Doceri is an interactive whiteboard app for the iPad with the great $50 price point and the thirty day trial. I recently saw it at the NCCE Conference, which is the Northwest region’s educational computing conference. I decided to try it out in my library for the last two days. This is what I’ve discovered:
1. Doceri connects the iPad to a computer wirelessly. It was reasonably easy to do this, although I kept on having to make sure that my iPad app had the right IP address for my computer. The Doceri Desktop software did indicate what my IP address was at the connection screen. I appreciated how simple troubleshooting this was. There is also the potential to use a QR code for connection but I didn’t choose to do this.
2. So once I logged on, it was pretty easy to use the Doceri iPad app as a mouse. I was specifically trying to see how often I had to go to the computer to do something because I couldn’t do it with Doceri I was able to click around and play Safari Montage clips (my video streaming service) for students and only had to approach the computer at the end of the clip so that I could escape out of full screen using the escape key.
3. I used my SMART Board Notebook slides that I already created as a part of the lesson. What I discovered was that I couldn’t manage to manipulate the screen using the SMARTNotebook interface. I couldn’t draw by selecting the SMART Notebook pen and I couldn’t drag elements around the Notebook screen. BUT…
4. I could add a Doceri layer on top of the Notebook screen and was easily able to write text upon the Notebook slide. I could have saved it as a Doceri drawing as well. I really liked writing on Doceri. I did use a Targus stylus with the rubber tip but I can see where the Doceri pen would be a vast improvement upon this. I did test this out at the conference and it was very responsive.
5. I did use the built-in Doceri keyboard and it did work well. It is smaller and with more keys on one screen than the actual iPad keyboard so a user will NOT be using ten fingers to type on it but will either use the stylus or the hunt and peck method.
6. I tried to do a lesson which required me to be able to copy text from one screen to another. I could NOT figure out how to select text for copying and pasting. I’d be very happy to learn how to do this but the Doceri help information didn’t seem to have anything on this one. It’s my assumption that you really can’t do that on Doceri.
7. I did not test out the feature which basically records all the steps that you make when presenting a lesson so that the lesson can advance without you. I did see that demonstrated at the conference. There’s a great model lesson where the United States are slowly drawn in the order that they entered the Union. I can see where this would be a nice thing but I’m trying to find an application for it in how I teach.
8. Bottom line… for $50 bucks??? It’s AWESOME!!!! Especially if most of what you do is write on your white board. I’m also thinking that it’s going to improve as well.
9. I’m also thinking that this could be something that would be useful for the special education kid in the general education classroom who simply can’t come to the front of the room to present something on the whiteboard but yet wants to contribute. Put the Doceri on that student’s iPad and occasionally say, “Okay, it’s your turn to drive. Can you tell us what you think?”