Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mind = Blown!

I'm getting really excited about all the uses for technology in the classroom. Our board is really encouraging 21st century learning. We are getting more iPads, Apple TV and projectors.

 I've been wanting to find ways to change things up next year (since we only have a week left of school this year!) One of the things I've been wanting to do it find a way to help my littles calm themselves after lunch recess. They often come in wired and the afternoon can be difficult.

A little research led me to this YouTube channel .  I decided to give it a little try with my class just to see how it was received.

Wow, they LOVED it! The videos are great, the kids are engaged and the girl doing to yoga really knows how to hold their attention. 15 minutes of yoga settled my class right down for an afternoon of learning.  We did it twice and the difference in the kids self control and energy levels was noticeably different.

The plan is to do this everyday after lunch next year.

Do you use QR codes with your class? I'm new to the world of QR codes but I wanted to build a library of ebooks for our class. The children love the listening centre but it's temperamental and doesn't always work for the kids. CD's get scratched and tapes get tangled.

I downloaded an app called QR Code Maker. It's super easy, you just input the link to the ebook you want to use and it creates the QR code for you. You then save the picture of the QR code and print it.

I also added a picture of the cover of the story so that the children could choose which story they wanted to listen to.  I've got 10 stories in the book so far. I've created two books for the kids to use with the iPads.

But it gets better! When I was looking for ebooks I wanted ones that showed to pictures...not just audio stories. There are a ton of YouTube videos of authors like Robert Munsch and Mercer Mayer reading their own stories. But I don't like linking directly to YouTube because of the ads, suggested videos and other random 'crap' that can lead 'over anxious clickers' to an inappropriate video.

Then I found this website. lets you input the URL of YouTube videos and then generates a 'safe URL for you to watch the YouTube video without any of the unwanted extras.

It took a little extra leg work but I was able to generate a safe URL for the YouTube videos for the ebooks and then create the QR code for the safe URL. Now my kiddies can watch/listen to the ebooks without my worrying that they are going to find their way to something untoward.

I am one happy girl!!

And now I'm also a QR code junkie. I'm currently sifting through TpT and downloading QR code math centres and language centres.

I guess I know what my summer project will be!

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