Ngā Mātāpuna o Ngā Pākihi

Today I am sharing some of my learning around using iPads to create learning artefacts and extending Google thinking at Ngā Mātāpuna o Ngā Pākihi Cluster Conference at Lincoln High School.

Cheryl Doig was keynoting and used the acronym of WYOD (Wear Your Own Device). I was thinking of smart watches and Google Glass.

Mary-Anne Mills followed with reference to me wearing my QR Code earrings. I hadn’t thought of them particularly as wearable technology but I suppose they really are!!!

Also here is the link to my iPad presentation that I am going to use. Hat tip to Fiona Grant for cleverly showing me how to link to the iPad Google Slides. New learning from #gafesummit.



This is a test post with a work in progress to see if my idea works.

It does! This is Chirp! Chirp! is like an audio QR Code. By having the free Chirp iPhone/iPad app open you can beam images, notes and URL’s by sound waves. I recorded the sound file produced when I made this note with Divshare so you can practice.

It is real easy to use to beam photos between iPads when you haven’t got email set up on them. Kids will love it!

Here is the sound file again as a link that can be played with out Flash. You will still need another device to receive the Chirp.

So what you have to do is download Chirp! Have it open and listen to the chirp. The first person to write what I chirped in the comments gets a surprise present.

The Chirp team have plans for an Android app but aren’t quite there yet!

K12 OnLine QR Code Presentation

Over the last couple of weeks the K12 OnLine Conference has been churning out free, online video and audio workshops. Some time ago I was invited to prepare a presentation in the Sandbox Play chapter of the conference.

All of the presentations are available for download in iTunesU which is a good way to view them.

I feel I have a pretty good handle on QR Codes now and the concept is new to many so I thought sharing with others about what I have learnt along the way would make an interesting presentation. My presentation was a audio-visual recap of the QR Code blog posts of last term.

The video is 9 minutes long. You can download the original from Dropbox if you wish.

I made it as an enhanced podcast in Garageband because I can make Garageband hum way better than iMovie. It played perfectly on my computer but in one of life’s little mysteries it refused to upload properly and the audio and graphics were out of synch. I tried exporting it in a heap of ways and uploading to Zamzar, YouTube, and Vimeo but all I achieved was an email from Telecom telling me I was exceeding my monthly broadband allowance. I whined about it on Twitter and Julia came through with the idea of trying to convert the video using The conversion and re-upload to Vimeo worked so here it is in all its glory.

If you have a clever smartphone, iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad give QR codes a whirl. My class love them and they are really easy to create and share.

I would love to know how you get on. How are you using QR codes?

QR Codes #10 QRNote

Well I made it. Ten QR Code posts in ten weeks.

This last little gem I can see working well with a student who wants to quickly write a stand alone page on the web and wants to translate it into a QR code. With QR Note you write your text, add hyperlinks if you want and add a graphic via a URL, in my case from Flickr. The sight automatically produces a code when you save it.

And lastly I would put a QR code linking to your class blog or wiki page using SnapVu on your classroom window so that everyone can see what you are doing. Why SnapVu? Because it sends you an email every time someone scans your QR Code. Nice to know how many times the QR code is being scanned.


QR Codes #9 Sharing Audio

We all know how great Dropbox is don’t we team.

If you don’t now about Dropbox it is an online storage space with some fabulous features. Think of it as your own personal, free server where you can store and back up your stuff.

When you sign up for Dropbox you automatically get a Public Folder. A Public Folder is still in your Dropbox but it is also public so everyone can see it.

Drop your audio file that you want to use into the Public Dropbox folder, wait for it to synch and launch the Dropbox website by clicking on the Dropbox icon and opening it. Navigate to the Public folder and hover over the file you want to share. To the right of the file name you will get a little triangle with a dropdown menu. Copy the public link. I am going to share Kiera’s audio file.

Copy this link into your QR Code generator- seeing I am on the computer I will use Google URL shortner to create the QR code.

Done- easy as!

I see this as a great way to easily share podcasts and other audio files with your class and other visitors. I would love to hear from you if you decide to give it a whirl.

Do you have any other ideas for linking QR Codes to audio or video files this way?

QR Code #8 Treasure Trail – Generating QR codes

This week one of the girls in my class of Year Fours (8 year olds) was feeling poorly with winter chills and not much in the mood for algebra. She was keen on the idea of making her own QR code treasure trail around the school. She was not about to participate meaningfully in the maths I had planned so I thought I would let her go for it and see how it all worked out.

She used the free app Easy QR on my iPod Touch to create the codes. Easy QR, as well as scanning codes, can be used to create them. She used the text option on the opening screen. She was then taken to a text page to write in her message for the treasure trail.

She clicked GENERATE and the QR code was born!

She then took a screen grab of each of the stations in her treasure trail (Press the home button at the same time as the ON/OFF button – it’s a bit tricky as if you push the ON/OFF button first you just end up switching the iPod Touch off!). We had already mastered that skill by taking taking screen grabs of our best scores of MathTappers Number Find.

As I don’t have Air Printer or Printopia she had to email me each of the screengrabs and I printed them out. She tried to show stealth as she laid the trail out over lunch time and started her classmates off on the trail after lunch.

It was great, spur of the moment sort of activity that was enjoyed by all.


QR Code #7 Geocaching

This week I have found three QR codes in the wild. All in the latest Air NZ travel mag. The cleverest of them was from Guinness. Scanning the code led you map to the nearest pub where you could buy a Guinness. I didn’t try it on the flight!!

This week’s QR Code gem is a really geeky exercise. It involves geocaching. Geocaching is like orienteering with your iPhone or GPS.

I enjoy the challenge of finding new locations while out looking for geocaches.

Geocachers NZ offer new tracking tags that have QR codes on them so I bought a couple. This one I have attached to a spirit level and will release into the wild tomorrow.

When a trackable is found by someone usually you would have to look it up on the geocache web site to log it but now, by scanning the code, you get instant access to its unique tracking web site.

The kids in my class are keeping their eyes open for QR codes in the wild.

I’m not sure how we could use this code at school apart from to have a QR code to a trackable geocache that the class could keep a track on like Tiny Ted.

Tiny Ted  was last seen in America. He came to us from Wales in 2006 and became the class pet for a while going home with children. He was the 32nd class member! But he had to leave cos that was his destiny and now he has got himself lost. I wonder what has happened to him. It would be fabulous if he turned up one day!

QR Codes #6 Pick-a-path stories

I was wandering through my RSS feed tonight and really liked Kevin Cummins idea I saw on his Edgalaxy web site for helping children having difficulty thinking of a story starter. His idea was to write a paragraph to get the children started and let them create alternative endings for it. He even provided a pdf template for the story.

That idea sparked another idea in my head.

What about I ask my PLN for a hand to write the story endings seeing there were no children nearby? I asked some friends via Skype if they would be able to write some endings of the story for me. Doug Dickinson, Barbara Reid, Cherryl Eden, Shaun Wood and Warren Hall did. I used QR Code Generator to make the QR code for the text. Easy as!

In the classroom I could this making a kewl classroom display with the original text showing first and a whole lot of alternative endings presented as QR codes.

With Kevin’s permission here is the opening text for the story…

“The wizard tried on his new coat, one with bright yellow stars shining happily all over it. Now he could get on with finishing his spell. He added the essential ingredients into the boiling black  cauldron  – a rat’s tail, a snail’s shell, a frog’s eye and some moss from a fallen oak tree. He stirred them all in a clockwise direction, 3 times over. 

Now it was ready.

He could use the magic potion…”

And here are the QR code responses…






QR Codes #5 Book Trailers

I have had a couple of ideas percolating for this week’s QR Code post.

I follow Australian educator Anne Mirtschin with my RSS on her blog and on Twitter. She has been doing some great collaborative work with her students to create and share book trailers.

Georgia, one of her students, created a movie trailer for the Jackie French book, ‘A Rose for the ANZAC Boys.

Georgia has done a fabulous job of it and has embedded the trailer on the Global Storytelling wiki.

My thought would be to put a QR code on the book that would link to the book trailer.

Prospective readers could scan the code, view Georgia’s book trailer and be hooked into reading the book.

It would be fun to make your own movie trailers for favourite books in your own library to view on your iPod Touch or iPad.

QR Codes #4 Text to World Connections

A while ago I was helping a young lad new to New Zealand learn to read. He was really keen to learn but found a lot of new vocabulary challenging.

We were reading ‘Mum at the Fair’ by Jill Eggleton. Central to the plot was Mum’s adventures on a ferris wheel.

Now- describing a ferris wheel to someone who has never seen one before is not nearly as informative as showing someone about it.

Next time I would put a QR code on the book that leads to a YouTube video of someone’s experiences on a ferris wheel.

Before reading the book the child would then have more of an idea of what the book is going to be about and what happens in it.

QR Code Idea #3 Linking your QR code to your school prospectus

We all know that prospective parents wander round the school for a peek in the windows in the weekend. I know because they have sometimes startled me as I do my weekend catch up!

This week’s idea is to link to your school school’s prospectus or information pack. Laminate the QR code and stick it on the school sign. If you were keen you could use to create the QR code which will send you an email every time someone scans your code so you would have an idea how many times your QR code is being viewed.

QR Codes #2

OK next idea is to put QR codes on some books to link to added content or multimedia. As a test run I found a YouTube video on Jo Fothergill’s Facebook page that was an interpretation of Craig Smith‘s ‘The Wonkey Donkey’ Book which also has an iPad eBook option. For overseas readers you should know The Wonky Donkey won the 2009 NZ Children’s Choice Book Awards.

To make a QR code for it I went Google’s URL shortner and copied and pasted the URL into it. As long as you are signed in to Google you will see details. Click on it.

For some reason it shoots you to the bottom of a page. Scroll up and you will see the QR code. As easy as that.

Print that code off and stick it on the book cover. Easy as!

I will do a few more for next week’s QR code exploration. Yay- the QR Code even works from this photo of the book.

QR Code Introduction

Today in class I introduced my class of Year Fours to QR codes.

I had used to create the codes in the first place. It prints off the QR Codes and questions for you in one click. I confused myself a little with the trail as I put them out so next time I would be careful to number the codes on the back because they all look the same. I checked that the trail was working at morning tea while I was on duty to make sure that I had got it right.

I talked with the class about what a QR code was and how they may be useful. They recognised them from a recent ad in the paper from a Fudge Company opening where if you scanned the code you got a free cupcake. I was surprised how many had noticed it and wondered more about it.

I showed them how to scan a code and then set the task of following a treasure trail, being timed as they go.

I used to scan the codes.

Each QR code site required the children to take a photo as proof that they had got to the correct waypoint along the way. They already knew how to take photos with my iPod Touch so that part of things was simple. One bright spark suggested that all they had to do was look in the photos app on the iPod Touch to see where the previous group had gone to know where the treasure code was!!! We discussed how this would spoil the fun so garnered an agreement that this wouldn’t be fair.

I then set the children off, three at a time to follow the trail with me timing them with my iPhone. The groups then thundered around the school grounds following the trail. They really enjoyed the activity, being outside, problem solving, working co-operatively, taking photos, being timed and generally enjoying themselves.

When the whole class had completed the activity we had a debrief, did a little shared writing on our class blog and an announced of the winning team! All good fun.

My next step is to think of something using QR Codes that has a little more educational rigour to it.