Doceri: control your board and flip your classroom

The flipped classroom

I love the idea of what is often called the flipped classroom where students learn about content outside of lessons, freeing up precious class time for more applied, creative activities. In A Level Psychology a concept that can be accessed adequately through an audio or video presentation at home, frees up “live” class time for students to do something with this knowledge.

I have played around with a number of free tools for making screen casts (video tutorials) including Windows Movie Maker and Doodlecast (for the iPad) but I recently came across Doceri which has become my new favourite thing.

Doceri is basically an app that allows you to control what is on your computer screen or your interactive white-board display, from your iPad. This alone is impressive but the app also allows you to create pages of pictures/photos/slides and hand written/drawn content to which you can add an audio narration. I have used this tool to create video tutorials where I outline and explain the strengths and weaknesses of some of the approaches to explaining abnormality (AS Psychology, Unit 2; AQA A).

I plan to ask students to watch and listen to the screen casts for homework, following a lesson on the assumptions and key features of the approach. I’m then going to use lessons, in which I would have focussed on identifying strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, to complete a variety of activities including a group “broken pieces” style (see “Teachers Toolkit”, Paul Ginnis) activity, where students will work together to categorise critical points and draw conclusions about the value of the approach. Students will also be able to use the video resources for revision later too.

Sharing on You Tube

I have previously blogged about some video presentations I made as revision resources for my students on my rather embarrassingly titled You Tube channel (psychologyguru). I have uploaded my Doceri screen casts for the biological and behavioural approaches for anyone that is interested in taking a look (follow this link to the bio video and the behavioural video).

Using Doceri in the classroom

The in-class uses of the app are also many and varied. You could just use it to navigate and control your board from around the classroom, you could pass the iPad around the room to create a mind map or you could ask students to annotate an exam answer displaying their contributions on the board for the class to see and comment on.

All in all Doceri is a useful app to create content-focussed resources for skills-focussed teachers and a bit of tech definitely worth trying out in the classroom.

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