Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Use of QR codes in Schools

Back when I was in high school, the use of cell-phones and iPods in school were banned.  Now teacher are finding new ways to connect with students on a level that the pupils already know.  A new approach to teaching is an innovative tool called QR codes.  QR codes are black and white graphic codes that are designed to be read by an electronic scanner. These codes can link a person to websites, telephone numbers, sms messages, email addresses, etc.
Image used: from flickr.com with
permission from The Daring Librarian

Teachers are now beginning to integrate these images into their classroom and lessons.  Some teachers use them for students to navigate their own lessons on their own and to find information valuable to the assignment.  Other teachers use them in order for pupils to check their answers for previous homework assignments.  One might think, isn't it easier to just give them websites rather than making a code?  These codes are much simpler to make than you would think.  This QR link helps teachers create them by just putting a simple URL in the space provided.
Overall, this is a new and intriguing tool to start incorporating into the classroom.  I know it's something I will definitely consider when trying to plan lessons in my future classroom.

For those of you with a smartphone, you can capture this QR code and look at this website about the use of QR codes in the classroom.  Otherwise you can follow this link provided.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Intergration of Youtube into the Classroom

Anymore, technology is crucial in the classroom.  It can help any type of learner, especially the visual learner.  One tool that teachers are really beginning to utilize is the infamous YouTube. A teacher can find almost any topic that they would like to talk about on the site.  For instance, everyday before we start the lesson for my science class, the professor shows us a YouTube clip pertaining to science.  It is a great way to get the student's attention.

It also helps someone who can't really understand something written on paper.  YouTube provides the visuals to give a student extra hands on help.  There are many videos that talk about math, history, science, etc. and makes it fun.  They also give students another resource to include in presentations to help captivate the audience.

It is a great resource, but just like anything else, it needs to be used cautiously.  A teacher needs to view the video before they try and show it to the class.  There is a need for censoring and choosing the best videos pertaining to your subject.

Here are 10 Tips for using YouTube in the Classroom

Image used: from flickr.com with permission from PIAZZA del POPOLO

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Social Media in Today's Classroom

What would the world be today without Social Media?  I don't have an answer to such a big question, but I certainly know what my life would be like without it.  I'm not going to lie, I am addicted to Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I am constantly on my iPhone either texting, going on social media sites, or listening to Pandora.  I know I am not alone in this type of lifestyle and most wouldn't be able to give up that kind of social connection.  More and more teenagers and pre-teens are starting to follow the same trend too.  So what can we do in order to engage them in learning instead of their phones or the internet. Back when I attended South Winneshiek High School, phones were banned and Facebook was simply unthinkable.  However, two years later, every kid from 5th to 12th grade has their own laptop and 3rd and 4th graders have their own iPads.  The growth of technology is obvious and my former principal and teachers have taken notice.  Now they incorporate a lot of technology into their classrooms, which include taking tests online and having online textbooks.

Image used with permission from South Winneshiek High School

My school isn't the only school that is incorporating technology into the classroom.  Some schools are going as far as working Social Networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook into the classroom.  In the article I have linked, it talks about a school in New Jersey who uses Twitter and Facebook to connect to the parents and students of the school.  One might argue that this is intruding into the students personal lives, but I think it is an interesting thing.  With the school being on Facebook, doesn't that help monitor student's online interactions?  Doesn't it help teach them what to not post on Facebook before it's too late?  Along with that, teenagers are already so consumed with Social Media, one would think that they would pay more attention what was being taught to them if it was in a format that interests them.

This is a method I feel that needs to be tested.  No one knows what Social Media could do for the future generations learning unless someone tries it.  I say "Kudos" to those schools who are brave enough to take that first step to keeping up with the future.

Read on about other schools with Social Media Influence here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-07-24-schools-social-media_n.htm