QR Code People

CreateQR CodePeople

At the beginning of the year, I like to have the students participate in technology integration projects where students get a chance to describe themselves to their classmates. This project allowed students to use written expression to describe themselves, create a QR code with text, and create a self-portrait. I did this project on the Mac, you can most certainly do this project on the iPad as well.

This project has three parts:

Part 1:

Have students create a QR code with 5 descriptive sentences. I have students use my favorite QR code generator, goqr.me. I like this site because it’s easy to create a QR code with text as well as a QR code that points to a URL. Simply click what type of QR code you want to create, type in the text, and download the QR code to your computer or save it to your camera roll (iOS).

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 4.08.17 PMPart 2:

The QR code will become some part of the “body” of the self-portrait the kids create. I suggested that they could use it as the head or body. I used Kid Pix for this project, but you could use any drawing app on the iPad that will allow the user to import the QR Code into the picture. NOTE: Do not get any ink or color on the QR code or it will not scan. I had students save their work as an image and put it on their desktops for the next step.

Part 3:

The last part of the project is always the most fun for students. Now is where they can scan one another’s QR Codes. Using a QR code reader of your choice, have students use their iPad to scan each other’s “QR Code Person” and read about that person as they determine who is in the self-portrait. Hopefully, this fun project using technology will allow students another way to get to know their classmates while incorporating written expression, typing skills, desktop drawing skills, and using QR codes as a way to get a quick response.

Here are a few examples:

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Dot Day 2015 with Technology Tools

Dot Day in Mrs. Requard's Classes

Dot Day in Mrs. Requard’s Classes

International Dot Day is always something I look forward to. Since I teach technology classes, I knew I had to plan special activities where my students could learn a technology skill while also interacting with the book. First, my students listened to the story using TumbleBooks on our SmartBoard. Next, we had a great discussion about what makes this book special and how each of us contribute unique gifts to this world. Here’s the activities with samples from each grade level:

Fifth Grade:

Students used the Adobe Voice app to retell the story in their own words. They used the app Drawing Pad to insert a drawing into their Adobe Voice project. This added a touch of personalization to their projects. Students practiced the art of retelling a story and also put creative touches on icons, music, themes, and appearance. I loved how these turned out. Here’s a few samples in one short movie:

Fourth Grade:

I had my fourth grade students create art gallery advertisements using Pages. Students added text, changed font, color, and size, and inserted shapes using the shape tool. Once the shapes were inserted, they played with the many features to format their circles. They played with the fill tool, added lines, added rectangles to create a picture frame, explored the arrange tool by sending objects to the front or the back. Students loved figuring out how to add depth to their shapes by adding shadows, reflections, and exploring the opacity of the object. Here are a few samples of my student’s creating their art gallery advertisement:

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Dot Day Art Gallery Advertisements in Pages

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Third Grade:

I had my students create art galleries in Keynote. Like using Pages, using the shape tool in Keynote was very fun for these students. My students explored similar features in Pages and created their very own art galleries followed by a tour of their galleries before class was over. Students practiced so many technological skills when doing this activity. Here are some of the pictures from our “art gallery” in class.

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Dot Day Inspired Art Galleries using Keynote

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Dot Day Inspired Art Galleries!

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Art Gallery Tour

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Art Gallery Tour

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Art Gallery Tour

Second Grade:

Second graders used Drawing Pad to create their own unique dots. Once finished, I wanted to give them the opportunity to bring their dots to life and give their dots a voice by using Chatterbox Kids. This was a fun app smash project. Here are a few samples of their animated dots with voice:

Hope you enjoyed seeing how we’ve MADE OUR MARK this year! #DotDay2015

Say it isn’t so, Paper 53!

New Favorite

I am a fan of iPad and web apps that do not require a login. Since I teach students ranging in ages from 5-11, I need apps that are easy to use, do not require student accounts, and have the ability to share to the camera roll. I do not typically use apps that require a student account or login. In fact, when apps get new updates, often times they will add a login and then I am very hesitant to use the app again. Adobe Voice added this feature in their most recent update and now I have students using one generic email address in order to access the app, but I really don’t prefer to do it this way.

I have always loved Paper 53. I love using it to create sketch notes and I love how the app can be used in various projects in my classroom. For a single user, Paper 53 is a great choice and the updates include really nice features.

I recently received all new iPads for my classroom and naturally, I added Paper 53. As I was planning my lessons for this week, which included the use of Paper 53, I noticed that the first screen prompted a login. There is no way around this, as I tried it on several different iPads. Below is a screen shot of the new login screen. I think the only way to get around this screen is if you’ve already had Paper 53 installed on the iPad and perhaps you can press cancel, if that option exists.

Paper 53 new login screen

When I saw that users now needed a login to access this app, I knew I needed to search for a replacement. I really wanted a replacement that allowed many color choices and a variety of painting tools, especially a water color tool. I was so happy to find the app called Tayasui Sketches. This app is free and has many of the features that I love about Paper 53. Plus, users do not need an account to use the app!

Here are a few screen shots:

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Drawing tools

Drawing tools

Save to camera roll!

Using a “pinch” gesture, you see a variety of sharing/saving options. Students can also save to the camera roll!

If you are like me and do not enjoy creating accounts for students to access various apps, then this might be a great alternative if you are a Paper 53 fan. 🙂

Guess Who? A Getting to Know You Project Using Tech Tools

Guess Who?

Here’s a super fun project that allows students to creatively use technology as a tool to get to know their classmates. In this project, I will show you two of my favorite things…photo editing and CheckThis. I’ve blogged about CheckThis in the past (click here). It’s a  free web application where students can create online posters with so many cool tools…a great way to share learning, create quizzes for classmates, and create quick posters on learning concepts. Best of all, it’s easy and students do not need an account to create! Here’s how it’s done:

Using PhotoBooth on a MacBook, iMac, or iPad, have students take a picture of themselves with the built-in camera.

Click here and click on EDIT. You don’t need an account for this project (this is why I love this site).

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Click on effects and choose the Focal Pixelate option. This will allow the user to pixelate their photo in order to disguise who the person is.

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Another option is using the Skitch app on the iPad to pixelate the photo. Once your photo is Pixelated, then save it to the Camera Roll (iOS) or take a screen shot (OS X) (Command, Shift, 4).

Open up the CheckThis web app. Click on Create New Post and then click Create a Post Online.

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Now, students can title their post. They can delete unwanted elements by clicking on the trash icon. Additionally, students can re-order elements by clicking the gear. To add additional elements, students can click the + sign. For this particular project, I had the students add a title, pixelated photo, 5 descriptive sentences detailing something about themselves (nothing personal), and then poll the audience to see if they can figure out who the person is.

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Once finished, students can personality to their post by changing the colors and fonts.

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Additionally, you can add a custom background and fine-tune who can see the link. I always have the students hide the link so that it’s only visible if you have the links. Then, click publish…no edit.

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You will now have your own URL to share. I usually collect all the URLs via Google Docs and share them with the students the next class period so that they can visit each other’s sites and vote on who is who in their class. Finally, I have students create a QR code as a nice way to showcase this project when they return home from school and show their families.

Here’s an example of my finished poster! Click here to see the live link with the polling feature active. Have fun creating these with your class! The possibilities are truly endless!

Guess Who Project by April Requard

Guess Who Project by April Requard

Happy creating!

April

Creating a Student Technology Team at Your School

SWAT Team

SWAT Team 2014

2013-2014 SWAT Team at North Star Elementary

A student technology team is a great way to create a student-led culture and promotes:

  • Student leaders at school
  • School & community outreach and engagement
  • Teamwork
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Coding Skills
  • Flexible learning environments
  • Compelling evidence of success
  • Public Speaking
  • Confidence
  • Content creation
  • Customer service
  • Student voice

 

SWAT Team 2014

I am getting ready to begin my new SWAT Team (Students Working to Advance Technology) for this new school year. It’s become such an important part of our student culture at my school. I have it open to 4th and 5th graders and they must submit an application and a resume to be considered for the team. In previous years, I have had 20 students on the team. Some of the things we’ve done in the past consist of the following: App reviews and ratings ( identification of how the app is related to instructional goals and content creation), Student Genius Bar (engagement with community and other teachers to get tech support from the students on the team), creation of Tips and Tricks Video Tutorials, tech training for teachers, community service (cleaning iPhones for parents and teachers at school), and an evening event to teach teachers and school leaders how to use iPad apps in the classroom (App Speed Dating).

I think the first step in getting a team going at your school is generating buzz about what students will accomplish by being on the team. Having a name for the team also helps get excitement brewing. Some other school tech teams call their teams Genius Squad, Techsperts, and iWizards to name a few. Next, it’s important to create a competitive application process to ensure you have students that are motivated to work towards accomplishing the goals for the team. I have students complete an application as well as a short resume. Not only does this take time to thoughtfully craft answers, but it allows students to learn how to create a simple resume. Later, I seek input from the home room teacher and carefully review the applications and resumes. Then, the fun begins! The activities you complete with your team will vary depending on the needs of your school.

Click here to download the application and sample resume that I used for recruiting my team.

Click here to view an older post about my SWAT Team’s big Speed Sharing Event.

Click here to see how we conducted our App Reviews

Click here to see our App Speed Share Event website

Best of luck to all your future tech leaders!

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iTunes U Course: Array City in Keynote

I am excited to share my new iTunes U course called Array City in Keynote!

Keynote is my favorite tool for both iPad and Mac. I just love figuring out new ways to use it and I get inspired by seeing something on paper and thinking about how I can bring it to life with Keynote. So, I decided to create a course with one of those ideas and I hope you will think it’s as fun as I do. I saw a lesson on Pinterest that had students making arrays with buildings, but they were using construction paper and glue. I thought it would be cool to take that idea and use the shape tool in Keynote, thus, Array City for Keynote was born!

Using Keynote (iOS), students have the ability to connect the real world to math by constructing large city buildings with the shape tool in Keynote. This is a fun and engaging way to demonstrate knowledge of multiplication & arrays and allows students to be creative while using technology. So much more than just math standards are addressed with this lesson! I hope you’ll subscribe to my course and check it out! The course is for teachers to replicate this idea or lesson with their students. All you need is an iPad with iTunes U, then click on this link to download the course! Thanks in advance for giving it some love! 🙂

https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/array-city-in-keynote/id1024001059

iTunes U Course: Array City

iTunes U Course: Array City

The Power in Educreations

I’m a huge fan of apps on the iPad that allow students and teachers the opportunity to record their thinking and share it with others. I love Explain Everything, Screen Chomp, Doceri, and Educreations. My top two are Explain Everything ($2.99) and Educreations (Free). In this post, I’d like to specifically focus on Educreations as a powerful tool in reaching goals to meet Common Core Standards. Here’s what I love about this app:

-If you visit http://www.educreations.com, you can view free lessons that other teachers and students have created. For example, if you are looking for a lesson on equivalent fractions for 4th grade, you can search for that and learn from someone else.  Here is an example.

-It allows you to turn your iPad into a recordable whiteboard.

-You can insert photos directly from your camera or camera roll and annotate onto the photos while recording your voice. Additionally, you can move photos around and place them in various places on your screen all while recording.

-You can easily email recordings to parents, teachers, and students. You can also share these to the “public” on the Educreations site.


 

Here’s some ideas in supporting the CCSS:

-Screen recordings allow students to share information on topics in a way that is completely unique to them. For example, a student might have a difficult time conveying his or her knowledge on equivalent fractions in written form, but might find it particularly easier to “teach” it to his or her teacher via screen recording. Students will find different ways to answer questions in ways others may not have thought about.

-Screen recordings give the teacher an advantage to really “get inside a student’s head” and listen to them explain a concept or problem.

-Screen recordings aren’t just for students. Screen recordings are a powerful tool for a teacher to record lessons on content and share it with students who are absent or need a review.

-Think about using screen recordings for an assessment tool. Play their assessment for parents at P/T conferences.

-Use screen recordings as an “Exit Ticket” in making sure standards have been met and understanding has set in.

-Share a student’s creative and powerful work with others by sharing their recording on your blog, wiki, or to your class Edmodo page, to name a few.

-Use Educreations as a weekly assessment in math or reading. Think of the great digital portfolio you could build to document student’s growth.

-Have students record oral descriptions for something they’ve created on the iPad. For example, my students recently created faces using the app, Faces iMake, and I had them create screen recordings to orally describe what they had created.

-Have students practice reading text aloud and talking about key vocabulary while recording.

If you haven’t had your students participate in screen recordings, you will be amazed at the power in these tools. I encourage you to check it out…create an account on educreations.com and begin the next school year by recording your student’s as they think aloud and see how it deepens your understanding about their knowledge.

A few examples:

Click here for a math example

Click here for an example of practicing oral descriptions

 

Enjoy!