Today I completed an alternative revision session with my senior VCE Physical Education students prior to a major assessment piece next week. In the past I have completed the standard revision activity with my students that requires them to answer questions on a page. However this time I went around the school with a handheld GPS and marked 12 random locations. I then got 12 of the key questions the students are required to understand and entered them one by one into a QR code generator. Once this was completed I placed them at the 12 different GPS locations. Now with this completed I was finally setup for the activity.
The students were then given a blank answer sheet and the GPS location of the first QR code. Once they managed to find the code they used their mobile phones to scan and reveal the question which then needed to be answered correctly in order for me to share the next GPS location. This process repeated until they reached the last QR code which included some further information about the assessment piece. The students were also encouraged to utilise their MP3 players to listen to their audio workbook and podcasts of key content if they were unsure of an answer.
So how successful was the activity? Well, the lack of motivation usually shown during revision activities was non-existent and the level of understanding the kids demonstrated was also excellent. Now I’m not sure this is a direct result of the activity itself, but I know for a fact that they enjoyed it and to me that is the most important thing.
Take a look at how the activity worked in the video below. How could you use GPS and QR codes in your classroom?
Today in my junior Physical Education class we started our work on learning the human skeleton, which includes being able to identify the major bones. Now this time last year I introduced the students to ‘Harold’ the model skeleton, so this year I did the same thing, however one thing was very different….
Harold had undertaken a little update and his bones had been affixed with QR codes that when scanned would reveal the name of the underlying bone. Once the activity had been explained the students set about scanning and revealing, scanning and revealing, scanning and revealing until they could identify the 20 key bones in the human skeleton via scientific name. The next step was to play ‘Skeletal Bingo’ which the kids ran for each other. Basically the kids write down in a 4X4 grid 16 different bone names. The caller then points to bones and if the student has that bone in their list they cross it off. Eventually we get a bingo and to prove they know their bones they have to identify them in front of the class by revealing the bones using the Quickmark QR code reader software and a webcam.
Anyway I decided to film a quick video that you can view below, that could help explain how the whole process worked. Although the QR codes have been used with a Physical Education context in this activity, there is absolutely no reason why this wouldnt work within any other subject area. If you like you can download a copy of the QR codes I used for the activity here and the skeletal bingo worksheet. Finally if your unfamiliar with QR codes , then you can read an earlier post about what they are and there potential in education.
How else might you use QR codes in your classroom?
I’ve been looking for an easy video editing web2.0 tool that quickly and easily creates professional looking videos at the push of a button, literally. Once you have signed up for an account at Animoto, you then move through the sleek and comfortable interface to create your video. Now, In my usual blog post I would go through step by step explaining how to make it work. However in this case that’s not required as Animoto is a sinch to use. Don’t take my word for it, simply check out the video I created in less than 5 minutes.
So many uses within the classroom…..What do you think?
Recently I had a discussion with Ben Jones who shared with me a nifty little application called the ‘G-FORCE ANALYZER ,that turns your Nintendo Wiimote and Bluetooth enabled computer into a powerful movement analyser.
So what do I mean by analyzer? Well basically, once connected you have real time mapping of the forces and movements applied to the wiimote displayed as a continuous graph over time. Things measured include acceleration on 3 different axises, roll and pitch…perfect for studying physics and the different forces exerted on the world. The best part about this is that it is all really easy to setup. Watch the video below to find out, exactly how to set it up and a few ideas of how you could use it in your classroom. Hope you find it useful.
THIS SOFTWARE HAS SINCE BEEN UPDATED – Initial setup in video still remains the same. Only change is the software you know load. The procedure remains the same.
I was recently asked by the Principal to conduct a 20minute PD session on some aspect of ICT use in the classroom. After careful consideration I decided I would create a worksheet that would take my fellow staff through some of the simple, yet highly effective search strategies. I figured this is something all staff are familiar with and any improvements in their skills would be advantageous. The result is a worksheet, similar to what I would expect my students to complete. Now some may find this ridiculous and refuse to complete it, but after all aren’t we all learners? So why shouldn’t the staff be required to complete some sort of activity and subsequent homework task? I can only try…
You can find a copy of the worksheet below, feel free to use it/modify it/beautify it as you desire. The sheet also goes well with the following poster from Google, which can be used to explain what each search function actually aims to do.
Today during lunch time I helped my students setup QR code readers on their mobile phones in preparation for an activity they will be completing in the coming weeks within my Outdoor Education class. In order to study the safety aspects and risk taking factors that need to be considered before completing outdoor activities, the students will be completing an orienteering course using their bikes as a form of transportation. However this is no ordinary course, here’s why…
The students will be working in pairs using their mobile phones and their QR code reading software.
The course will start with a single QR code, each pair will receive a different code so that they start at a different part of the course.
Students will scan their codes which will then reveal the directions they need to dial into their compasses and a riddle that gives clues as to the location of the first marker and the next QR code.
Half way throughout the course is a QR code with a difference, it contains a template for an SMS message that links directly to my mobile phone. Once scanned the students will send a text message that basically asks for the next clue, which will then be sent to them so they can complete the course.
The final QR code links to a downloadable Microsoft word document that details the questions they need to complete around the practical experience as related to the course.
The kids are already super excited about this activity and are looking forward to the challenge of not only deciphering the QR codes but the riddles contained within them. To generate the QR codes I used the google generator then copied them into a word document that you can download here.
If you have any questions about QR codes or any great ideas you would like to share let me know. Id love to hear how you plan to use them in your classes.
Today I stumbled across a TED talk that simply blew me away and made me instantly want what I was watching. The video was about little devices called ‘siftables’. Siftables are “cookie-sized computers with motion sensing, neighbor detection, graphical display, and wireless communication. They act in concert to form a single interface: users physically manipulate them – piling, grouping, sorting – to interact with digital information and media”.
The video below details exactly what they are and runs through a few potential uses they have in education. I’m not even going to try to explain it, you simply have to see it to believe it.
Imagine using these in an English, Mathematics or Music class…. instant engagement and powerful learning experiences are a guarantee. Anyway to make sure I wont miss the launch of these devices when they go up for sale, I have signed up to the mailing list on their homepage. This sort of technology is exactly what I’m interested in. A way in which to link the physical world with the digital world and as a PE teacher this is what I’m trying to do. So how could you see these being used in your classroom? I just can’t wait to try them out….