Archive for category Cell phones

QR Codes – Revisited

I have posted about QR codes before, but after seeing them everywhere at TCEA I thought they were worth revisiting!

I recently sent this QR code out to my staff after being inspired by this post by a friend of mine.  I got about a dozen folks to respond, several who said their phones weren’t smart enough and some who tried to find the hidden image inside the square.  If nothing else it got people talking about QR codes on campus a little more.

To continue the conversation I thought I would compile  a few ways that QR codes could be used in the classroom based on what I heard at TCEA 2012 Convention and have read online.

Why QR Codes?

QR codes are an easy way to get a information to a device that is able to read the code.  You can use a smartphone or a tablet device that has an QR reader app (i-nigma is a good one). or a computer with a webcam as we have set up in the library on campus.  (See for details on how to set this up.)  QR codes can contain:

  • Short pieces of text
  • website address (including online videos or mp3s)
  • email address
  • phone numbers


How to Create QR Codes:

Several QR creator websites exist and are free to use.  Some of my favorite are:

If you are going to get serious abut creating QR codes for websites, check out my tech idol Tammy Worcester’s site for how to generate QR codes using a google spreadsheet.

Note:  Large pieces of text or large addresses create detailed codes that can be hard to read.  Use URL shorteners to create simpler codes that can be read by more devices like, or delivr.

Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom:

  1. Famous People Posters:  Place a QR code on a poster of a famous person in your room that links to a video about them.
  2. Famous People Part 2:  Link the QR code to a video of a mouth that when you place the phone over the mouth it looks like the poster has come to life and is talking to the student.
  3. Fine Arts:  Link the QR code to an mp3 of the musical piece they are learning so students can listen to the the music from their modible devices.
  4. Math Problems:  QR code can link to a video tutorial on how to solve that type of math problem.  Websites like the Khan Academy can help with the video content to link to.
  5. Art Work – Create a mp3 file that explains the art and the concept behind it and link the QR code on the displayed art piece to the file.
  6. Share Apps – have an app you want your class to use?  Make a QR code that links to the app store and place it in the classroom for students to scan and download the app.  Be sure to include two codes – one for android and one for apple.
  7. Link to your homework site:  QR code in the classroom can link directly to your teacher web page so kids can easily get to it in the classroom on their own devices.
  8. Link to resources for assignments:  Place a QR code on a powerpoint and project for students to be able to find the document or website they need to complete the assignment in class.
  9. Library:  Place QR codes on books that link to reviews, book trailers, interviews with authors, etc so kids can learn more about the book before they read it.
  10. Promote a School Event: Create a website that promotes the a school event and place QR codes in places on campus where students can use their devices.
  11. On Assignments:  Place QR Codes on the assignment with the text answers so students can check their answers as they go along or to give hints to how to answer the question.
  12. In the window of your Classroom:  Link to the class website so passerbys can view what is happening in your class with possible links to student work.
  13. Scavenger Hunt:  Place QR codes around the room (or school) that go to information or contain clues for a class scavenger hunt on your subject matter.
  14. Link Analogue to Digital:  Place a QR code on a draft of student work that links to the final product to show the learning process.
  15. Make Displays Interactive:  Add QR codes to a display to make more information available to those viewing.
  16. Link to Maps:  Place a QR code to link to a particular place on the map based on the current unit of study.  Kids can explore the area as they learning.
  17. Attach Codes to a Physical Model:  Place codes on different parts of the model (like a skeleton) to identify parts and important pieces of information.
  18. Choose your own adventure reading:  Create a story online and have participants scan their choice on what to do next to have them move to a different part of the story.



Barrett, Tom. “35 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom.” 35 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2012. <

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Technology Tuesday: January 17th

Cool Resources:

I Fake Text  – create screen shots of fake text message conversations to simulate conversations that could have happened.  Ideas include:  2 characters from a story, 2 historical figures, practice dialogue for a foreign language, practice using new vocabulary in sentences, and include these in your powerpoints to get student’s attention.  Step by step guide and ideas can be found at:

Triptico  – This does require a download to use (which the district now approves).  This resource allows you to create interactive resources such as Word Magnets, class timers, class lists with random name pickers, score boards for class games, matching squares for vocabulary or quotes, order sequence activities, spinners, question quizzes, and more.  This is a great resource if you have a smart slate or just want to use your projector in ways that are more interactive for the classroom.   If you want this installed on your teacher machine, fill in the tech help form to get on my list.

Apps in Education  – Check out this blog entry for a list of great apps (apple) for teachers to have.  The list breaks down the app, what it costs and what it does.  The website also has iPad lists for certain subject areas as well.  Great place to start if you are wanting to check out apps for your device.

Android Apps  – Not to leave Android users out – here is a list of android apps and how they rank in Bloom’s Taxonomy.  This list is put together by Kathy Schrock and is a great list to work from.


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Cell Phones in Education – The Journey Begins

My Web Wandering Wednesday post got me thinking about cell phones in education.  Although I believe there is a place for them, the mom in me worries about what we are exposing kids to when we begin to more openly allow them and encourage them.  How many more predators have access, how many more bullying incidents can occur, how many more unwanted video clips will be turning up on youtube and how much more time will be spent facebooking rather than working?

As with any new technology there are always the questions and the concerns.  I have begin looking into what people are doing and what those results are.  How do the schools and teachers using the technology deal with the downsides and make the incorporation worth it?  The technology is coming and we must be ready.  The reality is that kids are using them in class anyway, why not direct them to use them in more productive ways?   Even with my own kids if they want to know something we get the phone out and google it.    At ages 3 and 5 this is the world they know.   What kind of technology and access to technology are they going to want when they get to middle school and high school?   If I don’t learn how to use it wisely now, I will surely be at a disadvantage when my kids reach that age.

So the research begins to educate myself on the realities of cell phone use in class and not just the fears or hopes.   I look forward to the journey.

Here are 3 sites I found interesting on the topic:

Cell Phones in the Classroom – The results of a pilot program that gave phones to students and what was accomplished.  A great discussion continues in the comments following the article as well.

From Toys to Tools – “A conversation about integrating student cell phones into classroom curricula.”   This is a blog site dedicated to the integration of cell phones into the classroom.  The site author also has a book out by the same name.   Lots of posts and links about phones in schools including in the recent post, statistics about cell phones and kids.

Teaching Today – Cell Phones in the Classroom – A brief overview of what is happening with phones in classrooms from a textbook publishers’ perspective.

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