As I was prepping for a “Tech Tuesday” talk on Twitter for one of my campuses my mind traveled back to the Region IV Tech Apps Conference held in October. It was there that the infamous @robynhrivnatz gave her “50 Folks to Follow” presentation. I am lucky enough to work on the same team as her. If you aren’t following Robyn on Twitter yet, you should be! See her bio here.
Being the efficient, “work smarter not harder” individual that I am I immediately felt the need to steal the presentation and use it myself…giving her total credit of course. Why would I re-invent the wheel…especially when it won’t be done as well as this! With Robyn’s permission, here is the presentation she has created along with a spreadsheet that lists her 50 (plus a few) Tweeps to follow. Thanks Robyn!!!
5o Folks to Follow Presentation
Tweeps to Follow Document
TEACHTHUOGHT’s 50 Education Twitter Hashtags Post
I have talked before about the Skitch App being invaluable to me on the administration side. It allows me to annotate over images, such as screen shots, that I can then email out to someone who needs directions or a reminder when they need a little help solving an issue with their iOS device. Today I want to talk about its use in the classroom as well.
Skitch is a great tool to put in the students’ hands. Have a student take a picture of something or someone…it can be anything. They can then use the annotation tools to write or type describing words or character traits about their image.
I love the fact that the student can choose to either type or hand write their words. They can free-hand draw on the image or use some of the other annotation tools available in the app itself. You have the ability to draw arrows, circle or box items, highlight, and crop the image. You also have a few different color options to choose from while annotating.
The latest update, added the ability to blur out areas of the image. It is HUGE to have that option. You take a picture of your students doing an activity and want to share it on your website or teacher page. Then you realize that the student in which you cannot use his/her image is right in the middle of the picture. You can still use the photo! Open Skitch and blur out that one student. Save and upload…done! See a few of your annotating options on the image below.
Skitch is owned by Evernote…another one of my favorite apps! This makes it easier for you to gain access to your students’ images. If you create an Evernote account for your class, any image your students annotate over with Skitch can be added to a notebook in Evernote with the click of a button. You can then access them from any computer or device in which Evernote is loaded. You can even create student accounts to start their own student portfolios.
Besides adding to Evernote, within the app itself you have the options to create a public link, display via AirPlay, Email the image, or add it to the devices’ camera roll. I don’t think you will have a problem finding an option that works for you.
Skitch works on the iPad as well as an iPhone or iPod Touch. Use it with whatever devices you are lucky enough to have access to. Students will be engaged and have fun while they work on their describing skills. Don’t wait…download Skitch today!
QR Codes are everywhere. You find them in stores, on flyers, on billboard signs along the highway (although that may be the DUMBEST thing ever!), and now all over schools. More and more teachers are using Quick Response codes in the classroom for all types of situations, such as a self-checking system, to give directions, or just to grab a student’s attention. They are finding that these adventures are fun and easy for everyone. Students are even creating codes for other students to use!
I want to share with you yet another way to include QR codes in the classroom: linking to audio files. Teachers and students alike can create audio files online and then link them to a QR code so anyone with the code has easy access to them. The audio files could be a student sharing a story or problem they have created. It could be a teacher giving directions or prompts. Classrooms or campuses can share upcoming information with parents. The opportunities go on and on.
Making this happen cannot get much easier. A website, Recordmp3.org, will allow you to record yourself online. It then saves the recording to the web. It supplies you with a URL that will take anyone who has it to your audio file. Copy this link and you are then ready to create your QR Code.
There are many sites that you can use to create a QR Code. My favorite is QRStuff.com. Once you open the site you have 4 steps to take:
- Choose the type of data you are creating a code for. In this case it will be a Website URL.
- Paste the URL you created for your audio file from Recordmp3.org.
- Choose the color of your QR Code. Keep in mind that darker colors make it easier to scan.
- Download the code. It is a good idea to rename each code and place all your codes for a project into a folder as you are downloading them. This will help you keep your codes organized. You will need to know where each code will take you.
To walk you through each of these steps from audio files through QR creation, click here to download a cheat sheet that has been created.
Depending on how and where you are using the codes, it is likely that you will need to print them out. The QR codes do not need to be the size of a full size sheet of paper. In fact, they scan easier if they are a bit smaller. A good size for codes is 3.5 x 5 inch or even a wallet size photo. Click here to download a cheat sheet that will walk you through the printing process.
How are you using QR codes in your classroom? Audio files would be a great addition to add to activities or to share the amazing things your students are creating each and every week.