Category: mobile learning

I have been experimenting in a few ways with QR codes at school at the moment, especially in my maths lessons. The students like using them, and think it is almost ‘magical’ the way that they work. From a teachers point of view, i like the way that a small code can be used to direct you to some really interesting work, or multimedia that wouldn’t normally be able to be put in books!

I read a tweet from @joedale about a website called checkthis. When i went to the site it had the tagline, ‘somewhere between nothing and a blog’. This caught my eye. @joedale had suggested it could be good to use this site with QR codes, so i thought i would give it a go. The site allows you to insert text, video, images and links. We are currently doing data handling with yr7, and i thought that this site would be good for the students to do a summary page of what mean, mode and median were.

After some technical difficulties (it was unblocked on teacher access, but blocked on students access!) the page worked quite well. The students researched some good youtube videos which helped explain the ideas, and found web links to games to help develop understanding further. They then published the page. The good thing is that you don’t need to register on the site, and just need to give an email address. Once this is done checkthis give you a unique address for your page, and it is this which fits with the QR code.

The students then took that address and pasted into a QR code generator, printed off the QR code and stuck it in their books. This now means that i can scan the code and see a rich multimedia page with their summary on it, and they also have a revision page they can access. The ideas for this are really interesting. This could be ideal for an e-portfolio, or any revision type page. The codes could then be put into a table and a whole selection of page codes could be accessed.

Check the site out and see what you think.

I had a lesson observation today, and decided to risk some technology to engage the students, and give the tasks some interest.

I was teaching BODMAS to year 7, and put together a QR code treasure hunt for them to follow. They then had to add the answers they worked out from the clues together and submit the answer to polleverywhere. It worked really well and they made some good progress.

To get to the QR codes i used a class set of 13 ipad2’s, and as they have a camera, can be used to scan the codes and get to the text that they ‘hide’. We downloaded a simple QR code scanner app, and off they went. It was a fun way to get the students to develop their understanding of BODMAS, and added a competitive edge to the lesson!

I have uploaded the resource to the tes resource website here. Feel free to download and comment as to what you think.

See full size image

Brain pop is a useful web resource for a number of subject areas, and they have now released a free app. This could be really useful for students to download and use in things like tutor time, or as a starter in maths or science.

Trying to use these QR codes in my teaching recently has meant that i need to convert documents to a URL address so that the QR code can be connected to a web address and the document can be seen online. I have used a number of solutions for this problem;

  1. Google Docs; This is an obvious choice as each document can be assigned a unique address when you share the document.
  2. ; I have used this site to transform dull PDF files into really cool, magazine style interactive documents. This is a great way to put documents online.
  3. ; This site is a good way to get a url for the document. Another good thing is that it is a simple drag and drop from the desktop into ‘the crate’ (have a look and you will see what i mean!)
  4. ; This site gives you an embed code, and a url for the document.

I have been trying them all, becasue depending on which device you use to read the QR code depends on which site is the most appropriate. On the android phone that i use is probably the best to use with QR codes. But you will need to test the site with your own device to see which is the best for you.

I have downloaded an app onto my Samsung Galaxy Portal which allows me to see my Gdocs on my phone. I have then uploaded the spreadsheet i have been using to assess my classes. Now it is in Gdocs i can view it on the mobile, and edit the spreadsheet on the phone. This means that i can be looking at students work and then recording the assessment or a comment as i am giving them feedback. It also means that i can easily show students where they are at, and the progress they are making.

I think this gives me the functionality i was looking for in a mobile gradebook app.

What, if anything, do you use to record assessments on mobiles?