June used to be the slow month. School got out. I’d grab a book and a cool beverage. Play some softball. Do a little life guarding at the pool. Drive to the mountains for a week. If you’re old enough, you probably remember that sort of summer.
June is a busy month for many educators. Conferences. End of the year professional learning. Curriculum alignment. Standards training. In my case, June is full of mobile devices training. Over the next six weeks or so, I get the chance to spend time with a variety of folks around the country, working with schools that have latched onto the idea of tablets, clouding computing, and educational apps.
But in the rush to get the latest shiny tools, I think it’s easy sometimes to forget that the end in mind is teaching and learning, not the gadgets. So today a few things to remember when using apps in the classroom: Read more
The digital landscape that you and your kids have to navigate has exploded. Mobile technology, apps, instant access, digital content. The stuff is everywhere. And all of the stuff is changing how we do school.
But sometimes it feels like there is just too much. Sometimes it’s easier to just throw up our hands and try to ignore everything out there. How do we sort through all of it? We need unbiased and relevant information that can help us find the best of what we’re looking for.
And now there’s help. Read more
I’m sure you’ve seen them. They are showing up everywhere.
QR codes. Those little, square squiggly barcode looking things.
A QR code is a handy way to share all sorts of information quickly and easily – the QR part actually stands for Quick Response. QR codes are designed to be de-coded by dedicated QR readers and smartphone apps. Codes consist of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background that is unique to specific information. This information might be text, a web site or all sorts of stuff.
And I know you’re asking yourself
So what? I teach history. I got better things to do with my time.
I know . . . cause early on, I was saying the same thing. Kinda cool technology but it doesn’t really help me do my job. But the more I play with them, I’ve become convinced that teachers can use these things to help kids learn.
Especially as more and more of our students are carrying around smartphones and other mobile devices like iPads and iPods, the use of QR codes can be incredibly powerful. Part of the beauty of a QR code is that you don’t need a computer lab or laptops or really anything other than an understanding administrator and a couple of kids with mobile devices in their back pockets.
Kids can learn when and where they want. You provide choices. Individualized instruction. Rapid dissemination of information. Fast feedback. Pretty much what most 21st century education pundits are pushing for.
So I started looking around for ways to integrate the use of QR codes into history instruction. And ran across a great post by Kerry Turner that gives some handy advice for history teachers titled, wait for it . . . 10 Ways to Use QR Codes in a History Classroom.
So with thanks to Kerry, here’s five of the ten.
Lindsey Wright from the Online Schools people put together a nice list of mobile apps useful to social studies teachers and asked to post them here. Let me know what you think.
Smartphones and tablets have become some of the greatest tools for social studies and history classrooms. Programs or apps available for these devices are useful for more than killing time or listening to streaming music. They are advanced programs allowing individuals to carry out research, write dissertations, share information with users from around the world, and everything in between. Here are a few of the top mobile apps for social studies, history, economics, political science, and more.