Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where have I been? Where will I go?

 Reflection & QR Codes

Usually I'm the trailblazer at my high school: there are a number of programs that I've help to start-- the Varsity Swim Team, the PAWS program, letter writing campaign to Southern alumni serving in the military, crafting the 9th grade curriculum, going paperless, and now BYOD. I have to give a shout out to all those who have assisted me in navigating uncharted courses (You KNOW who you are!)  and the administration for supporting my wacky ideas.  Always be mindful when I preface any conversation with, "I have an idea..."

Reading Cheryl Morris' latest blog post, I couldn't help but reflect. She is so right about the messiness of teaching and this notion in education:

There is a concept very close to my heart that drives at this same idea.  It derives from the Bantu word, "ubuntu."  It is the South African driving principle that affirms that, "I am who I am because we are." People are people THROUGH other people.  There is no such thing as being alone.  We are all interconnected, and as such, we must act accordingly.  We may not see the ties that bind us together, but that doesn't mean that they are not there.

All that I have done at Southern was not created/implemented in isolation. Ideas were sparked from wanting to fill a need and interacting with others. Likewise those ideas came to fruition with the help of others (see list above).

But, after getting back into Twitter and discovering the network of teachers, I really feel like I am  behind. I might not be as progressive and innovative as I originally thought.  Time for some growing pains and seeking more help in navigating uncharted waters.

BYOD is first on the list.

Here's what I've got so far for tools for implementing BYOD in the classroom:  Socrative, Todaysmeet, Springpad, Evernote, and Edmodo.

Here's what I need: help with QR codes in the high school English classroom.

A Google & Twitter search has lead me to the following links:
There's plenty more out there... according to Google, 563,000 results. 

SO, here's time for some audience participation:  post a reply here, find me on Twitter (@KtBkr4), or on Edmodo (Mrs. Kate Baker) and please share ideas you have for implementing QR codes in the HS English classroom.  In an answer to Mr. Bennett's comment below, I have a general idea of what I want to use the codes for:  primarily to supplement my lessons as access to  additional resources for students, as part of group work... and I'm not really sure what else. My ideas are too nebulous yet.

Teaching is a collaborative process, and, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the entire academic community to raise a teacher.

THANK YOU in advance!!!!


  1. Hi Kate,
    I'm not an English teacher, but I have dabbled with QR codes in class.

    As with any tool you'd like to use in class, don't dive in and ask "What could I do with this?", because that question could have thousands and thousands of responses. What goal are you trying to accomplish? Are QR codes really the best solution for that goal? What learning will QR codes support?

    As for my use, they are purely extension. Because not all of my students had access to mobile devices to scan with, I couldn't require that they use the code. If they were interested in a particular concept, I would put a code to take them to more resources...video, articles...whatever. I would also put them in my room (near a poster, for example) and they could scan the code to learn more. The purpose in my class was to connect them to more material on an interest-only basis. What I would like to do this year is have kids make their own codes to post around the room.

    Identify what you'd like to do and work towards that...I think it'll make the process easier for you in the long run.

  2. My students (middle school) used QR codes last year to access movie/book trailers for the twelve books on our state MS reading list. I used the QR codes simply to try something new to get them motivated to participate in this voluntary reading program. Students are not allowed to use their cell phones during the day so I downloaded a QR reader on one of the PCs in the library. They loved it! I created and printed codes to glue into the front cover of the books on our reading list. I showed them how to scan the code using the computer and also showed many how to do it using my phone. I plan to do more this coming school year.

  3. Thanks Brian & Elizabeth for your contributions!

    I like the "fun" aspect of QR-- hidden surprises for students. I also like that it doesn't necessarily have to be an assignment... the movie trailers are great ideas.

    Can either of you recommend a good (& free) QR code maker? Thanks!