Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More QR Codes in Science

Our Physics teachers are using QR Codes with their students in a couple of ways that are pretty useful.  First, they are using the QR Code to take the students to a "Friday Picture of the Week."  This is a picture of some physics object that the students have either learned about or will learn about.  Students are encouraged to submit photos that they find throughout their work.

Second, the teachers use QR Codes for the students to reference online assessments using the online source, Quizstar.  The students can use their phones, laptops, or other device to take these assessments.  The QR Code allows the students to avoid typing in long URLs.  These Quizstar formative assessments then provide the teachers with data about the students and their knowledge of the subject.

The last way that the teachers are using QR Codes is on a calendar that is on a bulletin board outside their classroom.  It has QR Codes that relate to the day's activities.  Some codes are for Quizstar assessments, some are for videos (that are hosted on their class webpage), and some are for pdf files that the students may need.  This makes it very easy for a student to find out what happened in class on a day they were absent.

QR Codes are starting to pop up everywhere.  How creative can you get?  Incorporate them into your classroom.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Must Read for Teacher Leaders

If you work as a school leader, there is a new book that can really shed light on digital technology and social media.  What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media, edited by Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann, brings together the thoughts of many leaders in educational technology.  There are many chapters dedicated to different topics that teachers and leaders need to know about and start to utilize with their students.  Each chapter gives some background information, then delves into some practical application of that topic, giving examples of how each is used in schools.

The chapters range from basic blogging and wikis to digital video, from virtual classrooms to one-on-one computing, from social bookmarking to Twitter, and much, much more.  These chapters are written by some of my favorite educational technology "teachers."  I am constantly learning from many of the people that contributed to this book, like:
Vicki Davis
Steve Dembo
Wesley Fryer
Will Richardson
Karl Fisch
Chris Lehmann
Dean Shareski
Richard Byrne
Miguel Guhlin
Alec Couros
Kevin Jarrett
Kim Cofino
David Jakes
Liz Kolb
Jeff Utecht
Ewan McIntosh

Check out the book, as well as the many resources it shares.  There is definitely much to be learned from it.  Every staff should have access to it.  It is a quick read, but will provide thorough materials for the topics that you would like to investigate further.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

QR Code Bulletin Board

Our World Languages Department decided to incorporate QR Codes into their bulletin board.  They surveyed their teachers and each submitted their favorite music videos from different countries.  Then, they prepared a page on each artist (or group).  So each page contains the name of the artist, the title of the song, a brief description, and a QR Code to the Youtube video of that song.  Students and staff can use their QR readers to access that song.  Pretty Cool.  The photos below are from the whole bulletin board and one of the pages.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glogster Instead of Posters!

If you are like me, you are tired of those "same old posters."  Students print pictures, cut them out, and paste them on poster board.  Or they make the "tri-fold presentation board" with printed material and pictures from the web.  Why not make something interactive and colorful?

Glogster allows the user to add pictures, video, audio, links, etc.  It is colorful, interactive, and fun.  A teacher can collect these online posters from students and share them with the class and parents.  Wow!  And we didn't have to buy paper, glue, toner, etc.  With these glogs, students can link to the websites where the material is found, making it easy for the reader to obtain more information, if interested.  These glogs are shareable and embeddable.  They've made it very easy.

Glogster also has a teacher friendly account.  Glogster.edu makes it easy for teachers to share their online posters.  It allows for simple creation of collaborative class projects.

Check out my first glogster.  Literally done in less than one hour.  It contains links, video, and audio.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Annotation Tools in Preview

Preview on the mac has a tool menu that contains annotation tools.  These tools allow you to easily open any pdf file and "mark it up."  These tools are quick to use, giving you easy access to editing and emphasizing a document.  PDF files can be created from anything that is printable.  You  can save your work as a PDF, then display the PDF files on your board or screen with a projector.  Then, using their tools, you can edit, highlight changes or re-emphasize strong parts of the document.  There are many uses for this in the classroom.

Here are the tools:

Here is a tutorial video: