QR Codes

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This week in class, our task is to create a QR code. The code above is one I created for this blog. I think it will be a fun and unique way to tell people about my blog in the future.

For education purposes, I think QR codes have a lot of potential and it’s exciting to think about the different ways they can be used. At first glance, QR codes in schools could be seen as too much of a fad.  But I think turning something that is used for consumerist purposes into something educational, can appeal to students who see QR codes in their everyday life and can easily access them on their devices.

QR codes can be a great way for students to share projects. Line them up around the classroom or library and students can scan it to see their classmates’ projects. I also like the idea of using QR codes to access a book review. Many bookstores have “staff picks” that feature favorite books by employees. Instead of a description on a piece of paper, students can create reviews and QR codes for their staff picks. Students can scan the code to get a review or more information about a book from a peer. This way, students can share their opinions, and learn how to make QR codes.

Although not all students may have access to a smartphone or iPad, I think using QR codes in the library could be a great way to keep those kids with those devices engaged with educational activities. Most likely, the kids will use their devices during school hours to play games, text their friends or get off track. By allowing the students who want to use their devices the ability to scan codes around the library to access book reviews, and create their own codes, the school can utilize those devices in a positive way.

Another activity would be to have a QR scavenger hunt. QR codes could be all over the library, on walls, on tables, on the shelves, and the students have to scan the code to get a clue, and go on to the next clue, etc. It would be a great way to get kids familiar with the resources in the library, the online resources, and to gain new skills.

 

 

Content Collaboration

One aspect of content collaboration that I’m not familiar with, and I’d like to be, is the use of collaborative note taking tools. By reading more about collaborative note taking tools, such as MyNoteIt, Evernote, Ubernote, Springnote, etc., I can see many possibilities for using these types of tools in a classroom. Although I don’t have direct experience using them, one aspect I found most appealing is that students can share and collaborate on notes during the research process of a project.

What’s also important to acknowledge, is that collaborative note taking tools can give opportunities for shy students to share their thoughts with other classmates. Some students may not participate actively in class by raising their hands, and sharing their opinions verbally, but they are participating through their class notes by writing down and responding to classmates’ comments. By giving students who may not feel comfortable speaking in class an opportunity to participate in discussions with their classmates via their notes, it could be really beneficial to that type of student.

One way I can see librarians and teachers using collaborative note taking tools in the classroom, is not only through research projects, and formal discussions, but informally through students sharing their thoughts on a book. If the library has a featured book (or couple of books) each month, students can use note taking tools as they are reading a book. If they have questions about an aspect of the book, a theme, idea, or just want to hear another opinion on it, then they can get instant feedback without waiting until they finish the book. Sometimes, with book discussions at the end, students could forget or overlook an initial impression, reaction or question they had while reading. By asking questions, sharing research or just posting a reaction through informal use of note taking, it can show how students engage with a book on their own. Students can share their notes about a book, share related links and resources, and have an active and ongoing book discussion. This can encourage close reading and analysis of a book, while encouraging collaborative discussion.

Depending on the note taking tool, librarians can have various notebooks about each book, or just an ongoing collaborative place where students can add their notes.

(Note: The librarian would have to moderate this, give instruction on effective note taking while reading, and set up guidelines of what is appropriate to share with classmates.)