Thursday, May 16, 2013

QR Code Resources

Updating a previous post about QR Codes for the Classroom.  (previous Post Aug 2011)

While QR codes are still enjoying popularity in discussion groups, the use of the codes hasn't continued growing as well. This blog-update is serving to share a few more QR resources that may prove helpful in the classroom.

Still my favorite QR generator, does a very nice job of not only making the code, but assisting in modifying the size for larger format printing and use outside a computer monitor. 
After generating the code, look for the download link for the 'eps' file type.  The eps file is a vector-imaged file which can be enlarged digitally without loosing resolution.  Print a large page or T-shirt QR? The eps files will usually work really well.

In my previous post, I used software called by Quickmark.  They have software for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices.  The desktop software will not only create QR code, but can use the webcam to read or use a software reader to read codes on the computer screen.  The software is not free, but it is very useful.

Sites like, and also provide the valuable service of keeping a history of the codes you have made and tracking them.  You can often see how many times someone has clicked through your QR code or when the last time someone used it was. 

Taking QR codes the next step can involve making them more artistic or visually meaningful.  QR readers only read a certain percentage of the pattern in the code.  You can creatively remove squares and place your own artwork inside the code and still be able to use it with a reader.  Be careful not to remove too much of the code.  For some great ideas, check out  and .  I made a very quick example of this during a Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute and it shows how I edited a QR code.

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There are more instructional resources for QR codes these days, but I few that I have used in the past include: for a school treasure hunt ,  a Livebinder of resources, and Twelve Ideas for QR codes on Edutopia.

I would love to see some QR codes that have been put into action.  Share a link to yours or comment on what you have done!  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Easy Classroom Radio Show iPad App!

Teacher circles have started sharing the question, "Aye, it's the end of the year. What creative thing can we be do'in?"  Forgive the accent, but I just spent 15 minutes listening to Scottish Free Independent Radio on  It was a wee bit entertaining, without the haggis.

Radio Shows are great tools for student publications because you don't have a video track that necessitates a great deal of protection from the teacher.  Student voices can be anonymous sources and allow for much more flexibility in publishing original student work. 

Spreaker DJ is a FREE app that helps you create a radio show.  The app is very simple to understand and, with the free account, very easy to publish to the internets.  You have access to audio from your iTunes, two soundtracks with a fader for them, sound effects, and a few nice technical tools for those that want them.  When you start the recording, there is no pausing, so it's a one-take recording with no editing available.

spreaker ipad app
Think of it this way, students must write, revise, and rehearse their show before taking a turn at publishing.  They will have a lot of fun with the creation of the show. The content could be the class' online Dailey Agenda or topic review.  What a great way to finish out the year by encouraging student publication of their thoughts and ideas learned in class!
Publishing the show can either be done as a live broadcast or recorded on the iPad and quickly published up to your Spreaker website.  Parents can be given the show's website address and keep up with the classroom events via the internet. 

I took 10 minutes to learn the app and make a recording.  Here is my first effort, as an example.

"I don't have an iPad.  I am so sad."    Don't be sad!! also has the ability to record your radio show off the website. 

I'd love to see what teachers do with this.  Please share if you get a class radio show online!