Friday, December 20, 2013

QR Codes - They REALLY are easy to make!

I know there have been a lot of blog posts (I'll link to them here.) over the past several years about using QR
codes in the classroom; yet, we see very little of their use taking off in our classrooms. As we begin the new year with new teacher laptops (They really are coming!), please consider giving QR codes a go! There are so many ways they can help students, staff and parents access information quickly, and they work across all mobile devices.

Here is a Google presentation that I have used over the past several years to train teachers. There are lots of ideas for HOW to use them in the classroom pictured. Many teachers seemed to like the idea of using a QR code to "attach" a student's digital project (Ex: Prezi, Google Presentation, Stupeflix, or YouTube video) to their paper notebook such as a Intereactive Journal. That way, when students and teachers want to view all of the work around a particular topic, everything is right there. Very handy!

Recently, I came across this Prezi by Nicole Zumpano which is worth a view! She shares lots of different QR code generators and apps as well as some terrific ideas for classroom use.

Creating and Using
Since we are a Google Apps district, probably the easiest way to create them (in addition to Google Spreadsheets) is by using the Chrome extension (which you should be using for a number of reasons anyway)! To read them, I have had great success with the QR Code Reader and Scanner app  for the iOS devices although there are zillions out there and you should spend some time playing with several to suit your needs/personality!

If you need to create a number of QR codes, say you're making a self-checking workstation, then using this
formula is really handy (directions for setting this up is in my presentation above).
  =image("" & A2)

Additional resources for QR Codes in the Classroom

So, start out the year with a new tool in your toolkit! You'll be glad you did! Leave a comment and let us know how you're using QR codes in the classroom!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thinklink Revisited

Over a year ago, I wrote this blog post about Thinglink. I thought I'd give you an update with several other blog posts about how to use this tool in your classroom! I also just read about their Educator account which
is FREE so you can manage your student accounts (even under 13 with permission - see their terms of service)! You must act today! All new teacher accounts created BEFORE the end of December will have access to Thinglink Premium features!

Just a refresher - Thinglink allows you to upload an image and tag parts and pieces of the image with links, videos, embeds and more. Think about how YOU could even use it in a presentation or lesson!

Here, Susan Oxnevad shares 10 Innovative Ways to Use ThinkLink in the Classroom.

I just saw this tweet from her using Thinglink... Flexible Learning Paths.

Interesting Ways to Use Thinklink in the Classroom post by Jamie Forshey embeds a collage of famous composers Thinglink which links to music and biographical info. Cool! She also gives ideas for similar Thinglinks in other content areas. Bet you have some ideas! How can you add to the list? Comment below!

Lastly, visit the Thinglink Pinterest boards!

What's stopping you from trying Thinglink?