Friday, March 8, 2013

Two similar apps, two distinct differences

I got the pleasure of hanging out in Donny Silver's Spanish 2 class yesterday at Rock Bridge High School. Donny has been using an iPad this year to support his teaching. From early on this summer, he's been researching new applications and sharing them with his school and us. He's a great resource.

When I set up the visit, Donny told me that I'd be able to see how he uses remote desktop apps to deliver content. He uses two apps. Here's a snapshot of how it worked. 

Donny used this app extensively to multitask throughout the period. Splashtop2 is a remote desktop app and as of now, it's still free. He circulated the room to check on homework and take attendance. He also ran his SMART Notebook files from the iPad. That gives him the freedom to teach anywhere from the room. Donny said the drawback for Splashtop2 is that it's difficult to write neatly and select small icons on your screen. 

That takes us to...

This piece was pretty cool and unexpected. I've heard of teachers using Doceri as a remote desktop. I was curious about why he would use two different apps that I thought were the same. But here is the draw for Doceri: it lets you zoom in to a spot on the iPad screen without changing the size of the display that students are viewing through your projector. For this activity, Donny had a table with verbs that the students were conjugating. He could zoom in on an individual table, write the word neatly because there is plenty of space, and it appears on the screen for students to see. Really cool.

However, Doceri is an app that I haven't recommended because of the price. The app is free, but the software you need to run on the computer is $30 for a license. When I asked him about it, Donny said he didn't pay anything for it. Not sure why. So try it out and maybe you'll have the same success. 

So, there's a couple of options for you. If you are just starting out, then definitely start with the free Splashtop2. But you might find value in the ability to zoom in to access small icons on your screen or easily write in small places. 

1 comment:

  1. Bev here from the Doceri team - thanks so much for this overview - you've definitely hit on one of the key advantages of using Doceri as a remote interactive whiteboard.

    I wanted to shed some light on your question about free vs. paid. The Doceri iPad app is free and can be used by itself to hand write presentations and lessons and to record audio to create screencast tutorials. A $4.99 in-app purchase will eliminate the "Created with Doceri" watermark that appears on exported images and videos that are created with the app.

    The Doceri Desktop software is required when you want to use Doceri to connect to a PC or Mac and use a projector to present to the class. We offer a fully functional trial version, downloadable free from our Web site. We strongly believe in offering users the opportunity to try this software before buying it, so the only difference between the trial version and the licensed version is that when you register your software and purchase a license key for $30, the watermark disappears and you will no longer see the pop up reminder to register your software.

    We are a company that specializes in education, and we know that school budgets are tight. We also know that without a revenue model, no company can continue to provide high quality products and software for the education market.

    Hope that clears things up - and we hope many more people will try Doceri, risk free!