Thursday, April 28, 2011

QR Codes = Easy Info. Sharing!

Tool:  QR Codes are a great way to share web sites, information, and much more with students.  I recently used a QR code in my Spanish IV classes to give students quick and easy access to research sites for their Spain project. To generate the QR Code, I used Kaywa, which is super user friendly.  It allows you to create a QR Code from any URL, text, SMS message or phone number.  You can then embed the QR Code where you want students to access it.  Through the use of their smart phone cameras and a QR Code App, such as QR Droid (free android app), students could then scan the bar code and quickly have access to all the resources via their phone, which means they could continue their project research and work on the go 24/7!

Results/Reflection:  Students really liked having this alternate way to grab the info. and websites for their Spain project.  Obviously not all my students owned a smart phone, so the information and websites were also posted on the class web site, but it was nice for students who did have a smart phone to be able to have an additional point of access for the project resources.  I will definitely be using QR codes in my classes more often and will post more ideas for their use soon! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guide Research with Customized Google Search

Tool - Customized Google Search Engine - This tool works great for guiding or filtering student research for various projects and other activities. It allows you to input specific sites that you want students to use and allows them to search by keyword or phrase specifically within those sites.  I recently used this tool to help guide research for a large project my Spanish IV students were doing on the autonomous communities of Spain. I copied the URL's of the websites that I wanted them to use into the customized search engine creator and 2 seconds later I had a search tool that I could embed into my class web page for students to access. 

Results/Reflection: This tool worked incredibly well for filtering information for students and helping guide them to quality web sites.  In addition, it was incredibly easy to create.  I think it took a grand total of 10 minutes to generate the customized search engine for my Spanish IV Spain Project.  This is definitely a tool that will be used again in the future!