QR codes for orienteering

Some time last year, I showed Phys Ed teacher Andrew Thickins’ year 11 Outdoor Ed class how to make their own QR codes. The students had developed online surveys and posters to advertise said surveys. I suggested adding QR codes to them, which a fair number of the class did.

 Andrew also follows the innovative way technology can enhance Phys Ed learning and teaching as shown by Jared Robinson on his The PE Geek blog. It was here that Andrew read about using QR codes for orienteering.

So late last year Andrew and colleague Tom Williams began developing an orienteering unit for year 9 using QR codes. They are happy to share the documents they developed here:

Before the activity began, students who had smart phones were asked to come to the front of the class. Then teams were allocated so that each team had at least one person with a smart phone.
Some of the lessons were conducted on foot and some on bikes. The students really enjoyed the interactivity of the unit as some of the QR codes linked to videos and websites to give clues.

It was certainly an engaging unit and a big thanks to Andrew and Tom for developing something really engaging and also willingly sharing it here.

Sorry blog

Dear blog,

Please forgive me. I’ve neglected you. I’ve been spending lots of time curating three new topics on scoop.it; My dream school, eBooks and libraries and Teach meets, in addition to my other topics Pottermore and Are you game.

I’ve been sidetracked by lots of items that came up at the #plnlead day lead by Will Richardson at the State Library of Victoria on 20 July. Some of the notes from the day can be accessed here:

Some of these items include writing part of an article on the #vicpln program and hashtag for the Australian College of Educators and collaborating with other teachers in forming the #plnaction group and writing a response to the DEECD New Directions paper for school leadership and the teaching profession.

And I’ve been busy preparing and presenting my session on Creative literacies and QR codes for the AToM conference held on Saturday 11 August at the State Library of Victoria. I’ve been unfaithful as I used a posterous blog for this material.

Is there any way you’ll forgive me? I know it’s all my fault and I’d hate to break up as we’ve been together for a while now and I think we understand each other. Let me know what you think. I know I ate your chocolates too, but you hadn’t touched them.

Love, me xx

So how’s that ‘to do list’ going?

You may (or may not) remember I wrote a post back in early February about what I wanted to achieve at school this year. I wrote that I wanted to:

  • Ereader survey for school website
  • Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
  • Pininterest for new books and topics?
  • Twitter/fb?
  • Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
  • Podcasts for wiki
  • EBooks
  • QR codes for fiction
  • Add list of useful apps to wiki
  • Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
  • Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
  • Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
  • Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school
So how did I fare?
  1. Ereader survey for school website. Yes I did get this survey out to students, parents and staff. It was overwhelmingly positive in terms of the availability of eReading devices. Many students and parents wanted to be able to access eBooks. Staff, not so much.
  2. Diigo for subjects, link to wiki. Yes I’ve got the Diigo account up and running for school. It’s been useful so far, but I am putting more items on the school eLibrary wiki than on Diigo at the moment.
  3. Pininterest for new books and topics? I did sign up for a school Pininterest and stating adding some great stuff for art and reading. However, after reading Phil Bradley’s blog post, I deleted the account due to worries about copyright infringement and basically being a poor digital citizenship role model to our students.
  4. Twitter/fb? I set up a Twitter account for school and have some student followers. This has also helped develop relationships with our local public library and other local services. I went to a Facebook PD for schools, but as long as all Facebook comments need post-moderation, I cannot see our school going for Facebook.
  5. Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too. I started a book blog using Posterous. I would love students to email in their book reviews to share to others. This should begin happening soon as our year 9s and 10s are receiving their 1:1 tablets today.
  6. Podcasts for wiki. I’ve been adding some podcasts to the wiki, like the ones the ABC Radio does for VCE texts.
  7. EBooks. We’ve looked into eBooks with several presentations from vendors. We’re not suited to a subscription model, so we’ll wait a little longer to see how we can go about this. We want and need eBooks!
  8. QR codes for fiction. I’ve been adding QR codes to fiction books to link to book trailers and again as per point 5, students will begin creating their own book trailers and linked QR codes to be placed on books for peer recommendations.
  9. Add list of useful apps to wiki. There has been a link to apps for Bloom’s, but I need to add more.
  10. Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page. Yes, these have been added.
  11. Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10. I haven’t been able to get a full scale competition happening at school (it is hard when you’re 0.4), I do have entrants for the State Finals in November.
  12. Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed. Yes, all blog posts now automatically feed to Twitter.
  13. Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school. See point 7.
I’ve also added lots of videos and links to the wiki to support learning and have had a number of teachers comment about its usefulness. The stats are very encouraging too.
I’ve continued writing the school cybersafety blog with 5 posts per week.
I’ve also been running lots of professional learning sessions on using the tablets to support learning, differentiated learning and OneNote sessions.
So all in all, things are on track and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. Thanks to my wonderful Principal for supporting all of my forays into social media on behalf of the school!

Library to do list 2012

So I returned to work yesterday and very pleased to be back. I have a lot of things on my to do list this year and now I’m 0.4, I’ve got more of a chance of achieving them. So here goes:

Ereader survey for school website
Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
Pininterest for new books and topics?
Twitter/fb?
Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
Podcasts for wiki
EBooks 
QR codes for fiction
Add list of useful apps to wiki
Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school

This is above and beyond what will be required of me in terms of providing professional learning for staff. The good news is that the Heads of Library and English support the idea of the Readers Cup wholeheartedly; the Principal agreed to a library Twitter account and I’ve started that as well as a book and reading blog and Diigo account. I’ve linked the blogs to Twitterfeed and Diigo via Packratius. I’m pleased with my progress considering we had meetings until 2.30pm yesterday and I don’t return to work until Monday.

I’m also really pleased how supportive the admin are and most teachers seemed genuinely pleased to be back. I’m looking forward to what else might appear on my radar in 2012. I wonder what it might be? What’s on your 2012 to do list?

QR code success using iPad and iPod touch

Following the flurry of posts in the past few days about using QR codes for learning and particularly Steven Anderson‘s excellent post yesterday about using QR codes with students who don’t have access to mobile devices with cameras, I wondered if I could use my iPad to read the QR codes.

The answer is yes. Although the iPad and the older iPod touch doesn’t have a camera, there are two ways that it can read a QR code. A little messy though it can be, I wanted to prove that it can be done.

Code embedded in website

1. Install the  free Unboxed lite QR code reader app from the App Store to your iPad/iPod touch. (I’m sure others work as well, but this is the one I had success with.)

Screen shot 2010-12-23 at 9.40.12 AM

2. Take a screenshot of the website on the iPad or iPod touch (click home and power buttons at the same time.) I used Steven Anderson’s post from yesterday that set me thinking about how I could access QR codes with an iPad.

photo2

3. Open Unboxed lite and select the screen button (be aware that you might not like some of the ads on Unboxed lite)

photo3

4. Click on “open website” and voila!

Printed Code

If the QR code has been printed out (I used Kaywa for my test printout), here is how you can use your iPad to access the QR code content.

1. Take a photo of the code with any digital camera. (Here is the QR code that I had printed out.)

qrcode

2. Attach the camera to the iPad with the iPad camera connection kit.

3. Import the photo into the iPad.

4. Open Unboxed lite and select the screen image. That will take you to your photos and select the appropriate one.

5. You then are given the website details and to access click on “open website”.

photo1

It is a little messy but it can be done. This may open up the use of QR codes to a wider variety of library patrons and students.

I also highly recommend Gwyneth Jones‘s clever and attractive guide to QR codes for more information.