31. QR Codes Increase Productivity- 15 Uses and Step by Step Tutorials

I am very excited to share the resources I created for a presentation I delivered at the Teaching and Learning Forum, Doha, Qatar, 2016 on Saturday, April 30th, 2016, titled Using QR Codes to Increase Productivity in the Classroom.

Part 1: 15 Uses of QR Codes

 

Part 2: Step by Step Tutorial for Creating QR Codes.

Until next time, be productive, get inspired, and grow!

Margo

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30. Brain Breaks with Go Noodle Tutorial

 

Hello friends,

I have created the following tutorial a while back and even though I haven’t shared it on my website yet, it has quite a few views on YouTube. So, here it goes!

I love brain breaks, and you can also read about the reasons why they are great by reading one of my old posts, Brain Brakes with Go noodle and Just Dance Kids, previously published on this website.

 

Until next time, get inspired and grow!🙂

Margo

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29. Google Forms (part 1)

29. GOOGLE FORMS 
(part 1)

Google-forms

 

Google Forms is a great tool for creating surveys, polls, or quizzes. It can have a great formative value in the classroom when used strategically. By watching the tutorial below, you will learn lots of tricks about the use of Google Forms. A future tutorial would talk about more advanced Google Forms features such as using it to auto-grade quizzes.

Until next time, get creative, be inspired, and grow!  🙂

If you liked this post, remember that you can follow my blog via email.  🙂

To get my future posts via email (one post a month), you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box found on the right side of this screen. I hope the info I am sharing with you through my blog will help your students at least as much as it has helped mine.

Best regards,
Margo

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28. Young Readers and Writers

28. Young Readers and Writers

Young Readers and Writers
Agenda:
I. iPad Applications
II. Web-Based Instructional Technology Tools and Resources
 
Age range: 4 to 6 for the first 3 screenshots
                  2 to 4 for the last two screenshots
To help students practice their sight words, ABCs, phonics skills, reading and writing skills you can find apps with high instructional potential bellow. These apps are good for helping students transfer newly learned information into their long-term memory, for helping students develop automaticity, and can be used as opportunities for extra practice or remedial purposes. 
Three benefits of these instructional technologies: 
  • students get immediate feedback,
  • increase student motivation,
  • save teacher time.
Use your best judgment regarding what apps you want your students to use, when, for how long, and who would benefit from using them. Features to look for when choosing instructional software: Is it interactive? Does it keep track of students’ progress? Does it provide feedback? 
 
Apps that target the higher spectrum of the Bloom’s Taxonomy (analysis, evaluation, and creativity) will be published on a future post.
 
I. iPad Applications
 
1. Recommendations- free or low-cost apps all tested by me and and loved by my kids (4 screenshots)- excellent applications
Best sight word apps (apps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10)- the level of difficulty decreases from the first to the fourth screenshot. 
Apps 1 png
Apps 2 png
Apps 3 short png
Apps Lucas png
Apps 4 png
2. PRESCHOOL
3. K-2
II. Web-Based Instructional Tools and Resources
 

Until next time get creative, be inspired, and grow! 🙂

If you liked this post, remember that you can follow me via email. 🙂

To get my future posts via email (one post a month), you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box found on the right side of this screen. I hope the info I am sharing with you through my blog will help your students at least as much as it has helped mine.

Best regards,
Margo

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27. Favorite 3 Google Chrome Extensions

27. Favorite 3 Google Chrome Extensions

These 3 tools are diamonds in a sea of instructional technology tools.
1. Draftback
2.Grammarly
3. Read and Write for Google

1. DRAFTBACK

Draftback is a MUST HAVE Google Chrome extension. I absolutely love using it. It has tremendous value for English Language Arts teachers.

Draftback allows users to play the entire revision history of any Google Doc, even documents which were created before you installed this extension. After you install the extension, you just click the Draftback button, and a video will be generating showing the actual document being typed up. With this extension you get to take peak into your students writing process. Just make sure you are using the Google Chrome browser. You can use this link to install the Draftback Google Chrome extension and click on ADD TO GOOGLE CHROME.

In the classroom, I use it in conjunction with the feature offered by Google docs (go to FILE —SEE REVISION HISTORY). While this feature shows you different static versions of the document and the changes made to it, Draftback plays a quick video of the editing process. You can adjust the speed as you like. By going to FILE, and selecting SEE REVISION HISTORY, you can see who made what changes to the document, and also what time those changes were made. You can always select SEE MORE DETAILED REVISIONS (see this feature on the bottom right corner). Note that the screenshot below shows the Google doc feature “See Revision History”. This screenshot is followed by 2 short videos (1 minute each) which show Draftback in action.

REVISION HISTORY MORE DETAILED

When using Draftback for first time on a document it takes just a little bit longer because this extension needs to render the document (or create the short video). Watch this 1-minute demo to see how this happens:

Once, you did it once, the next time you just click on the draftback tab and play the video to see the whole editing process. Such a valuable tool!

2. GRAMMARLY

Grammarly is another great Google Extension. It does a great job catching even small typos or grammar mistakes. See below a picture of my screen while editing this blog post and how it pointed out to me the need for a comma after “In the classroom”. I think this is pretty cool! I tested Grammarly by copy-pasting different content I created for academic purposes and I was quite impressed with the job it did. I can only say I wish I had this extension when I was in grad school. What a great writing tutor!

It provides a variety of features some of them for a fee including help to detect plagiarism. It is DEFINITELY worth a try! It even gives editing suggestions when you write emails (gmail).

GRAMMARLY

3. READ AND WRITE FOR GOOGLE

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, Read and Write for Google (Google Chrome extension) is free for educators. This extension is absolutely AMAZING. It provides comprehensive reading and writing support for Google docs, Web content, PDFs, and Pubs. It provides features such as: read aloud, dictionary, translator, picture dictionary, fact finder, highlighting tools, vocabulary lists. Users can use different colors for highlighting, and then they can collect those highlights by color, create lists and print them out. What a great way for students to create vocabulary lists! When using the picture dictionary the students can print out pictures along with those definitions.

The second article below details its functionality. It is a great tool for English Language Learners, exceptional students, or simply all students or GAFE (Google Apps for Education) schools.

Introducing Read&Write for Google
Using Read&Write for Google in Google Documents
Read&Write for Google Read the Web
Read&Write for Google-PDF and ePub Reader App

First, if you are a teacher and have a Google account (gmail), download the extension, and then, to get all the premium features that would require you to purchase them otherwise, go to rw.texthelp.com/drive/home/RegisterTeacher and register by filling out the Teacher Registration form (it will ask you to type in your name, school administrator name, and other details to confirm eligibility). My suggestion is: Do this while this is still free for you, don’t wait too long. I wish students could use it for free, as well. It would be so great!

Time for a well deserved summer break now! Enjoy it!

Until next time get creative, be inspired, and grow! 🙂
If you liked this post, remember that you can follow me via email. 🙂
To get my future posts via email (one post a month), you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box found on the right side of this screen. I hope the info I am sharing with you through my blog will help your students at least as much as it has helped mine.

Fondly,
Margo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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26. Audio QR Codes. Making Paper Talk!

26. Audio QR Codes. Making Paper Talk!

Agenda:

1. Why Audio QR Codes are so Much Fun. Fun Ways for Using Audio QR Codes
2. How to Create Audio QR Codes
3. Four Essential Tools to Boomark

1. Why Audio QR Codes Are So Much Fun

AUDIO QR

Download a QR reader app like i-nigma on your phone, scan the code above, and you’ll here a concise answer (less than 100 characters). That’s the reason why audio QR codes are awesome!

Audio QR codes can be so much fun when used creatively. Students can bring things to life by creating and attaching these QR codes to their work. Audio QR codes can make books talk, can give art projects a voice, can turn paper projects or essay into multimedia projects, can serve as great reflection tools, etc. I will share with you here some ideas for using audio QR codes in the classroom.

a) Students can create book reviews. After they finish reading a book, they can create audio QR codes, and paste them onto the back covers of the books. That way, other students can listen to these audio book reviews, before reading the book. How fun is it to make a book talk! I am embedding the QR code separately, just to help you read it in case you won’t be able to scan the tiny one of the book because of the picture’s low resolution.

Book Review

20150430_095606

b) Student can turn paper projects into multimedia projects. After we learned about idioms, I had my students create paper flip books (they illustrated about 12 idioms on 12 different pages, and explained what their figurative meanings were). Later, I had them reflect on their learning (they shared the definition of idioms, shared what their favorite idioms were, also idioms they didn’t understand, and lastly, their goal for their next piece of writing regarding figurative language use), we created audio QR codes, and the students glued their codes onto their flip books.

20150430_093654

c) Reflections for student-led conferences. Have your students create any kinds of reflections, attach the audio QR codes to their work, and hit play when you have student-led conferences. It would be less intimidating for the students, and a more exciting way for them to share their work and thoughts. I love the following ideas for reflection questions: 40 Reflection Questions (Edutopia), The Taxonomy of Reflection (Peter Pappas), or these 50 Student Reflection Questions. Below you can see a bar graph created using the KidsZone website. I covered the QR code due to privacy reasons. Students recorded their reflection using a MP3 app, we saved the MP3 to Google Drive, and we used that link to create the QR code (I explained this process towards the end of this post- points B and C). In their audio students reflected on their reading progress compared to the class average and they set a goal for the following month. They also created these kinds of bar graphs and line graphs, as well, for math illustrating the number of problems they completed in IXL. Fun way for the students to share their data during student-led conferences!

20150430_094221

d) Fun Back to School Riddles with QR Codes (by Techie Teacher)

e) Flashcards for academic vocabulary and concepts. On the same side of the card you can have the new vocabulary word and an audio QR code for the definition.

f) Audio bulletin boards or audio word walls (similar to the idea above).

g) Math problems (audio QR codes for the answers).

h) You might want to check out the following Google Docs presentation titled “Using QR Codes in the Classroom about the use of QR Codes in he classroom, presentation that has many interesting ideas including the formula for creating your own Google spreadsheet if interested in creating QR codes in bulk, and also a great multimedia poster with QR codes for each element of the Periodic Table, QR codes that take you to videos about each element.

i) Another interesting idea you can find in the presentation above (h) is the use of QR codes for revealing classroom incentives. How could I use this idea in my classroom? I am using Class Dojo for classroom management. Whenever any of my students get 10 dojos, I could allow them to scan a code of their choice to reveal their incentive which can be anything from homework pass, extra computer time, sit with their favorite friend, etc.

j) Other ideas- presentation titled “28 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes.

2. How to Create Audio QR Codes

A. QR Voice
-By using this site you get both the audio and the QR code at the same time (that means you don’t need to do steps B, or C)
-Go to this website, type in the text you wanted converted to speech, and it will create a synthesized voice reproducing your text
– It creates a QR code for you directly on the site which you can scan and listen to; just right click on it and save the picture of the QR code generated. You just the text in (up to 100 characters) and QR voice generates the QR code. See below a book review sample created with QR voice. We glued his code to the back cover of the book (see below). To hear students’ actual voices have them create MP3 recordings as opposed to using QR code which has the text to speech feature. By scanning the codes below you can play an audio created with QR voice.
AUDIO QR
Note: Other one-step tools to create QR codes (text to QR code, not audio), are the QR Code Generator apps. Super easy! Once you download the app, you just type any word or phrase, hit generate and then you get your code (you can share your code via email, facebook, dropbox, evernote, google+, whatsapp, anything you can think of). You can use these apps to generate QR codes that display text for riddles, for math answers or problems, for definitions, etc.

B. Recording your audio file and generating a URL:

Option 1: Record MP3 Online

 

RecordMp3Online_500x70_bigger (1)

 


1. Go to: http://recordmp3online.com/
2. Make sure you follow the on-screen directions the first time you use this website, to allow the recording to happen.
3. Record the audio.
4. Stop. Download or add to Google Drive or Dropbox.
5. Go to Google Drive or Dropbox and copy the link.

Option 2: MP3 Recorder Free app (for the Ipad) or Smart Voice Recorder app (for Android devices)- Option 2 is the one I use in my classroom🙂

MP3 Recorder Free- for iOS (iPads)

mp3 recorder for the ipad

Smart Voice Recorder- for android

smart voice recorder android

After you have your recordings you need to upload these MP3 recordings to the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, AudioBoom, etc.) or to a website to get a link that you can use to generate the QR code.

Option 3: AudioBoom

Currently new users are given 10 minutes per clip to upload or record and there’s no limit to how many clips a user can upload or record. One weakness of this site is the fact that won’t allow you to set any of your recording to private. I wish we could!

Option 4: Audacity


  1. Use the free recording software, Audacity, to record the audio.
  2. Export the recorded audio file (use the default .wav format) and save your public DropBox folder or Google Drive.
  3. Right-click the file (within Google Drive or DropBox).
  4. Select Get Link (Google Drive) or “Copy Public Link” (DropBox).

Option 5: Making it more fun!

You can even have your students create videos or screencasts (using, for instance, Show Me, or Me Video), use the link to these multimedia projects, turn them into QR codes, and attach them to paper projects. How fun would it be to scan a code on a book, for instance, and a student-created video or screencast to start playing! LOVE IT!

Using this option, my students created Show Mes about Idioms; they glued the QR codes to their flipbooks about Idioms. Once I scanned the code on their flipbooks, videos that included my students’ reflections on idioms, started playing.🙂

C. Creating the QR Code:

Option 1:
Use an online QR Creator such as:

  1. – Google URL Shortener
    https://goo.gl/
    This is one of the best tools for creating QR codes. If you have a Google account (gmail), you just go to goo.gl.com, paste the link in the box, and you’ll have your link shortened. Next to your shortened link, you will click on Details, which will take you to the QR code that was already generated for that specific link. You can save the picture of your QR code. If you have many students and want to avoid having to do this individually for each student, you can use Google Spreadsheets (see below how you can use this trick to create codes in bulk). The only extra thing I wish we could do when using Google’s URL shortener, is to rename your shortened links. Because they don’t offer that feature, even though you have all the shortened links saved in goo.gle’s history, most of the time it is hard for you to identify your shortened URLs and you have to redo it whenever you need that QR code again.
  2. QR Generator
    – https://app.qr-code-generator.com/
  3. – QR Hacker
    http://www.qrhacker.com/
    – Kaywa
    http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
    – GoQR
    http://goqr.me/
    Once you access one of these sites, you just paste the URL of your MP3 recording and follow the instructions to create the QR code. Download the code and print it!

Option 2:
Generate Codes in Bulk in a Google Spreadsheet

  1. Create a Google form to “collect” the URL’s of your students’ audio files
    (For instructions, click here)
    Suggested fields:
    – First Name
    – Last Name
    – Notes
    – URL
  2. Follow the instructions to generate a QR code for each URL.
  3. Print the QR codes!

You can use the 2-column template created by Tammy (Tammy’s Technology Tips for Teachers) which can be found here. I love this template because it saves you so much time, especially if you teach a large class. Directions for using Tammy’s form:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your Google/Gmail account.
  2. Click one of the link above.
  3. Choose to “Make a copy.” This will move a copy of that spreadsheet into your Google Drive.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Tammy Worcester has created a 1 column template, as well QR Code Auto Generator. Just hit “Use this template” and change the columns (QR Code Contents and Brief Description or Title) to suit your needs.

If you want to create QR codes in bulk by using Google spreadsheet, you will find the formula you need below. The first column will have the info you want to turn into a QR code (text, URL), and the second column will have the QR Code. Copy and paste the following formula in cell B2, then click enter.

=image(ʺhttps://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=150×150&cht=qr&chl=ʺ &A2)

Note: You can resize the rows and columns to make the QR codes larger or smaller or you can carefully change the 150×150 to something larger, like 500×500. Make sure you won’t alter the code except for changing those two numbers.

For more, check out this abundance of resources on QR codes by Shambles.

3. Four Essential Tools to Bookmark


**********************************************************************************
Because this post is so full of information, for those who want to save time, I will just share with you what I would pick if I were to bookmark only a few tools for creating audio QR codes. These would be:

– A. QR voice
-B. MP3 Recorder Free app (for the Ipad) or Smart Voice Recorder app (for Android devices) to record your MP3
-C. Create your QR Code with Google URL Shortener
-Create QR Codes in bulk- Tammy Worcester’s 1 column template.🙂
***********************************************************************************

Make paper projects, assignments, assessments, art or biology displays talk with audio QR codes!

Until next time get creative, be inspired, and grow! 🙂
If you liked this post, remember that you can follow me via email. 🙂
To get my future posts via email (one post a month), you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box found on the right side of this screen. I hope the info I am sharing with you through my blog will help your students at least as much as it has helped mine.

Fondly,
Margo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted in 21st century skills, Communication tools, Educational Technology, iPad, Second Language Learners, Web 2.0 tools | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

25. QR Codes Increase Productivity

25. QR Codes Increase Productivity

Techie Teachers' Tricks

Blog Post Agenda:

1. What are QR Codes?
2.Techie Teachers’ Tricks for Using QR Codes
3. Examples of QR Codes

1. What are QR Codes

QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes. According to Wikipedia, the QR code system was invented in 1994. QR codes became very popular due to their fast readability. A QR code consists of square dots arranged in a square grid which can be read by different devices such as smart phones, tablets, QR readers. Users can read QR codes by using different sites or apps or generate QR codes.

2. Techie Teachers’ Tricks for Using QR Codes

Using QR codes in the classroom can be so much fun! By using QR codes, teachers can substitute, augment, modify, or redefine learning experiences (SAMR). QR codes can really make things much easier. QR codes have increased productivity so much in my class! Since we started using them, everything was a click away. Just imagine having your students access a thesaurus, or just having to type this word in their browser. Right after I introduced the QR codes to my students in our English Language Arts class they had to find synonyms for certain words. Having a QR code for the thesaurus, was so helpful for all my students because accessing it was just practically just a click away. I also saw the huge benefits of using QR codes when I had my parent-teacher conferences a couple weeks ago. Again, sharing with parents their children’s websites, e-portfolios, blogs, or class resources, was just a click away. Besides that, all the resources parents scanned during our parent-teacher conference were automatically saved in their app history which made it so easy to collect and reference later.

Information that can be stored in a code:
-a website address (URL)
-a short piece of text
-a phone number
-an email address

QR reading apps (first one is my favorite):

-I-nigma app (for android or Apple devices), QR Code Reader (for android or Apple devices)

QR generators (first one is my favorite, but I like other sites for the different features they provide, too).

Goo.gl (= Google’s URL shortening tool. When you shorten a link with Goo.gl a QR code is created for it automatically. To find the QR code, click the “details” link after your shortened URL has been made, then you can save it, or print it. This is a great tool! All links you shorten are automatically saved by Goo.gle.),
QR Voice (=free tool that allows you to create QR codes that when scanned will play a short audio message- 100 characters. This tool allows teachers to do so many things! More about audio QR codes in my next post),
Visualead (3 nice visual QR codes for free; you can see an example below),
Scanova,
QR Hacker,
Kaywa,
GoQR,
QR generator (their interface looks great, and you can create fancy QR codes, but after the 14 days trial you can’t access your codes unless you pay a quite expensive subscription–I made the mistake of thinking that I would be able to be able to use the codes I had created during the trial period even after those 14 days; unfortunately, after these 14 days I had to re-create all my QR codes using a different site, which happened to be Goo.gle. Such a hassle! Learned my lesson!🙂,
QR Stuff,
QR Droid Code Generator.

 What can you do with QR codes in the classroom?

Students can scan QR codes to take them to a specific website for research, blog, or other online resources, listen to a story that is being read aloud, watch a video on an academic topic, complete academic scavenger hunts, etc.

Some activities I have been doing with my students, in which students made their own QR Codes, include:

-4th grade students recording themselves reading books for a Kindergarten class (they just pasted the QR code inside of the book cover). We used the MP3 app to record these audios. You can also use the mp3.org website or any other websites to produce audio files.
-students wrote a math problems and made a QR Code for the answer
-students made Google Presentations (it can be any topic: math, science, social studies, English Language Arts, etc.) and pasted their QR codes to a 3-D art project or diorama.
-students made iMovies, uploaded them to YouTube or Vimeo, and made a QR code to take home for parents to scan and watch or add to their student-led conferences portfolio
-students can make human body posters and create audio recordings talking about each body part, then label each body part with QR codes (once scanned the audio would play right away)
– Back to School Scavenger Hunt for parents by writing clues, attaching them to QR codes and pasting the QR codes around the room. Check out a cool free Back-to-School QR Code Activity created by The Techie Teacher on Teachers Pay Teachers here. This activity is so much fun! Also, you can check out another great Back to School Scavenger Hunt QR Code Activity created by Loretta Lee on Teachers Pay Teachers here.

3. Examples of QR Codes

Download a QR reader app (like i-nigma) and scan my teacher blog QR code. You’ll see how all QR codes you scan are saved in your history. I created this QR code with Visualead.

341aafe9-7683-7be8-c2b0-0000449dbdaf

I displayed QR codes all over my room. These QR codes are links to various online resources we are using in class, or links to students’ portfolios, their own websites, or audio books reviews. I created these QR codes with QR code generator and I had the unpleasant surprise to notice that after the 14 day trial period I wasn’t able to use the codes I created during the trial period. So, I had to re-create all of my QR codes, because upgrading was too expensive, and like all teachers, I prefer using free websites when there are plenty other free options. I am including them here for you to see even though if you tried to scan them, it would say that they were archived. I didn’t want to display here the new ones I created just because I am keeping my students’ eportfolios private this year.

QR codes classroom

QR Code for McMillan dictionary:

mcmillan dict

A collection of educational resources my students are using:

QR Codes Resources

You can also see my bulletin board below:

20150225_143749

I am very excited about the potential of QR codes in the classroom. I am also very excited about the audio QR codes–more information about audio QR codes in my next post. Audio QR codes are so awesome!

Until next time get creative, be inspired, and grow! 🙂
If you liked this post, remember that you can follow me via email. 🙂
To get my future posts via email (one post a month), you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box found on the right side of this screen. I hope the info I am sharing with you through my blog will help your students at least as much as it has helped mine.

Fondly,
Margo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted in 21st century skills, Communication tools, Educational Technology, iPad, Second Language Learners, Web 2.0 tools | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment