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.
In my spare time (ha ha) I have been playing with Roger Wagner’s Hyperstudio 5. (Luckily Roger Wagner himself has been helping me!!) What a fun program! My goal is to create more INTERACTIVE activities and tutorials/videos for my students, without all the work of Flash. Hyperstudio fits that goal amazingly well! It is similar to PowerPoint, but far more incredible in my book!
I “finished” my first final draft (I keep “fixing it” so it is forever in draft mode) of an interactive tutorial on introducing combinations and counting, and posted the project on a new area of my website with the button “HyperStudio Projects”.
Before clicking on the link below that will take you to the Hyperstudio stack, you must first make sure you are using either Safari or Internet Explorer, because these are the only browsers that have the Hyperstudio web-brower add-on for now. To get the browser add-on, go to: http://www.mackiev.com/support_hs.html , click on the proper computer type, then get the browser add-in for either Safari or Internet Explorer, then you will be able to view and PLAY WITH the activity.
If you have the browser add-on correctly installed you should see the following screen:
Once the stack is finished loading, the screen should look like:
Now you are ready to click on “go to STORY”.
I created the story like a video, and I narrated every screen, so you can hear the narration if you click on the button. The audio level needs some work, some of the narration is too quiet and I will need to redo those sections. The most fun part of it, however, is the INTERACTIVITY that was easy to create!
In this activity, I created an Ice Cream Playground, where you can actually move around all the objects on the page to explore and find the answer before viewing the explanation of the solution. My 14 year old son did all of the artwork for me! It is wonderful having a live-in artist on hand!
Please give it a try and let me know what I can do to make it more interesting for my students. I also need to know if you are able to view it on a Mac and on a Windows machine. Some Windows machines can view it and some cannot, so I am trying to trouble-shoot which versions of Windows have difficulty to help find a fix for that.
I am excited to make more projects and play with Hyperstudio!
I have started on a quest to make math more accessible! I recently purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Premium ver 11.0. It just came today and I have been playing with it to train it to trancribe my voice. So far it has done a great job in Word, but then I decided to have it transcribe the audio file from the Livescribe pencast below.
When the pencast is still on your desktop, you can export the audio separately. I then imported the audio file directly into Dragon and the original transcipt is shown below (I just cropped a small part of the transcript for you to see). I still have a lot of “training” on Dragon to do, but it didn’t do a bad job for the first try! It certainly has potential to help create a transcript for my pencasts for students who need one.
(click on the image to see a larger version of the text)
Livescribe also has transcription software you can purchase called “MyScript”. Here is a link to the software. It has some difficulty transcribing the math, but here is the first pass it made:
(click on the image to see a larger version of the text)
I created a webpage to house the daily notes for each chapter, starting with our first chapter: Chapter 9
2. I use a Mobi (from eInstruction) to present the lesson from anywhere in the room. An especially nice feature of the Mobi software, called Workspace, is that I can save the board notes and export them to a PDF file. I place on link in the calendar to the board lesson on the day the lesson was given.
*to see the actual board notes, you must go to the calendar and click on “board notes”, since they are an attached PDF file, I cannot link to it here.
3. The students use an online program to do their homework, which sends me a screen shot when they need help on a particular problem. Instead of trying to type back a response to them, I fully explain their solution using a Livescribe smartpen. I then send them the link to the pencast, and I also created a webpage to house all solutions to student homework questions.
This is just the first week of class, and the students have shown a positive reaction to these extra support features I have included on my website for them. I look forward to seeing how the semester progresses!