Robin Martin

What are those crazy little black square anyway? Now you see them in magazines, newspapers, grocery stores and even on a billboard! Quick Response Codes were created for the auto industry in Japan, and have bee adopted by many businesses as a new means of communication. The blocks are much like the bar code we commonly see on packaging and hides information that can be a photo, video, image or audio message.

Why to we need them? More information can be stored in this type of image than a simple bar code. For example:

  • Create a welcome video of yourself, put it on a wiki. Create a QRCode (more info below) that will go right to that video when the code is scanned! Great for “Sneak-a-Peak” or Open House for parent to learn a bit about you.
  • A QRCode can be on a book as a book review for others to see a video or text that students or teachers have created.
  • Science teachers have made QRCodes for each station of a lab. Students scan the code to see the directions.
  • In a magazine a company places a QRCode with a celebrity endorsement of the product and  a link to a coupon!
  • QRCodes in a grocery store can be scanned for recipe information, nutritional information or cookbook of ideas how to prepare the food.
  • Museums are using QRCodes at different exhibits to add an audio file so you can listen to someone telling more about the items on display.
  • Create a scavenger hunt around your classroom or school with the QRCodes scaning to videos that students have made or posters about your content.

HOW TO CREATE A QRCODE
The real first step begins by creating the content you want people to see when they scan the code. Decide what the code will reveal. Will it be a text document to download, an audio recording that will play when scanned, you get to chose. Take a look at this site as a qrcode generator: http://www.qrstuff.com/ On the left side of the page you can select what type of data will be revealed when you scan the code you create. There are so many choices from websites, to a PayPal purchase link! This site takes you through the process step by step.
So let’s create one together.

  1. Here is a video about how to cut a mango: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvLdPjpELyU That will be our target. Copy the URL.
  2. Go to http://www.qrstuff.com/ and select YouTube video on the left side in step 1.
  3. Now in Step 2, in the Video ID box type “How to cut a mango”
  4. In the Video URL, put the URL or web address of the video (see above YouTube address).
  5. Click in the circle “Embed URL into code as-is”
  6. Step 3 allows you to select the foreground color of your QRCode. I would suggest using a color that is not too light as it is sometimes difficult to scan correctly. Click in the color box to select a color.
  7. Finally you will see a preview of your code and under that preview is a download button. Download the code and print it out in a size that will fit on a 3 x 5 card. Too big (8 x 11) might be too pixelated to work properly too.
  8. Print the code and post it in your classroom for people to scan.

HOW TO SCAN A QRCODE
You can scan a qrcode with an app for any device including a computer. If not sure what to use, look it up on Google to find one and install it. I use  ”Scan” on my iPhone and iPad mini and “QRJournal” for my laptop/desktop. One of the features I like about these apps is the way it keeps each code, so I can go back the revisit a site another day.

Now go back and scan that code for the mango video and you should be taken directly to that site. Look for these codes in the newspaper and scan a few to see how the media uses the codes to promote products, then you can use codes to promote learning!

ADVANCED SKILLS
Once you master the creating of qrcodes, try some of these ideas to make codes different colors, or that have graphics included as a part of the code!
My resources are here: http://bit.ly/19u6ONS on my diigo account. The links include lesson ideas, how to make codes with graphics and creative uses on YouTube. Help yourself.

Robin Martin

What are those crazy little black square anyway? Now you see them in magazines, newspapers, grocery stores and even on a billboard! Quick Response Codes were created for the auto industry in Japan, and have bee adopted by many businesses as a new means of communication. The blocks are much like the bar code we commonly see on packaging and hides information that can be a photo, video, image or audio message.

Why to we need them? More information can be stored in this type of image than a simple bar code. For example:

  • Create a welcome video of yourself, put it on a wiki. Create a QRCode (more info below) that will go right to that video when the code is scanned! Great for “Sneak-a-Peak” or Open House for parent to learn a bit about you.
  • A QRCode can be on a book as a book review for others to see a video or text that students or teachers have created.
  • Science teachers have made QRCodes for each station of a lab. Students scan the code to see the directions.
  • In a magazine a company places a QRCode with a celebrity endorsement of the product and  a link to a coupon!
  • QRCodes in a grocery store can be scanned for recipe information, nutritional information or cookbook of ideas how to prepare the food.
  • Museums are using QRCodes at different exhibits to add an audio file so you can listen to someone telling more about the items on display.
  • Create a scavenger hunt around your classroom or school with the QRCodes scaning to videos that students have made or posters about your content.

HOW TO CREATE A QRCODE
The real first step begins by creating the content you want people to see when they scan the code. Decide what the code will reveal. Will it be a text document to download, an audio recording that will play when scanned, you get to chose. Take a look at this site as a qrcode generator: http://www.qrstuff.com/ On the left side of the page you can select what type of data will be revealed when you scan the code you create. There are so many choices from websites, to a PayPal purchase link! This site takes you through the process step by step.
So let’s create one together.

  1. Here is a video about how to cut a mango: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvLdPjpELyU That will be our target. Copy the URL.
  2. Go to http://www.qrstuff.com/ and select YouTube video on the left side in step 1.
  3. Now in Step 2, in the Video ID box type “How to cut a mango”
  4. In the Video URL, put the URL or web address of the video (see above YouTube address).
  5. Click in the circle “Embed URL into code as-is”
  6. Step 3 allows you to select the foreground color of your QRCode. I would suggest using a color that is not too light as it is sometimes difficult to scan correctly. Click in the color box to select a color.
  7. Finally you will see a preview of your code and under that preview is a download button. Download the code and print it out in a size that will fit on a 3 x 5 card. Too big (8 x 11) might be too pixelated to work properly too.
  8. Print the code and post it in your classroom for people to scan.

HOW TO SCAN A QRCODE
You can scan a qrcode with an app for any device including a computer. If not sure what to use, look it up on Google to find one and install it. I use  ”Scan” on my iPhone and iPad mini and “QRJournal” for my laptop/desktop. One of the features I like about these apps is the way it keeps each code, so I can go back the revisit a site another day.

Now go back and scan that code for the mango video and you should be taken directly to that site. Look for these codes in the newspaper and scan a few to see how the media uses the codes to promote products, then you can use codes to promote learning!

ADVANCED SKILLS
Once you master the creating of qrcodes, try some of these ideas to make codes different colors, or that have graphics included as a part of the code!
My resources are here: http://bit.ly/19u6ONS on my diigo account. The links include lesson ideas, how to make codes with graphics and creative uses on YouTube. Help yourself.

Scan this code!

Robin Martin

August 15 has been named Leadership Day by Scott McLeod. So he asks bloggers to contribute to the conversation about leadership and you can follow the posts from bloggers with the hashtag #leadershipday13. There have been over 400 posts about leadership in the years Scott has lead us to write. You can read them at the link above.

I believe everyone has some skill that they can use in a leadership capability. Some people can lead others, inspiring them to do great things in life and for the organization. Others can lead quietly by guiding the flow of a conversation to a productive set of goals. What are your leadership skills?
Are you a goal oriented type-A person who pushes others to work steadfast to complete tasks? Do you have the subtle way to helps others arrive at a consensus?

As I look around the building I teach in, I see many different leaders. I see people who lead by serving others. This can be by organizing a canned food drive to the person who quietly stays after a pot luck lunch and organizes the clean up crew. We have an amazing amount of charitable work organized by our staff. It is truly a great model for the students to see their teachers giving this time and effort for the community. Great leadership is here as people step up to organize a giving tree, a garden which produces produce for the local food bank, a Relay for Life team and fundraisers, sandwich making for shelters, and so much more. Even someone who organizes meals for a needly staff member or gifts for Secretary’s Day is a leader.

We also have organization leaders. Those folks are efficient at running a meeting and working with a group. Others are leaders by coaching. That coaching can be as a musical organization, drama, academic competition, student organizations and of course sporting coaches. There are a lot of different organizational skills in being this type of leader, but it is a talent some people have and enjoy it.
Leadership can be in the form of expertise in subject matter. Even after attending several workshops this summer about edtech, I know there are people in my building that know more than I do about certain software packages or even techniques for using them. I consider them a leader/expert in that area.

Will you lead by creating an awesome lesson and sharing with other people who teach the same unit? Can you lead by being the positive force in a meeting? Leading people away from whining or the negative forces that can invade is another type of leadership.
How will you lead your class into a future that is uncertain. Will you show that you are willing to take risks with using new technologies in your lessons? You know there are leaders right next door that would be willing to share their successes to help you succeed.

CFPMS is a community of different leaders. I’ll bet your school is full of different types of leaders as well. Our administrators are considered our educational leaders, policy enforcers, and overall leaders of the staff and students. So don’t sit back and enjoy the ride by letting others do the work, step up and use your expertise and lead at least 2 others to something new. What will it be? A curriculum tip, a new tech idea, or an organizational chart? You have so much to offer, so share, and pay it forward.

Happy Leadership Day to all!

Robin Martin

B I N G O ! What do you think of? Bingo is a game that kids can play as soon as they recognize numbers. I have seen BINGO games with photos, clipart and letters as well.

I created BINGO cards to use with teacher training this year. The real challenge for teachers, will be to fill out the whole card, but getting newbies to try new ideas may be harder than I imagine, so BINGO  it is.

There are several sites that offer free BINGO such as this list: http://bit.ly/17HNwhf. Some allow images, phrases, multi-word entries. On some sites you can set the size of the card to 5 x 5. 4 x 4, or something else. Be sure to read about the bingo type before spending a lot of time creating. Begin by making a list of words or images on a text document. I found myself editing the list numerous times while reviewing the .pdf created at the end.

The site I chose was:  http://print-bingo.com/  This site allowed me to create a list of bingo words and it randomized the list for  a certain umber of cards. Custom cards can be generated in 1, 2, or 4 per page formats. You can also customize the column headers (i.e. if you don’t want it to say BINGO at the top, you can change it!) I used this list for our teachers:

Make a Voice Thread                         Create a Twitter Account

Tried Evernote                                   Read a blog

Make a Google Map                           Played an App Game

Edit a photo                                       Played a puzzle app or online

Used a weather app                            Used a Health or Fitness app

Tried Shazaam                                   Bookmark Keeper

Used Discovery Ed video                    Used a QR Code

Found DiscoveryED lesson                  Find YouTube Vid for class

Read Copyright page                           Make a Video for class

Share a GDoc w/class                         Made an Audio Recording

Added an App to Chrome                     Used PicCollage

Make Word Cloud                                Big Huge Labs Project

 

On this site, I chose 5 x 5 cards to print 2 on a page. A normal bingo game has 75 numbers. I used this above list and put it into the first column and selected any word for any column.

I am going to use this with my students as well. In our school students get their GMail in 6th grade and we go over skills for Docs, Calendar, Mail, searching and this year Chrome apps/extensions. So I’ll need to create 24 skills that I want students to understand when using Google.

You can choose just about any topic for BINGO with your class. Why not create a BINGO card of all the different things someone could do with the many DiscoveryEd resources!

Robin Martin

How on earth will you improve your teaching style, resources, connections to other educators, find out what is current in your field or even contribute to others if you do not have a PLN (professional learning network)? Do you read at least 2 journals in your field? Have you attended a workshop about your curriculum in the past six months? Have you ever presented at a faculty meeting or seminar of your peers? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you can improve your content with one easy connection, Twitter.

OK so you don’t get it. You feel like you have nothing to contribute. Well you can “lurk” for a long time and learn quite a bit. So let’s get started. First go to Twitter.com and create an account. It’s funny, but your Twitter handle is quite meaningful. Many people just use their name either first last or first initial last or a combination of the two. Some people use other words that are meaningful. So think about it.

Next, fill in your profile and be sure to put that you are an educator. People you want to follow may check your profile and see if you are in education before they follow back. Mention what level you teach and perhaps a hobby. There is not a lot of room for many facts.

Deciding who to follow is up to you. Here is a hint; find a person you know about and search for their name on the Twitter page and click on the follow button. Now look through their list of people THEY follow and select a few more people to follow by clicking on their name then the follow button. You will begin to collect people to follow this way. I follow other tech teachers I meet at conferences, workshops, people I read about and people I know through DiscoveryEducation.You are welcome to look at the list of people I follow (RMOM352) and select from my list. Don’t look at followers, look at the following. I also follow teachers in my building. Some people will follow you back, some will not.

Often I see Tweets that say “Please welcome my friend HamKidz to Twitter and follow her”. Then you may suddenly get some new followers. You still do not have to Tweet anything. Just follow others and glen ideas, links and lessons from teachers all over the country.

Another way you can addd to your PLN is to read some blogs about education or about your subject matter. You can search for bloggers in Google by using “elementary teacher blogs” or edtech teacher blogs and your return will list many choices. Read through the descriptions and read some, weekly. Make a commitment to read blogs from other teachers. You will be surprised what you can learn from this resource.

If you are reading this blog, then you know that DiscoveryEducation has blogs for many state organizations as well as some specialty blogs. This is a very good place to begin reading about content and education.

To find bloggers to follow, read the NEA journal or Scholastic Magazine, Teaching & Learning Magazine, or Edutopia. There are often articles by professionals that you can follow online.

Once you feel comfortable reading and learning from others, you are ready to contribute your latest lesson idea or something that worked in your classroom. On Twitter you only need less than 140 characters to share an idea, so being a prolific writer is not necessary!

Robin Martin

I have heard of this site before, but really did not have any ideas about how to use it. After attending workshop with Jim Gates, he shared some fun ideas for any classroom. WA is a mix of search engine and computation. If you wanted to know how much caffeine was in tea the search would respond with a page full of information about general tea for 12 ounces, how it is compared to other foods, and minerals that might be found in tea. Change it to green tea and see the difference. Look up the calories in a candy bar, then compare two different candy bars and you will see nutritional information about each one.

It is a wealth of information right at your fingertips and is FREE. Yes you can get much the same information on Google or Bing, but WA provides more information that you didn’t ask for, but applies to your search. To get a better idea, visit this page: ww.wolframalpha.com/examples and see some samples of searches. Find something you can use to kick off a lesson or end a lesson. Give your students some bizarre fact that can be memorable. Here are some categories that Wolfram Alpha offers some data:
Assign your students the task of creating some comparison searches. There are hundreds of ways you use this comparison information in a math lesson too!
Robin Martin

For each of the days of August I will share some simple ideas you can use in your classroom. Try them before school begins so you have time to explore all of the ways you can integrate these skills into early lessons.

Where do you keep your bookmarks? On your school computer or your home computer? What if you need a bookmark and you are not in one of those places? There are so many different ways you can keep your bookmarks online so that can be accessed from any computer or device connected to the Internet. Let’s explore a few.

The most visual way I have found to share your bookmarks is through Symbaloo.com This is a site that allows you to add an icon to a button that takes you to the designated site. The buttons can be organized by topic, by tabs. There are good learning tools and videos to help you create your Symbaloo. You may want a tab for SharkWeek, one for Photography skills, or whatever you may be studying. There are many samples you can view or subscribe to, here is a sample of a Symbaloo I created as a start page for some school computers at our school:  http://www.symbaloo.com/shared/AAAAAnL3kR4AA41_HBAUBw==

Another visual way to keep and share bookmarks is through a site called scoop.it This actually adds the title and an image from the page you are bookmarking, along with a bit of text to tease the viewer. You can organize by tag, but with this service, I bookmark by topic. I have a general scoop.it for interesting web ideas: http://www.scoop.it/t/weekly-web-wonders  another one for good photography links: http://www.scoop.it/t/photography-nikon and one scoop for recipes: http://www.scoop.it/t/great-recipies. There are thousands of scoops you can follow and even suggest a link for that person to add to the scoop. This also has a button you can add to your browser that makes it easy to curate.

Diigo or Delicious? There is a debate about which service is better, but actually both have excellent merits. First choose one and create an account. Then look for a little script button that you can add to  your browser. This is what makes it easy to curate different web links. But the real powerful part of saving so many bookmarks is to be sure and “tag” the bookmarks. Tagging is simply the process of identifying key words that are meaningful to that link. If I bookmark the site for the Grand Canyon I might use tags like; geology NPS or National Park, science or Arizona. A bookmark for a lesson for using Scratch programming in the classroom might have the tags; programming, scratch, lessons, lessonplans. You make the tags whatever is meaningful for you.

Google has a bookmark extension you can install in your browser. It will crete a small button that you can click when you want to save a bookmark. Again, use tags to organize them. Of course you need a Google account to do this and that is free. More information can be found here: http://bit.ly/134KfMQ

More sites to consider are: iKeepBookmarks.com, Weave (Add-on) for Firefox, BookmarkKeeper.com, myBookmarks.com. There are so many more, so please add a comment if you use anything different. But if you do not currently have a bookmark keeper, pick one and get started!

Robin Martin

The annual Games in Education Symposium was held in Malta, NY. Over 200 educators spent 2 days immersed in workshops from “Getting started in Gamifying your Classroom” to advanced “Minecraft for Teachers”. I found out about this from two teachers from NY that I met at San Antonio ISTE social sponsored by TechSmith. It just shows that connections for one thing an be found an any place!

One inspiring session was offered by John Fallon and how he created an alternate reality game for his class study of Odyssey with 7th grade boys. He created videos, puzzles, an alternate personality with an email account to communicate with students and fake documents. John mentioned that he started the unit with a fake article he “found” online and hooked the students into finding more information. In their search for information, students will learn about Odyssey, plot and characters. It blends some academic time with out of school time for students to complete the mission. He created the puzzles, riddles and process in several weeks of planning. There were even other teachers in the school involved as “characters” in this mission.

This session was so inspiring to see that some teachers are stepping out of the box to plan exciting lessons for their students to master content! I look forward to following John’s tweets and how this progresses in his second year of implementation. He is a very creative thinker!

Then I learned more about using the free games in the BrainPop site. From BrainPOP home page click on GameUP for FREE games! Many are from MIT game group. They are organized by subject and most begin with some type of graphic novel. The game Lure of the Labrynth is a good starting place for gaming. It includes a short video if you get stuck, lesson ideas, a game quiz and more. The concept is problem solving that gets gradually more difficult. Some feel that it is a good start to Algebra concepts.

After viewing some of the BrainPOP games as well as the Classroom Inc programs I came across the SportsNetwork2 game. Sports Network2 is geared for 8th graders and int concept is their interaction with the business and organization of a sports franchise. There are letters to write, ads to check and some math to do with income and expenses in the game. This is a free program and for more information contact http://classroominc.org Both of these sites are a good starting place if you want to a gaming experience to your classroom.

I think I am going to try this with my Monday club activity next school year. I always get students who like gaming, but are bored with what I have in my classroom. This might be a good challenge and fun for them to explore!

Classroom Inc – non-profit organization

Twitter: @classroominc

teachervoice@classroominc.org

This session was two hours in length  for learning about ARIS and experience a quest. ARIS is an online platform that allows you to create a quest with characters and items. When the quest is created you can have the qrcode reveal an image, photo, audio or video file. There are quests already created, but most are location based and you need to be where the game is intended for it to work.

Doing the quest first, we had a group of four and each person had a different role to play in the activity. The quest was location based and we followed some QR codes and clues to solve the crime of who took the answer codes from the teachers desk. Each person in the group HAD to scan the qrcode because we each had different replies and activities to do.

I look forward to learning more about ARIS and creating some fun activity for the classroom. More information can be found at: http://arisgames.org/make/ Be sure to look for the .pdf manual.

Games In Education

Robin Martin

Copyright Symbol from MediaEducationLab.com

For each of the days of August I will share some simple ideas you can use in your classroom. Try them before school begins so you have time to explore all of the ways you can integrate these skills into early lessons.

Although this does not require a project for students, knowledge of copyright infringement is important for everyone. Today’s teen does not see a problem with creating a music mix CD of songs they have in their iTunes account and giving them to friends. Actually most people think that if they own the music they can remix or burn it and give it away. That is not the case and is a violation of copyright law.

Showing a video you rent without the proper license is highly illegal too. As teachers we need to know what is legal and what is not. We must teach our students in every class about proper use and citations of information. This is not a job just for the language arts teachers, it is the responsibility of al teachers. Model proper behavior and cite your sources for anything you use or put up on the board in your classroom. In any presentation, have a citation page at the end so students see you have done the proper thing with citing your work.

A few tips her will help you stay compliant:
  1. Cite EVERYTHING you use, including text, facts, photos, images, video and music.
  2. Print this chart and post in your classroom (yes it is allowed!); http://bit.ly/16vSvV6
  3. Share what you learn with your students and the teacher next to you.
  4. To show a video you rent legally, option a license from this site: http://movlic.com/ This will cover your school 24/7 or any video performance. The license is for a school.
  5. This is from Robert Byrne’s blog, “Free Tech 4 Teachers” at http://bit.ly/16vRjRA  It is a review of the site http://youtu.be/2UWaQK5Wbvs Copyright on Campus and is worth your review.  Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; 
    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; 
    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and 
    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Resources to review:
  1. The Media Education Lab http://mediaeducationlab.com/curriculum/materials - from the University of Rhode Island has curriculum resources for K-12.
  2. This presentation was created by Wed Fryer and offers many good suggestions for teachers:  http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/1032491
  3. I have collected over 60 sites which contain information about Fair Use, copyright, intellectual property and more. http://bit.ly/16vTy7i
  4. A very cute video that follows copyright law by using Disney fairy tales: http://bit.ly/1eoAatS
  5. Creative Commons License – to protect your own intellectual property, read this site!
  6. Don’t forget all of the great resources you can find in DiscoveryEducation library as well. But remember they are exclusive to subscribers to DE services and may not be redistributed.
Robin Martin

Hey Den Stars, come share, and network with other educators at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The event is open to DEN STARS, as well as potential STARS. So we are challenging all Den Stars to bring along a school colleague that might be interested in becoming a DEN Star! Just please have them fill out this form http://bit.ly/13B2Zxl so we can have an accurate count for lunch.

We will meet in the lobby of the museum at 10 am. The admission to the museum is free to all educators. Just fill out this form and bring it with you. http://www.ansp.org/~/media/Files/ans/education/other/teacheradmissionpass.ashxDress comfortably as we will be touring the museum from top to bottom gathering pictures and information to use in our classrooms. So bring along your technology-cameras, phones, iPads, etc.
Lunch will be provided. During our working lunch we will be sharing how we use Discovery Educations tools and other apps to enhance our students learning. We will have WiFi available during this time.

September 14, 2013

10 am – 3 pm

Academy of Natural Science

1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkw

y
Philadelphia, PA 19103