FETC 2012 | News

Ocoee Middle School Replaces Slates, Electronic Whiteboards

Ocoee Middle School, Florida's technology demonstration school, is replacing its electronic whiteboards and slates in favor of Apple iPads and the Doceri software package from San Francisco-based SP Controls, a provider of audio/visual controls and interfaces.

The move is designed to allow greater efficiency in presentation of material and to decrease disruption in the classroom by freeing teachers from the front of the classroom and allowing students to stay in their seats for the duration of class.

Now, both students and teachers can work directly from their iPads, and teachers can share more efficiently with other staff at the school. The school, a state showpiece funded by the Smart Schools Initiative and recognized as an Apple Distinguished School, utilizes a team teaching approach with each classroom quad having access to a variety of technology products.

Individual quads utilize an inventory of:

  • 10 Macbooks;
  • 22 iPod touches;
  • 10 iPads; and
  • 32 PC computers.

The Doceri software, which works with either PC or Mac, resides on the classroom computer and is accessed from an iPad. Via their iPad, teachers have access to the Internet and files on the classroom computer such as pictures, documents, and PowerPoint presentations.
"Using Doceri on the iPad, you can see in your hand what the class sees on the screen," said Anthony San Filippo, the school's Mac instructional technology coach. "Using the slates we had before, you had to look up at the board as you wrote. With Doceri I can see what I'm writing. This makes a tremendous difference for a teacher who has enough distractions in a middle school classroom."

The software is currently in use by the school's 12 math teachers who are able to create a day's lesson, record their strokes and then replay them to walk students through a lesson and, if needed, work back through a problem or equation to show students individual steps along the way.

A dozen more teachers in fields as diverse as language arts, science, and social studies also use the software to annotate PowerPoint presentations, for example. Once created, lessons can be used again and again.

The rest of the school's staff will join their colleagues in using the software over course of the next few weeks.

During the Florida Technology Education Conference, which is set for January 23-26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, tours of the school will be available. Registration for the tours is due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday January 25. Busses for the tour leave for Ocoee at 9 a.m. on Thursday Jan. 26.

Additional information on Ocoee Middle School can be found at ocps.net.

More information on Doceri is available at doceri.com. SP Controls will also be showcasing Doceri at FETC booth 1045.