As I reflect on Semester 1 and where I thought we would be 6 months ago to where we actually are I am amazed at the staff that have taken on the challenge to integrate learning technologies into their teaching practices. We have had a huge term introducing a lot of admin technologies as well as iPad applications and technology pedagogy.

Today we will explore some Awesome teaching tools from our regular’s who have jumped on board and taken learning with technology to the next level.

QR Codes – Elle Smith

What are QR Codes?

QR stands for ‘Quick Response’, essentially meaning that as teachers we can create a bar code which can quickly send our students to any online content. It is a great way to revamp lesson content, provide easy access to frequently used sites and help direct students to appropriate sites or online content.

How to create a QR Code

  1. Visit the webpage you would like to create a QR code for, you can even create one for a document you have saved in your Onedrive!
  2.  Copy the URL for the page you have chosen
  3.  Visit, select ‘generate static code’, paste your URL in the window and select generate.
  4.  Once the code as been created use the snipping tool (scissors) or screen shot (crop later in your photo roll) on your device to save the code.
  5.  Print your code and use in the classroom.

How to read a QR Code

  1.  Download i-Nigma App from the SACS app store – both staff and students have access to this app
  2.  Open the i-Nigma app and scan the QR code which will send you to the site you created the code for.

Teaching ideas for QR Codes

  1. Create a scavenger hunt around the classroom or open learning space which sends students to various websites to source information to answer set questions.
  2. Create a Mystery Box Challenge embedding visual thinking by having boxes full of different QR codes which direct students to specific sites or images to use as a unit opener to try and get students to explore topics that will be covered within the unit.
  3. Filter websites which you wish students to use. Various curriculum covers grey areas or sensitive topics, if you want students to be using specific sites to avoid them coming across inappropriate content use QR codes to ensure they are only looking at the sites that are linked to the codes.
  4. Use a site regularly in class? Create a QR code to hang up on the wall for students to scan instead of having to write in the URL all the time.

Collaborative Faculty Planning with Office 365 Sites – Bow Robertson – PDHPE

What is office 365 Sites?

At this stage we are testing sites with several faculties across the school before rolling it out to all faculties. 365 Sites will replace our ‘F’ Drive and will allow us to access our faculty files just like we can access our 365 onedrive. The PDHPE department have been trialing online collaboration for their Year 7 programs this term.

Why collaborative programming?

We wanted to collectively create innovative programs that stimulate thinking, develop skills and result in the formation of opinions and beliefs. This method has enabled us to share ideas and the workload. The nature of Office 365 enabled all staff to contribute to program development and provide feedback for lesson activities and assessment tasks. This proved to be an effective way to program with busy schedules, especially during report time.

How have you used Sites with your faculty so far?

As a faculty we have begun using the MYP template for our Middle School Unit Plans which we have had 5 of our staff contributing to. We have created folders to share lesson resources, student samples and assessment feedback. We really appreciated being able to edit and modify documents such a assessment task outlines, collaboratively without having to be in the same room as a lot of our staff are spread across the school.

What do you like about using the collaborative planning?

Sharing ideas between faculty members and teaching with a wide range of pedagogy. Due to the online nature of the file storage the ability to work from anywhere is a huge bonus. By working together as a team to plan teaching and learning we have been more innovative with out teaching practices which has enabled us to develop project based learning tasks, group work tasks with One Note, online quizzes, role plays and visual thinking.

Cross curricular project based learning – Miriam Daley – Junior School & Elle Smith

Why did you chose to go down the path of using the iPads to combine learning in art and drama?

I chose to use iPads to combine learning in Art and Drama because they offer the magic combination of enabling the children’s displayed art work to act as the backdrop for the dramatised story line around the one topic. The students were able to further develop their creativity from a regular storyboard by turning it into a real life video.

What Ipad applications did you use and why did you choose them?

Explain Everything was the choice following Rolfe’s inspirational plug to the Junior Staff, I could see that it was easy to use and that my year 2 students would enjoy using their own artwork to create movies from still shots.  We also now need to use Pandora and finally iMovie, this really opens up the oppourtunity for cross curricular learning combining, Art, Drama and Music with the one task.  Explain Everything offers us the movie functions using the kids’ own characters and it gives us the ability to insert text, hand drawings and other zany features.

What did you like most about creating a cross curricular learning experience?

I love creating cross-curricular learning experiences!  It brings the learning together across so many elements. Obviously Art and Drama and IT in this instance, but also it gives me a chance to teach understandings about the world we live in – how we can thrive in it, caretake it and serve one another in it. It allows the students to use technology in a positive manner whilst at the same time making ‘real’ connections between the subjects they study and real life issues – in this case it was ocean pollution.

What are some great learning experiences you have had as a teacher as a result of team teaching with the Technology Learning Coach?

Wow!  Where would I be without Elle and Rolfe?  Just being able to learn from their expertise and creativity is incredible.  Elle has offered great in-class support, giving a strong upfront explanation to students as we get going on new apps.  Invaluable!  Not only have they taught me about using technology effectively they have encouraged the students to use shared learning by allowing students to share their ideas and ‘tips and tricks’ when using Explain Everything. Looking forward to more team teaching with them.

Making technology and linking it to the curriculum – Selwen Wu – Junior School & Rolfe Kolbe

What is awesome about creating technology to enhance learning?

Scratch has the ability to align with a student’s creativity and confidence such that if they can imagine it, chances are they can build it. The building process itself is infinitely rewarding as they put components together, test if it works and does what it is intended to and then modify/correct it. Subsequently as they delve into scratch, it opens up with great depth and possibilities as they start utilising the code in different ways. The confidence aspect is important as it allows kids that aren’t naturally technical to find early success, but kids who are feeling ambitious are able to work at a very intensive and intricate level.

What Ipad applications did you use and why did you choose them?

The task was basically using a Makey Makey and connecting it with code from Scratch to build a working piano keyboard. The kids were required to create a keyboard and build into it commands and sprites that lit up the keyboard for an ocatave of tones. There were slightly different approaches and interpretations but most kids have the code under control and need some more time with the Makey Makey to put together their version of a physical piano keyboard to then play some tunes!

What did you like most about this learning experience with team teaching?

The thing about sharing the experience with another teacher was that we each discovered solutions to different aspects of the task and were able to share them with each other and the class. The students were able to see that there are different solutions and approaches and this was reflected in the way they then took on the task. Similarly, having two staff members there to troubleshoot was also much more efficient but as we work through issues that arose, that information was disseminated to the rest of the class more efficiently. Rolfe’s general expertise and experience also lent confidence for the students to take on more ambitious expectations as they knew he’d be able to support them through the process.

Using modern technologies to revamp everyday instructions – Dominique Haynes – Music

Dominque has been doing some exploring with different ways to differentiate instruction for her music classes to allow for higher levels of engagement and create a learning environment which promotes independent learning  within the classroom.

Visit her blog post on Adobe Slate to see how she has created personalised pedagogy including her own how to videos!