Tips 2013 Professional Learning #28:Having fun with QR codes


What are QR codes?

A QR code is a quick response code. There was a lot of interest in QR Codes at a professional learning session I presented to a group early years teachers this week.

There were lots of questions about QR codes, as promised here are some great ideas on how to use QR Codes in your classroom

Load a free QR code scanning app to your iPad, tablet or phone and see if you can read this QR code then start making your own QR codes

A QR code is a quick response code . It looks like a big bar code and contains data that can be read by a camera on a phone, a computer, an iPad or any tablet device.

A QR code

Scan this QR code

How do I read a QR code

You need to download a QR code reader this allows the camera on your device to scan the code and reveal the information it contains. Many of the QR code readers are  are free.

The QR code readers that I use are i-nigma and Q-rafter. To read a QR code select the QR code reader on your device. Hold it close to the QR code. It will very quickly take you to the URL or webpage  and will reveal the information embedded in the code.

What do I need to use QR codes in my classroom?

A QR code directs you to a website. To use this successfully in your classroom you need to have a good wifi system and devices that are able to connect to the web. You can use QR codes using your mobile phone data- parents can do this- but it could be expensive for students to connect using a 3G or 4G connections

How do I make a QR code?

To make a QR code you need to pro ( paid) version of the app. This allows you to insert a URL and generate your own code.

Why would I use a QR code?

A QR code is a quick way to take you to a site on the web without you having to type in a log URL. This makes it great for students to use, even the youngest students can point a device and scan the code. You can create QR codes to use in your classroom-
print the codes and place them on posters- students scan them to get more information,
use them in a treasure hunt- scan for the next clue,
place them on students’ artwork add audio to hear them telling their story,
put them in the school newsletter to take parents to your class blog site or link to an interesting website, the list is endless.

Create a Treasure hunt with QR codes- no wifi required

This site allows you to create a free treasure hunt or quiz using QR codes.

Develop your questions and type them into the space provided on the classtools site-

QR codes are generated for each question or clue- P

Print these and put them on display or hide them in the playground- students scan them uisng a qR code scanning app- Qrafter- I-nigma- the question is revealed -no wifi is required

Use Qr codes to gather responses from a group or class

Create a QR code using the URL to an online google form or an online form in Adobe Forms Central- students fill in the form and submit the information online- all information is collated in a spreadsheet

Get your students to create their own QR codes

The fun really starts when you get your students creating their own QR codes. Try this in your classroom and post a comment back on this blog to let use know how you are using QR codes.

How are teachers using QR codes?

Here are some links with great examples of QR codes in educational contexts

  1. Take a look at my Pinterest board to see some great ways to use QR codes
  2. Kathy gives some great ideas for using QR codes 
  3. Seven fun ways to use QR codes
  4. Exploring the educational potential of QR Codes.

Tips 2013 Professional Learning #25:Sharing teacher-2-teacher twilight ECU

I am preparing for a great twilight seminar tonight @ecu. We have had a fabulous responseHow do we do this...???e we were fully booked in two days over 400 registrations and more on the waiting list. We are using a teachmeet format to give teachers an opportunity to share the amazing work they are doing in their classrooms. I can’t wait to hear their presentations. I am presenting on my latest research project- Using video for professional growth-We will tweet during the event #ecutips13 The event is 8 August 4:30- 6:30pm Perth time in Western Australia


Tips 2013 Professional Learning #24:Using iPads for Professional Growth

We are working on the TIPS-2 Project. In this project we are using iPads and iPhones and iPod Touches as tools for teacher reflection and to document teachers professional growth. This is a very exciting project and we have some amazing teachers and school principals as part of the research team. There was lots of discussion on how we reflect on the Australian Teacher Standards (@AITSL) and share our practice at our  recent team meeting. We were joined by Samoa a fellow ADE from Korea who shared her experiences in developing a “flipped classroom”.

TIPS-2 Research Team

TIPS-2 Research Team @ECU with Dr Jenny Lane

I am looking forward to working with this great team to explore these exciting possibilities. If you are using iPads, iPhones or iPod touches in professional learning for teachers please post a comment we would be interesting in sharing ideas with you.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #20:Which app is right for you?

When selecting apps my rule is “less is more”…In my experience it is better to have a few carefully selected apps that you can use in multiple ways than an app for every topic.

For many teachers at the start of a semester or the beginning of  a new school year you will be deciding which apps you will be using in your teaching. Selecting the right apps can be a challenge when there are so many applications on the app store. Always keep your educational objective clearly in focus, it is easy to be seduced by bright colours and cute animations. Think carefully about what the student will do… will this app allow the students to create, engage in higher order thinking and connect in new ways? There is some value in apps that allow students to consolidate their skills in an engaging manner. Apps that support the teaching  and can be used across the curriculum are good value per use as opposed to apps that will be used once or twice in a specific area.

A colleague Jan Clarke from AISWA has shared an extensive list of apps that she has complied. Classroom apps  Thanks for sharing all your hard work Jan. I look forward to hearing from you about the apps you find most useful in your teaching.

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #58: SlideShark for iPad

SlideShark is a multi-award winning app for viewing and sharing PowerPoint Presentations on the iPad – complete with original animations, fonts, colours, and pictures. The app does not currently allow viewing of embedded videos or hyperlinks; however, these features are coming later this year.

SlideShark works by having users upload the PowerPoint file to their free online account, and then use the SlideShark app to download and view on their iPad, or project it using the a VGA connector. The single user account (100MB limit) is free, with more space available via paid subscription.

We recommend this app for anyone needing to share PowerPoint presentations on their iPads. Other presentation alternatives include Keynote and Prezi Viewer.

For: Teachers, Students, Administrators.

Cost: Free (Download)

Requires WiFi?: Yes, to download presentation files.

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #57: Prezi Viewer for iPad

Are you sick of boring PowerPoint presentations? Why not try Prezi, the zooming multi-modal presentation tool?

Prezi Viewer for iPad enables users to view and present your prezis anywhere, anytime … You can touch navigate, revise, and download your presentations for offline viewing.

Note: To use Prezi, teachers and students will need to create an account – the EDU Enjoy license is free, providing you sign up with an .edu email address (video).

For: Teachers, Students, Administrators

Cost: Free (Download)

Requires WiFi?: Yes, to download presentations for offline viewing.



Educational Applications

  • Enhance presentation delivery – in class, at staff meetings, for student presentations
  • Provide a fun, creative way to explore visual content & written material, and demonstrate learning
  • For more great ideas, check out the collaborative brainstorming documents below!

Further Reading

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #56: Australian Teacher Magazine

This is a great free app which enables users to download and read the iPhone / iPad version of the Australian Teacher Magazine, via a FREE subscription.

Highly recommended for K-12 educators.

For: Teachers, ICT Integrators, Administrators

Cost: Free (Download)

Requires WiFi: Yes, for download of publication only. (Average 80-90MB download)

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #54: Wunderlist HD

Wunderlist HD s a free ‘To-Do List” which synchronises your tasks / lists across all your devices – iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and your web browser. It is a great personal organisation tool. Requires a free user account.

For more information about how it works, please visit the official site.

For: Teachers, Students (Upper Primary – Secondary), Administrators

Cost: Free (Download)

Requires WiFI?: Yes

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #52: Sound Recorder Pro

Sound Recorder Pro is an easy-to-use voice-recorder for the iPad, useful for recording just about anything – meetings, memos, voice emails, reminders, …

It enables users to easily categorise and colour-code recordings, and will soon enable users to download recordings via their computer web browser. (It currently only supports email export).

You might also want to test the free alternatives – QuickVoice Recorder, iTalk Recorder, and Smart Recorder Lite, which we will review at a later date .

For: Teachers, Students, Administrators, Students with Diverse Needs

Cost: $0.99 (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: Not for recording, but required to export files.

Educational Applications

  • Oral history interviews
  • Create short audio explanations of learning concepts (good for students with diverse learning needs)
  • Create audio content for presentations
  • Record responses to student assignments (anecdotal assessment)
  • Voice memos, records of meetings
  • Creating podcasts (in conjunction with the iPrompt teleprompter app) via @nathan_stevens


Tips 2012 Professional Learning #9: Apple TV+ iPad = IWB

Project and share the learning on a big screen

iPads are essentially designed for individual use, yet in classrooms we often need to show and share the learning processes.

Traditionally we use interactive whiteboards where a computer is linked via a cable to a large touch screen attached to the classroom wall. This allows the computer technology with digital content to be projected and shared. This can create a didactic situation where the teacher has to be in a position close to the front of the classroom to operate the Interactive whiteboard, and not circulating in the classroom engaging with the students and monitoring their work.

Apple TV is a small device costing approximately $100 that allows the teacher and the students to connect their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch wirelessly to a TV screen or a  data projector to show their screen and share their work with the class.

Tips Professional Learning #8: iPads open the door to mobile learning


New learning spaces

New learning spaces for M- Learning

iPads open the door to mobile learning published by the Science Network WA.

This article includes an overview of the TPACK iPads in Schools project and the growing trend towards Mobile Learning ( M- Learning).

Our classrooms are changing as learning becomes more mobile. The introduction of mobile devices changes the classroom dynamics. Students no longer need to sit in rows in hard wooden desks facing the board. Learning can occur in small learning groups or pods. Students can sit on comfortable cushions and couches as they work and collaborate with their peers. They can learn outside the classroom. Learning can occur anytime and anyplace, the traditional classroom can be redesigned as a 21st Century learning centre.

This move to Mobile learning creates a new role for school libraries as they become more than the custodian of books. The school libraries of the future will be “information hubs” with “techno- pods” and comfortable areas for collaboration. They will become a third space where students can learn, collaborate and socialise in bright inviting surrounding. A school I visited recently is planning to introduce a munching area with ” Milo and Muffins” in the library to encourage students to visit the library and continue their learning after school hours.



Tips 2012 Professional Learning #14: What is a good App?

What is an application (App)

The use of apps in mobile devices is somewhat different to the use of software programs on a computer.

Applications commonly known as apps are small executable files which are downloaded onto your mobile device. There are apps written for Apple devices which you download from the iTunes App Store. There are apps written for other mobile devices which run on an Android operating system. There a a large number of free apps for educational purposes.

There are thousands of Apps

What is a good App?

This is a frequently asked question and rightly so, as purchasing apps in volume can be a costly exercise.  The choice of an app is very specific and needs to be carefully linked to the pedagogy (PK) (teaching) and the content (CK). When pedagogy, content and the technology are considered we are working in the zone advocated in the TPACK model.

TPACK Mishra and Koehler (2009)


There are a few criteria that you need to consider:

1. Why do you need to use an app-when selecting apps for educational contexts you need to be very clear on the intended function and the learning outcomes.

2.Links to the curriculum- we need to be clear how the app supports the learning outcomes as stated in the curriculum or the students IEP.

3.Purpose and function- the app needs to have a function that will enhance learning is the app replicating an existing activity or is the app transforming the way students learn and express their learning

4. Deep learning/ skill re-inforcement- does the app promote deep learning or is it for re-inforcement. We want a balance between apps that allow practice and re-inforcement and apps that encourage creativity and higher order thinking.

5. Transfer- is the learning transferable to other settings

6. Workflow- how easy is it to export the contents of this app

7.Tracking progress-can you keep a record of a students’ progress while using the app

8. Wifi- do you need access to a wifi network to use this app- many classrooms do not have enough wifi bandwidth for all students to be working online at the same time

We value your comments please let us know how you select apps.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #7: Twilight Seminars

Keep calm and grab an iPad- Dr. Jenny Lane

M-Learning in Education@ECU

We had a great evening tonight in the first two session of our Twiilght Seminars@ECU, attended by over 350 teachers and school leaders.

Click here for a report on the M-Learning@ECU Events  Teaching with technology

The topic was M-Learning, “Learning using Mobile Devices”. We discussed the research findings in Phase 1 of the TPACK iPads in Schools Project. This research project investigates teachers’ needs as they work in new ways with iPads. This research is funded through my research fellowship and research grants and awards that I have received from Edith Cowan University. I discussed the rationale and theoretical background supporting the use of ICT in classrooms and gave examples of how school students embrace new technologies fearlessly.

Specialist consultants from from AISWA, Catholic Education and the Department of Education gave valuable insights on exciting projects and the teaching and learning strategies used in their schools.

Louise Cimetta and Caroline Mullins from Catholic Education enjoying M- Learning@ECU

Some of our fabulous teachers and industry colleagues shared their experiences introducing iPads and BYOD in schools, and told us about their favourite apps.
Tricky Tips on managing work flows, transferring documents to other devices, and how to select apps provided much needed technical information for all iPad users.

Thanks to Sarah, Ian, Doug, Jamie,Shaloni, Michelle, Louise and Jan for inspiring snapshots of their work.

Thanks to Madlen and the prac team helping organizing the event.

TIPS 2012 iPad App Guide #50: Office HD

Having previously reviewed DocumentsToGo Premium ($17.99 AUD), we were pleasantly surprised to find Office HD offering almost identical features and cloud functionality at a much more affordable price ($8.49 AUD).

While neither app performs flawlessly; if you need to access and edit your Microsoft Office and cloud documents (e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox) on your iPad, we highly recommend purchasing Office HD. 

Please note: There are persistent rumours that an official Microsoft Office app will be launched in late 2012. We will keep you informed.

For: Teachers, (Older) Students, Administrators

Cost: $8.49 (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: Yes, to access documents stored online

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #49: Australian Curriculum – Mobile Edition

The Australian Curriculum: Mobile Edition is an iPhone (iPad compatible) app which brings the new F-10 English, History, Science, and Mathematics Australian curriculum documents to your iOS device.

For the latest details on the rollout of the Australian Curriculum, please visit:

For: Australian Teachers

Cost: Free (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: Not for general use, but requires WiFi to include the very latest content.