I Spy With My Techy Eye

Okay, first: yes, it has been WAYY too long since I posted. I have been very busy but I’ll save that for my next Five For Friday post that has been in draft form for about, oh, two weeks.

Because this post is really about techy things that have caught my eye. Having started my last master’s class (yea!) combined with reading tech blogs and articles as a way to distress (I know – I’m weird) and discovering educational apps on my phone, there have been a lot of different tech items percolating in my mind and I want to share two of them.

1) QR Codes.
I remember when QR Codes first came out: I would flip through magazines, see them and go Huh those are weird. Since I didn't have a smartphone, I really had no idea what they were. Over time my understanding of them  expanded and since I now actually own an iPhone, I now have the QR Reader app (it came in quite handy when a student lost their glasses on Bizarro at Six Flags a couple weeks ago).

Then I came across a post describing how a teacher used it in stations, having students go from QR Code to QR Code with their devices opening up different media as they learned about a specific topic. I then read an article about using QR codes in libraries, the two most fascinating uses being to update outdated information in books and as a means for parent outreach on back to school night.

In my search to find the original posts that sparked my interest, I found these good reads:
The first is by Monica Burns on Edutopia about using QR codes in the classroom to differentiate.
And the second contains a plethora of QR resources including links to generators.

And honestly, if you want to learn more, just Google “Use of QR Codes in Classroom” and a variety of resources comes up.

2) I am obsessed with Padlet!You start with a blank screen which you can add essentially comments that contains your name and a sentence or two. You can also add other media such as pictures and videos. It then posts to the wall as a bubble and others can post their content, building on your post, or as original content. Typically, the first post on the wall contains a guiding question for students to reflect on and respond to. It's a website and not an app, but it could easily be opened on a SMARTBoard or in the browsing window of a device and used that way. You can use it without an account, but you can also create an account so you can save your work.

The potential fascinates me! It can be used in the beginning of class as an initiation, having the teacher or a student post a question and having students post an answer. It could also be used as part of the morning routine, having students post what they did over the weekend or responding to a question connecting home to content (I.e. What parts of nature did you experience this weekend?). Then during Morning Meeting, all the students responses are on the board to share. It could also be used during a lesson, as a place to share their wonders or their ideas. It could also be used at the end of the lesson for students to share one thing they learned. The possibilities are endless and I am totally obsessed with it.

Do you hear that? Oh, right, that's my classwork and other items I need to do are calling to get my attention!

Happy Reading,

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