Tag Archives: 21st century skills

QR Code Fun

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I made the QR code above for this blog using a website called OunchTag. For those that don’t know, QR codes are short for “quick response code” and are barcodes that contain Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 7.38.48 AMinformation about something, usually web addresses. Typically, QR codes are black and white with little visual enhancement–kind of like the barcodes that are on the back of packages. OunchTag lets users create QR codes that are visually stunning. The process can be completed on OunchTag in three easy steps. Simply include the desired URL, add an image, and then create an attractive QR code like I did above and here:

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After generating your code, you can download it to your desktop where it can be
incorporated into word documents, presentations, or student handouts. I made the sign on the left thatphoto I just hung on my office door by importing the OunchTag QR code to a Word document. To access QR codes, you’ll need a QR code reader on your smartphone or iPad. There are literally hundreds of choices on the web, many that are free.

QR codes have many uses in classrooms. Here are three examples:

1) One of our elementary principals had students record reviews of books, upload the videos, and then paste the QR code with the video link to books that were reviewed so other students could easily access a video by scanning the book with their device.

2) Add QR codes to images used during a gallery walk so students can find out additional information about what they are viewing. To make this more interactive, students can create their own explanations or compile their own resources about what they have viewed and generate a QR code that links to their research.

3) Include QR codes to student artwork or projects to allow students to add details about how something was made or its importance. Students can either link to a video explaining the item, webpages, or even an online document that contains additional details.

Here are some additional resources on how to use QR codes in classrooms:

40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in Classrooms

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to QR Codes in the Classroom

Steven Anderson’s Livebinder: QR Codes in Education

Twelve Ideas for Teaching with QR Codes

Five Reasons I Love Using QR Codes in My Classroom

Thank you to Roberta Spray for sharing OunchTag with me!

Technology & Liberal Arts

During the January 2010 product launch for the iPad, Apple founder Steve Jobs ended his presentation with this now famous slide:

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“The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad,” Jobs said in front of the slide “is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.” He then went on to explain that Apple’s mission had always been to get the best of both worlds–to create products that were technologically advanced while also being intuitive, beautiful, and easy-to-use.

Jobs continued with this thought a year later at the launch for the iPad 2. He even used the same slide again. He said: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”

It is this intersection between technology and the liberal arts where students can become 21st century creators. Here is one way they can do it.

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“The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to apply their STEM knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity to develop an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community.” Here are the contest rules. Winning schools receive $20,000 grants and students on winning teams receive Samsung tablets.

Check out what these innovators created to win the 2013 contest. Is anyone up for the challenge? The deadline is early December.

You can watch Steve Jobs talk about technology and the liberal arts here: