Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Utilising QR codes in learning

QR codes are being used more across the world and especially in learning.

There is a great opportunity for students to create and use QR codes on the iPad to extend learning across a range of curriculum subjects and specifically for demonstrating understanding of their own work or extending their understanding of a topic.

I particularly like the ideas in the following video which links the use of QR codes with digital storytelling to engage, inform and promote.   Have a look at 'Sukiennice "Secrets Behind Paintings"' :

Using QR codes in learning

Download our QR codes in Learning document (click on the image opposite) for an overview of QR codes and ideas to use them in learning

Download our QR Code Learning Quest document to look at a sample QR code hunt using clues to books to inform, orientate and engage users in locating and sourcing resources for their learning.

See how Parramatta Marist Br Ludovic Learning Centre is using QR codes.

Reading (Scanning) QR Codes
You will need a smartphone or tablet with a camera as well as a Qr reader App.
For basics we recommend QRset (free) but there are lots of others available.
However a better one is QRafter (free) as it will also check the QR code link for safety and will keep a list of the QR code links you have scanned, providing students a history of their scans.

Creating Qr codes

Use Safari on the iPad to get students to create QR codes for free via a QR code generator website like Kaywa.

QRafter Pro allows you to create and scan QR code.
But if your would like your students to get creative and colourful with the look of their QR codes try the QR Code Art App.

Use QR codes to get more out of your school staff meetings/professional learning
We recently held a staff meeting where instead of sitting down for hours to hear all the latest information, we armed people with iPads and a QR code quest.  With 10 questions to answer staff moved around the building in teams to find QR codes.  Upon scanning the codes with their iPads or smartphones, they were directed to information to read web based information or view videos on important information that all staff needed to know. Then we all met back at the meeting venue to share and feedback with a reward for the first team back with the correct answers.

For more about QR codes, how they are being used in  teaching and learning and other resources see Learning Exchanges QR codes for Learning.

Monday, October 8, 2012

iPad PLN at Corpus Christi Cranebrook

A great day of shared learning at Corpus Christi Primary Cranebrook to explore iPad use across the curriculum for student learning.  Corpus Christi currently has about 60 iPads across the school, and held a professional learning day for staff to extend the use for student learning they already have with their iPads and develop more iPad lesson plans.

The day incorporated a 1.5 hour session for half the staff at the Apple Store Penrith looking at the iLife suite of Apps (Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto) on the iPad with the other half of staff taking part in a 1.5 hr school based session around 4 Apps: Scribble Press, Evernote, Twitter and Flipboard.  These session were then repeated so all staff got a chance to attend both sessions.

School based iPad session

Scribble Press
Scribble Press is a brilliant free story creation App that incorporates a comprehensive range of writing and drawing tools.  Students can create their Scribble Press book, edit it as much as they like, include photos or their own drawings and enhance their story with built in stickers and stamping tools.  They can then publish their book to iBooks once they set up an account.  Schools could setup a class/school account to do this.
Alternatively your stories can also be shared by choosing "Email a link" which uploads them to the Scribble Press website and sends an email with the address of the story to anyone you send the email message to. This way only people with the link can access the story.  Make sure your iPad is set up to send email to do. See more info here.

We started with a look at the YouTube video 'Scribble Press' by iPadagogy that clearly explains how Scribble Press can be used in learning.

The Scribble Press Blog also provides some good resources and ideas for use.

Next we looked at Evernote and its use as a digital portfolio for capturing student learning.  All the links for information on Evernote can be found at our previous blog post 'Evernote digital portfolios in our schools'. We discussed the use of the Evernote Webclipper (download via adjacent link) on your laptop or desktop computer to capture your important websites easily into Evernote.  For your iPad you can install a webclipper but it is a little more work.  Instructions on how to install the webclipper code in the bookmarks of your safari app can be found at 'How to install Evernote webclipper on the iPhone and iPad'.

We discussed the use of Twitter by teachers and students to connect with other learners or experts across the world or to curate learning.  Corpus Christi already has a few class twitter accounts and so are well placed to leverage this. We ran through the basics of Twitter language and setting up your profile.  Staff started tweeting using the hashtag #corpusPLN, incorporating pictures and links. A Tweetdoc capturing all the tweets can be found here.

We explored the use of Flipboard to create dynamic visual curated information for students in a magazine style format that they can customise.  The ability to bring in a range of content such as blog feeds, youtube and Australian content was a key advantage of use.  For example Corpus Christi already has some great blogs that could be drawn into Flipboard via RSS. See their 'Year Five's Artistic Adventures' and 'Year 2's Awesome Art Gallery'

We also  pulled in content from the hashtag tweets from the day: #corpuspln.
All the information for using Flipboard is in the following slideshare including ideas for Australian content that can be incorporated easily:

At the end of the day we had an App Taster session and looked at the following Apps/iPad uses the classroom.  All free apart from the Number Sense App.