“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Action Plan Time


Would you like to be able to find many ideas on how to integrate technology to your daily lesson plans and target various instructional strategies, all in one single place? How? Keep reading...
As part of my Action Plan, that followed to my attendance to the Google Teacher Academy MTV12, I proposed a project in which the idea is to create a toolbox for teachers with resources, provided by teachers, in which technology supports the GANAG lesson schema, created by Jane E. Pollock and the 9 high yield instructional strategies, by Marzano, Pickering and Pollock. If you're not familiar with this lesson design and strategies, visit this link and the ones included below to learn more. 

Project Description: To create a database that will provide ideas, tools, and examples on how to integrate technology to each of the steps in the GANAG lesson schema and the 9 high yield Instructional strategies (Classroom Instruction that Works, Marzano, Pickering and Pollock, 2001).

For this, I've developed a Google form with which I'd like to collect a variety of resources, such as web sites, ideas, lesson plans, sample work, etc. that involves the use of technology, for each of the 5 steps in the GANAG lesson schema and for each of the 9 High Yield Instructional Strategies. A brief example of what I'm looking for can be found in a older post on my blog.

I greatly appreciate the time invested in providing this valuable information for the project. 

You can check back at the web site to see what has been posted so far. This is a work in progress and will be updated continuously as new material is submitted.

I'd love to learn more about your experience with lesson planning and design and technology!

Got more ideas? No problem. You can fill out the form as many times as needed!

Thanks again!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Creating QR Codes

Last week, fourth grade students started working on a project about Native Americans. They will create an exhibit of the different tribes that includes artifacts, pictures, posters, and QR codes. Parents will be invited, along with other teachers. The kids are so excited preparing for this special day! What is new to the kids is what is a QR code, how to create one and what to do with it.

Well, QR code stands for Quick Response code. It works in a similar way as barcodes do. In this case, the image is a matrix that shows an arrangement of squares. 

A QR code contains information. It could be a URL, text, a telephone number, etc. In order to "read" a QR code, you will need a QR scanner. There are apps you can download to your mobile device and easily read these codes. The iPad app we use at school is called "Scan".

There are two QR code generators I suggest using:

QR Stuff
In this application, you can create a code for many types of data, such as URL, YouTube video, Plain text, Telephone number, and many more. At school we use the Plain Text option. A bonus that the kids love is that you are able to change the color of the generated code. What happens is that the QR code will actually contain the data. Therefore, the code can be read even without Internet connection. The disadvantage is that it is best for short snippets of text, otherwise, the code becomes so complicated that it is difficult for the scanner to read it.

In the QR Code Maker, you can type or copy-paste any amount of information. You can include links to online images, or upload an image too. The beauty of this application is that it generates a link (http://bit.ly/11GzmtS) that is included in the QR code. Therefore, the code always has the same density. As a bonus you can add buttons to Facebook and Google+.

Children then download the images, enlarge them, print them and paste them on their poster board. They will need an iPad or iPod for the big day, as part of their exhibit material.

Have you incorporated QR codes to your teaching? I'd love to hear how.