect their iPad to the Apple TV that is in the room and then “play” their animation. We discussed the group’s solution or graph and answered any questions before the next group presented to the class. I was really pleased with how well it worked!
I was able to get permission from a few students to share their work.
This first video is a student’s graph from today’s flipped Algebra class. They were to graph the linear equation by plotting points. The student chose to have graph paper as their background for their animation.
The second video shown here is another graph done by a different group/student. This student found the x-and y-intercept of the linear equation and then graphed the line.
The third video was created by a student who was given a problem to solve a formula for a given variable.
The students seem to be enjoying the experience!
I have really enjoyed watching them work through the problem, as opposed to just looking at their final solution/graph. If the classroom was quiet (but how much fun would that be??), I would have had them explain their steps in the video.
I will post more of their work as the students progress in their math ability and their ability to show their solutions on the iPad! This is only the 2nd week of class, and they have progressed quite a bit already. Many of them had never used an iPad before, and none of the students had ever used Docer 2.0. I am really proud of how hard they are working to succeed in my class!
I recently wrote about Doceri 2.0, which comes out today ( July 24, 2012) at noon PST in iTunes stores! The old version is called Doceri Remote, which was version 1.2.2 but the new version will just be called Doceri and will be version 2.0.
I thought I would follow up with a review of their “goodPoint” Intelligent stylus. The stylus has a chord which plugs into the headphone jack; this allows it to be controlled in Doceri 2.0.
I normally use the Wacom Bamboo stylus, which I love, but I thought I would give this “Intelligent” stylus a try.
I tried both with Doceri 2.0, and I have to admit the extra features in the goodPoint stylus were really nice to have when creating animations! The main features I appreciated were the fact that you can get a very fine point that is consistent, and that it allows you to rest your hand on the screen while writing with it. The back of the goodPoint is also an eraser. I would have used it more, but I kept forgetting it was there, since I have never had a stylus with an eraser before.
To get a better feel for how it compared with my Wacom Bamboo stylus, I compared them with 4 of my favorite iPad apps.
Here are some screen shots comparing the two different stylus brands (2 screencasting apps, and 2 note taking apps). You decide which has the better handwriting – some are close and some are not. Sorry my handwriting is not great, but some apps do help it along more than others!
From within the Doceri application on my iPad:
Doceri goodPoint stylus wins here!
On the top of the screen, I tried to use the Wacom Bamboo stylus with my hand on the screen, but I could not. Having to write with my hand not on the screen definitely made my hand writing worse (OK, it is not great anyway, but it was harder to write that way, and not as clear). With the Doceri “goodPoint” stylus, I was able to rest my hand on the screen while I wrote, which was much more comfortable! The writing was smoother as well.
Before I found Doceri 2.0, I was using ScreenChomp as one of my favorite screencasting apps on the iPad. Here is a comparison of Bamboo stylus and the Doceri stylus using ScreenChomp:
Close, but since I can’t rest my hand on the screen with either, I would prefer to use the Bamboo stylus here (only because it does not have a chord).
As you can see the writing is similar using both (maybe a little better with the Doceri stylus?), but in both cases I was not able to rest my hand on the screen and still have the application let me write. For me, that is a huge deal, as I am much more comfortable writing like I do on paper, with my hand on the surface while I write.
Next I thought I would compare my 2 favorite note-taking applications on the iPad (that allow me to hand write).
Handwriting is close, but Doceri wins since I don’t want stray marks on my screen.
The good news was that the application allowed me to rest my hand on the screen while writing with both the Bamboo and the Doceri stylus, but as you can see in the screen shot above, the Wacom Bamboo stylus created extra marks when I did this, while the Doceri “goodPoint” stylus created no extra marks. The hand writing seemed fairly similar to me, but it was nice not having to worry about marks when I set my hand on the screen with the Doceri stylus.
Finally, another note-taking app for the iPad I really like is called PenUltimate. I thought I would compare with that app as well:
This app allowed me to rest my hand on the screen with both the Bamboo and the Doceri stylus. However, Doceri stylus wins again, since I don’t want stray marks on my screen.
If you don’t mind the stray marks and some apps not allowing you to rest your hand on the screen, then the Wacom Bamboo stylus is a great choice. However, given that I definitely prefer to place my hand on the screen and I don’t want any stray marks, then I prefer the Doceri goodPoint Intelligent stylus over the Wacom Bamboo stylus.
*Just a point of clarification: I was told by Doceri that the goodPoint stylus should really not do ANY better or worse than the Wacom (or any other stylus) for stray marks in apps other than Doceri. The fact that it did for me is probably just a coincidence. They agreed, though, that when using it in Doceri, the palm rejection is a major difference when using the Doceri stylus!
I got back from ISTE, overwhelmed with all the new and amazing tools and apps I learned about! Luckily the great folks at Doceri let me play with their beta 2.0 version (which should hit iTunes stores soon) and that made for an easy decision for me to start right there.
I get to use the iPad classroom (25 student iPads, 1 teacher iPad, and an Apple TV!!) to teach Intermediate Algebra in the Fall, so my focus at ISTE was to find iPad apps that allow students to create, not just to consume. I hit the jackpot with the new version of Doceri!! Not only can I create lessons, but the students will be able to create animations and videos as well, right from their iPads.
The new version of Doceri (2.0) should hit the iTunes app store soon, and it is a HUGE update!
The new features I am so excited about are 1) it allows you to work directly from the iPad (without needing to connect to a computer), and 2) it now records your pen strokes allowing you to easily create animations and videos directly from the iPad! INCREDIBLE! You can even edit your animations and upload your videos to YouTube!
OK, before I get too far ahead of myself (I am just so excited!), here is the new opening screen on the iPad:
(By the way, I did get permission from Doceri to blog about the new version before it hits the iTunes store!)
**UPDATE! Doceri 2.0 will be in iTunes stores July 24, 2012!!!
As you can see, Doceri 2.0 can now be used from the iPad alone, and even use Airplay if you are presenting (or just use the iPad at home to create a lesson!!!).
Starting a new project gives you a blank screen, which you can change to any color, use one of their backgrounds, or create your own. They have included many helpful math backgrounds, along with maps, as well as colors and textures.
After you choose your background, you can start writing on the screen. What you see at the top of the image below is the new RECORDING menu!!! It records your writing strokes. You can go back and edit them, speed them up, or slow them down. You can even add stops and new slides to your project. The record button on the top left allows you to record voice as well (while writing, or narrate even after you are done writing).
After recording a video, you have several options for exporting (on the right) to Facebook, YouTube, email, and to your images folder on the iPad.
You can also open your recordings on your iPad with any app loaded that will play a .mov file, including Dropbox and Evernote, so you can access your recordings from any device! (I also have TechSmith’s Fuse app installed on my iPad, so it found that app and listed it as well.)
The folks at Doceri created quite a few sample projects to help give ideas on how this new product can be used. Here is a screenshot of one of their videos (of course I chose math, but there are many other types as well):
*Once Doceri 2.0 hits the iTunes stores, you can pay for the ability to remove the Doceri watermark, and even add your own watermark.
Like the original Doceri Remote app, Doceri 2.0 can connect to your computer to share screens, but now there is a MUCH easier way to connect:
If you have an iPad2, just point the camera at the QR code and you are automatically connected! I tried it and it worked amazingly well. Once you are connected to your computer, you can use your animations and videos to present a lesson to the class, or create one while you are presenting!
**I am using the term “animation” for those projects that do not contain sound. All writing into the application is recorded and can be shown as animated or as still shots. These can only be played from within Doceri. Once you add sound, then a .mov file is created, so I am using the term “video” for the animations with sound added.
Here is the “official” list of updates for Doceri 2.0 (from Doceri):
What’s new in Doceri 2.0
You can now prepare Doceri Projects on the iPad without being connected to a Doceri Desktop AND you can present without a Doceri Desktop via Airplay. Audio recording has been added to create high quality screencast videos based on Doceri projects. In addition, more sophisticated drawing and authoring tools have been added, as well visual file management, improved placement of project timeline controls for easier presentation, and improved screen update time for remote desktop control.
Screencasting with Doceri
Create a live screencast as you present, or create, edit and perfect your project in advance and add an audio voice over later
Choose to save audio or delete and re-record without impacting your Doceri project
Videos may be shared via YouTube, Facebook or email and/or saved to the Camera Roll and any app that responds to video
New Drawing and Authoring Tools
New line tools (with snapping), geometric shapes (rectangle, ellipse) arrow tool and a new pen tool with realistic ink flow
Easy access to six user-defined favorites from the available drawing tools
Place photos from Camera Roll, Photo Stream or another application at any point in your project
The new lasso tool allows you to cut, copy, move and paste drawing objects
Choose between patterns, colors or create custom backgrounds on any slide in your project
Direct Controls for Keynote and Powerpoint
Launch a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation and use Doceri’s one-touch controls to advance your slides
Annotate over Keynote or Powerpoint (or anything shown on your desktop), creating a multipage Doceri project while keeping your original presentation file intact
Completely Revamped File Management
Doceri files can now be stored on the iPad Duplicate, merge projects, and transfer to and from your desktop
Combine, resize and share screencasts to Facebook, YouTube, Camera Roll or email with a simple drag and drop
Full implementation of cross application file sharing allowing “open in” function to copy files in and out of Doceri
The final project I had my Math For Elementary Teachers do for the course was to create an interactive Hyperstudio Project.
The projects are too large to be viewed well inside my blog, so I have created a website to house them. The website is best viewed using Safari if possible, if not, just ignore the browser warning, as I have used a beta version of Hyperstudio to export them into HTML5 .
I have many of my student’s projects posted on a THIS WEBSITE. Enjoy!
Recently I learned how to embed text behind a Livescribe pencast and it has changed everything!
I created a short interactive worksheet to show what can be created with this process. The following is a screenshot of the text embedded pencast because I cannot embed a PDF file (yet) into a website. A link to the actual pencast PDF is below the screenshot.
If that does not work, I put a link on my website for you to click on OUTSIDE of WordPress (I have some issues with opening PDFs inside WordPress – if anyone can help me to embed
a PDF in WordPress or a website I would really appreciate it!)
As listed in the pencast, the steps to embed the text in the pencast PDF are as follows:
1. Print off the text file onto Livescribe dot paper (I used college-ruled dot paper in my printer)
2. Record a pencast on top of dot paper that has the text printed on it (the text shows you where to write!)
(sorry about the poor photo quality)
3. Connect your smartpen and upload your pencast as a PDF (use the “Computer” connector)
As you can see in this screen shot, the pencast looks pretty strange without the text behind it!
4. Save the original text document as a .jpg (image file) – to do this you must first save it as a PDF and then you can use Adobe Acrobat Pro or the free online utility Zamzar (www.zamzar.com) to save your PDF as a .jpg file
5. Open the pencast PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro or PDF Pro (http://epapyrus.com/en/) so that you can add a watermark to the PDF file
6. Add your .jpg text file as a watermark to your pencast PDF and re-save the PDF
7. The new pencast PDF can be viewed by anyone with Adobe Reader 10.0 or higher
Please add comments on this blog if you know of other free ways to save a text document as an image file and also if you know of other (especially FREE) programs that allow the user to edit a PDF.
Please send me the projects you make – I would love to see them!
Reaching Different Learning Styles Through Technology
As you can probably tell, I have 2 passions that drive my teaching….technology and helping students.
My latest journey has been traveling down a path to find ways to help reach the different learning styles of my students. In turn this will help make my math courses more accessible to students who require either text, speech or visual aids because of physical or learning disabilities.
I started with the Livescribe smartpen to turn student notes into animated text with sound. Then I tried to transcribe the text from the pencast using Dragon Naturally Speaking ,which works GREAT if I am speaking into my computer, but the student pencasts don’t pick up my speaking as well because I am walking around the room, so I am not near the pen most of the time.
Since Dragon cannot transcribe the text WHILE I am teaching from the Mobi software, then I needed to find a way to record my speaking during class and then download it into my computer so Dragon can create the transcript. I spent some time today looking for options that would not require me purchasing a hand-held recorder.
I have a Plantronics Discovery 975 bluetooth headset that pairs with both my computer and also with my Droid X cell phone. I use it with my computer and Dragon to ‘speak text’ into many programs on my computer, including Word and email (I still need to try it with MathType!).
I thought I found the perfect mobile solution…to be able to walk around the room and teach while wearing the bluetooth headset, but have the audio transcribe directly onto my phone! I purchased the Droid version of Dragon called flexT9 …great idea and it works perfectly…except flexT9 does NOT support bluetooth headsets yet. I can still use it for transcribing speech to text on my phone, but I have to be close to the phone mic. It is an amazing app for $4.99!
I started looking for a voice recording app for my Droid that would support bluetooth.
I found Voice2Do (FREE). It is the ONLY voice recorder I found that supports bluetooth. I recorded a short message from my bluetooth headset to my Droid X (which was across the room) and then emailed it to my computer (to email the .wav file you must purchase the professional version). Finally, I had Dragon transcribe the audio file and it worked GREAT!
I plan on playing with it for a couple more days and then trying it out in my classes. My goal is to have the Livescribe pencast student notes and the Workspace board notes for visual learners, but then take the audio for the lesson and create a written transcript, which can also be read out loud by most computers, for students whose learning styles require reading or hearing the information.
I will post a link when I get it all put together.