Thursday, April 27, 2017

Using QR Codes In The Classroom

QR (Quick Response) codes are a really fun way to incorporate technology in the classroom in a fun and easy way to get students learning.

Whenever you go shopping you see these little tiny squares full of black and white squiggles, these are no starting to show up more and more in classrooms. Posting QR codes around the classroom and school, students can quickly learn information by just scanning then with their laptop or mobile device camera.

How to make a QR Code

When a QR code is scanned by a QR code reader, a URL will be pulled up on your device. Once you decide the information you want to create, then go to the website called "QRStuff". Once on this website, enter in the URL you want and the program will make an image for you!

After doing a little bit of research on Pinterest I found a few ways to put these useful QR Codes to the test in the classroom! 
  •  Scavenger hunts- Students are found to be very motivated when allowed to move around the room. 
  • Self-checking- During small group time when the rest of the class has work time, the teacher cannot assist and checking their work when they are finished. QR codes can help students solve problems independently and then can a QR code to get immediate feedback. 
  • Listening centers- Creating a bulletin board with many QR codes that take students to various stories they can listen to on their own. 
  • Take home QR codes- Attaching QR codes to homework assignments can assist students at home when they need help by taking them to a video tutorial. 
These are just a few ideas on how to use QR codes in the classroom. If you do a little more research you will find there are MANY more ways and you can find many of these on the internet! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Throughout the semester I have been concentrating on building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) as an educator to establish connections! After going through all of my options I realized my PLN was more developed than I realized! By considering all of your contacts, relationships, and resources you may discover things you might not be taking full advantage of to work towards success. Before taking the time to think about these elements, my connections seemed slim, but after following these next steps I realized they had expanded more than I thought! Going forth in the future, this networking will be useful and I plan to continuously help them grow.

This is a representation of my brainstorming for my PLN...

My first step to building my Personal Learning Network was creating a professional Twitter specifically for educational uses only. In this way I could make connections with other professionals to benefit my future students! After finding other educators to follow, I started finding information I had yet see almost instantly! I plan to continue to work on expanding my Twitter network because it is a great resource to learn from others, share my own ideas, and ask any questions I may have. This is also a great way to communicate information with students outside of class. 

One I felt like I had a good start to my professional Twitter, the next step was to try and build connections with others on the platform. I used my new insights from class to share my own iowan and began retweeting information I found to be helpful. To maybe give others ideas for their own classrooms and activities, I shared links to assignments I had completed. 

Getting my first response was exciting because I was seeing firsthand how others' information was benefiting me and how my feedback was helping them as well! The more interactions I have and the more experience I gain, the more connections I will make through my professional Twitter to further my network. Who knew there was so much information from just one social media outlet?

The next step I took towards broadening my Personal Learning Network was creating a professional Pinterest account. I already have a personal account and I find it very useful so this account is specifically for education purposes only. Pinterest is a great outlet for sharing and getting ideas to put together on a board for different areas in education. It allows educators to share their creative ideas for the classroom such as lesson plans, activities, crafts, ways to integrate technology in the classroom, and more. I can benefit from Pinterest in the future as an educator and now as a student to help brainstorm ideas for projects and assignments as well as my future classroom! 

One feature that Pinterest has is the ability to follow other accounts. One account I chose to follow was one focused on education through crafts and hands on work. She has many pins that I can gain ideas and learn from. 

Another form of social media I already use regularly, but not to further my Person Learning Network is Facebook. Facebook has a feature where you can follow certain pages of interest. I decided to use this form of social media I already have to continue my PLN through this form of following pages. One page that I found was a page called "The Teacher Next Door". This page stood out to me because their posts are very humorous and lighthearted while at the same time helpful. I think that this is important because educating a classroom of wild 7 year olds is not an easy task and can often be stressful so it is important to laugh and smile. I thought this was a great page to follow because it posts a lot of useful items I can use now as a student and in the future as an educator. 

While thinking of another way to grow my Personal Learning Network, I thought of how I have always loved the idea of blogging and reading people's creative blog posts. It is something I have always been interested in so I thought why not look into the educator's perspective. One blog that I came across was called, "Regurgitated Alpha Bits". The blog is written by a teacher who tells hilarious stories from her experiences with students. Even with my small amount of experience I can definitely relate to her posts because kids say the funniest things and there is always a good story to tell. This also goes back to the point I made about keeping a light heart on the toughest of days. It is a blog that will help in the future to remember why I wanted to teach and what makes it all worth while. 

Podcasts are always something I have had an interest in, but have never really pursued. I like the idea of audio discussions to listen to while doing other daily activities at the same time. I was able to find a podcast for educators that provides great information in a timely manner. A lot of times podcasts can be very long and after a while the audience looses interest, but EdChat Radio has ten minute recordings that teaches a lot f information in a appropriate time. Some topics discussed are, "Are New Teachers Adequately Prepared to Teach with Technology?" and "The Skills Every High School Senior Should Get Before Leaving." Topics like these are very good to learn from because they are relevant to current issues in education. Each podcast also lists who led the discussions and their handles for other platforms of social media. In this way, I can benefit from hearing exactly what the podcast is teaching through discussions from current educators, and after I can go to the speakers' pages to learn more. 

When I first started becoming a bookworm I was in seventh grade and I read almost all of Jodi Picoult's books. She is such a big part of why I love reading and literature today that I thought contacting her about my Personal Learning Network would be a great idea! Visiting her website, I also found out that she studied at Princeton and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine before she even graduated. Through my experience of being passionate about an author and their work and contacting them after doing further research, I have been shown how I can encourage the same kind of passion for reading to my future students. Through staying up to date and interested in Jodi Picoult, I am demonstrating a love for literature that I can implement in future classroom activities and lesson plans. 


Creating Connections through Twitter:
Following someone on Pinterest:
Following a Facebook Page about Education:
Following a Teacher's Blog:
EdChat Radio:
Contacting an Author:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017


As technology becomes more and more common every year, some people wonder why it takes such a major role in education. There are so many different ways technology can be used in the classroom to both educate and entertain. One way I learned how to use technology in the classroom is used for test review. A lot of students have difficulty with study strategies and this is a great way to have fun and study at the same time! Kahn is a new and interesting way to study with your students in a group setting.

What is Kahoot and how does it work?

"Kahoot is a free interactive quiz/poll/survey program that lets teachers design an activity that uses game graphics with feedback to promote learning.
The teacher creates their own quiz and can add pictures or different descriptions for the questions. They also add four options for each question. (If you don't want to create your own quiz then you can search for other quizzes already created.) The students then can sign in and answer the questions to the quiz. The students will read the questions and the options and then pick the color that matches with the correct answer. Kahoot also keeps track of the speed people answer questions. After every question they show the rank of all the players. This helps keep them competitive."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

5 Ways to Integrate Technology Into Your Classroom

In today's modern world, technology has become a crucial part of the way we live. Almost everything we do is through technology and it is only going to keep expanding. As the years go on, every generation continues to become more involved in the technology world. As teachers, it is a part of our job to get students ready for what they are going to experience in the "real world". With elementary students being so young it is sometimes difficult to teach technology when you are unsure if they are fully grasping the concepts of technology. This is a list I came up with of ways to integrate technology in elementary classrooms.

1. Give students an opportunity to play educational games online. I find educational games to be very useful because students could love to play online games, but they are not all guaranteed online access at home. As an educator, it could be very beneficial to set aside 30 minutes out of the week to online game time and this could really make a difference in a lot of students' work performance and behavior.

This is just one website that has various games for children of all ages to play educational games. Try experimenting with different websites and games to see what works! 

2. Have your students create listen to a podcast. This is a simple way to integrate technology in the classroom without readjusting an entire routine. Instead of having students present projects face to face in from of the class, have them create a podcast. This would be a new change of pace for all students. 

3. Have your students do an email exchange. Pair your students up with different ones from other schools similar to a penal, but through email! It gives the students something to look forward to and is also a great way to integrate technology in the classroom. This also gives kids a way of reaching out and making connections with students from other schools they wouldn't have met otherwise. Students can choose to email once a month, every few weeks, or once a week depending on their preference! 

4. Assign your students a Webquest to create and go through. Webquests are a great way to guide your students through a project with the help of online learning. It gives students the ability to acquire internet searching skills. It is also something really fun that can give a lot of character to a regular assignment. 

5. Use all of these technology resources as much as you can! This sounds like something that is pretty self explanatory, but it is easy to forget. The more you get used to integrating these steps in your everyday routine, the easier it will also become for the students.