How I Teach When I’m Away From Class

Today I attended a conference in Melbourne and as a result had to leave work for students to complete back at school. Usually this is a major effort and much harder than actually teaching the class, but I’ve decided to start utilising Youtube to make the teaching of lessons much easier when I’m away for both the replacement teacher and my students. So here’s the video from today.

So next time you have to leave your class, why not make a quick video explaining the session. The replacement teachers will certainly thankyou and I’m positive the students will think it’s pretty cool

Futuristic Library Books?

Next week I will be presenting a session at the VITTA conference on QR codes and how they can be used in the classroom. This comes as quite timely given the recent announcement in the 2009 horizon report that mentions QR codes as a ‘technology to watch’. So in getting myself prepared for the presentation I have been filming some of the ideas I have had in the past around how they could be used in education.

One of the ideas I initially had was to use them on library books, or any books for that matter. The idea is simple,

  1. Use a QR code generating website to create a code for the book.
  2. Print out a copy of the Code
  3. Attach the code to the book and return the book to its original  location in the library

Imagine going to find a book, but rather than simply reading the blurb you could scan a code to reveal a youtube video with people explaining  the book, a podcast of someone reading the book, a short text review or even a website that lists similar books. The possibilities are endless. Check out the video below for an idea of how I imagine this would actually work.

More Than A Boring Piece Of Paper

As my students are now very familiar with QR codes I have decided to integrate a very simple addition to my worksheets. To put it simply I have started inserting QR codes. Basically the QR code can be scanned to reveal extra information about the worksheet . For example a QR code could easily link to hidden text, a video on youtube, an automated SMS message, audio, pictures or any website you deem relevant to the worksheet. The best thing about it is the process of creating QR codes is very very simple making it all to easy to make your worksheets much more than a piece of paper. Here is how you do it.

  1. When creating a worksheet, leave a spot for a QR Code
  2. Visit a QR code generating website such as
  3. Enter your desired information into the template and select ‘generate’
  4. The QR code will quickly be generated and you can then copy and paste the code onto your worksheets



At this point it is up to the students to scan the code, which will then link to the content you have entered into the QR code, which could indeed be anything you like. No matter what you decided to include within the QR code, this idea makes it all too easy for you to extend a worksheet far beyond what is nothing more than a boring piece of paper.