Tips 2013 Professional Learning#29Talking QR Codes

Talking QR codes

We are always looking for ways to encourage our  students to tell their stories or express their learning. A “talking” QR code is a fun activity to engage students young and old. This activity can be used for digital storytelling and to promote literacy as well as mathematical understanding. Use talking QR codes to encourage students to create authentic stories and share them with their peers and their families. Students in early childhood settings can tell the story about their artwork or  read a story they have written. Students who are at  pre-reading and prewriting stages can record themselves “reading”  the print written by their teacher. Older students can add a narrative to a project or make their thinking visible by explaining the process they followed to solve a maths problem. Talking QR codes can be used for learning a language or to describe a science experiment. I am sure you can`t wait to get started, the best part is that it is so easy the students can do it themselves. I have selected a very quick free way to do this in your classroom. It works with a computer or any mobile tablet or smart phone.

How to create a talking QR code

You start by creating a recording and linking to it with a quick response code or QR code.

Scan this QR code and hear how to create an audio file

Scan this QR code and hear how to create an audio file

  • You need to record an audio file and store it online which can be accessed via a QR code.
  • To do this activity  you will need access to wifi
  • Go to this site
  • Vocaroo is  easy to use.
  • It starts recording immediately you just have to press stop when you are done.
  • You can listen to your recording and redo it if needed.
  • It gives you a range of options for sharing the recording- select Qr code on the bottom right hand corner
  • You can read the QR code with any QR code application these are free for mobile devices-
  • If you are not sure go to my  previous post No # 28 which describes how to scan QR codes

Sharing options- click on the bottom right to create a QR code

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 #26:Create and curate interactive content using iTunesU

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 5.53.10 PM I frequently get asked by teachers,how do I create learning experiences for my students to use the features on the iPads?

I set out to  explore how teachers who don`t have web editing skills can do this in an easy way. I saw a lot of high end complex and expensive options that would not be of interest to busy teachers. Then I found some teachers  using using free software you can download on the web.

I was impressed at the amazing interactive resources teachers are developing for their classes using iTunesU and ibooks author.

These tools allow teachers to create their own interactive digital content that students can access on an iPad or a laptop. The iTunesU site also contains a wide range of material that teachers and students can access and customise. The great thing is it is all free. Lots of the content is created and shared by teachers. This teachers-2-teacher sharing of resources is a very positive and productive movement in education that benefits everyone.

A very exciting development is that I saw the students  creating their own ibooks and sharing them with their peers and their parents. Students can work together outside the classroom and collaborate on joint projects extending their learning. These ibooks can be included in iTunesU courses allowing shared ownership of the learning materials. When students are  looking for reliable content, making connection between sources they are engaging in higher order thinking and I have noticed how excited they get about learning.

You can get the free iTunesU app for the iPad Link

To start creating your own courses you need to set up an Apple ID. Then go to this site

Courses are created on a computer (MAC) and then loaded to the iTunesU site. Once in iTunesU courses can be shared with students privately by sending them a link or open access  freely available courses can be downloaded from the site. You can open all the courses on an iPad, iPhone or an iPod touch. Here are  guidelines on how to start building a course   Creating your course

There are a series of short webcasts that show you how it all works in the classroom

To explore the courses go to iTunesU and search the catalogue by topic, curriculum area or grade most are freely available for you do download.

Australian teachers have been busy creating courses aligned to the new Australian Curriculum to view these course search iTunesU for Australian Curriculum.


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 #23:iPads as a productive tool

Investigate, Communicate, Create: Using an iPad as a productive tool in the classroom. Presenter: Dr Jenny Lane

We have a great group of over 250 teachers attending our session tonight. I do apologise to all those teachers who were disappointed because they did not manage to secure a seat to this presentation. I will be repeating this session next term. Thanks to all the teachers for attending this session and a special thank you to those who volunteered to share the amazing productive work happening in their classes and in their schools.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #17:Getting started with iPads?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “how do I get started using iPads in my classroom?”.
The next question I get asked is “I know the basics but what is the next step? How do I integrate this technology into my teaching to make a difference in learning outcomes?”<


In response to these questions I have prepared two preconference workshops that I will be offering at the ACEC conference in Perth on the 2 October. The morning workshop “Getting started with iPads” gives an overview of how to set up and begin using iPads effectively in classrooms.


In the afternoon workshop we will look at ways of “Integrating iPads into the curriculum”. We will discuss and create resources that teachers can use in their teaching. The designing of workflows to import and export materials from mobile devices will be one of the topics we will explore.

These workshops are also open to those who cannot attend the full conference. You can book on the conference website.


Thanks to all who attended the workshops we had two amazing groups of enthusiastic educators. Many thanks to the fabulous teachers Louise, Kym and Anna and Jamie and the crew from Winthrop who helped me facilitate the groups as the enrolments to these workshops kept increasing.


The spirit of sharing and collaboration made these workshops  a very worthwhile learning experience for  all. I am sharing the workshop resources through an edmodo site. To access the resources set up a personal edmodo account. This is free. Search for the group titled Jenny lane and join it. The code for the group is mom1q0. ( last letter is the digit 0). Please contribute by adding your comments thoughts and ideas.


Tips 2012 Professional Learning #16:Creating and sharing learning online

One of the ways to create interactive online experiences is to use a learning management system (LMS). This is much easier than you think and is a great way to use mobile learning devices in daily classroom practice. These systems now incorporate social networking so students can create and share their learning as part of professional learning networks. There are a range of these, today I am discussing two free LMS systems designed for classroom use. Edmodo and Schoology.  I am seeing excellent use of  these systems in classrooms. Teachers can post tasks and assessments online in the password protected space they have created for their students. They can give parents access to sections of the site so parents can view the work. Students can access this work anywhere, anytime on a web enabled device. There are apps for Android and IOS devices like iphones and iPads. Students can post their responses to their teacher and work collaboratively with their peers. The facility to set up groups is very useful. The student work is all safely stored online, no need for complex server configurations.


This video link guides you through how to set up a site in Schoology. Schoology has advanced features to set up test and assessments with self marking features.


The Edmodo help site with very useful tips on everything you need to get this up and running in your classroom.

This post gives more details on how to use Edmodo in education

This post on edmodo gives lots of links to schools and blog sites with practical examples of edmodo in action
This video shows how a 5th grade student uses Edmodo

Please post a comment and share how you are using these tools in your teaching and learning

Edmodo touch app also available for android devices

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #10: Explore ECU with iPads

Welcome to the Clontarf Girls

For the Explore ECU Program today we welcomed the year 10 & 11 Clontarf Girls to spend a day experiencing University life with us on campus. We are going to be using technology in a fun way in to support learning.

Clontarf was one of the schools in Perth that the Queen visited when she was in Australia see the pictures on their website. Clontarf is a unique sporting academy with a specialist curriculum to develop the leadership skills of Aboriginal girls.

We had lots of fun – watch this space …

Clontarf girls become movie producers at ECU

I was very fortunate to work with this delightful group of enthusiastic fun loving students. For many of the group it was the first time they experienced using an iPad. There was much laughter and excitement as they became movie directors for the day. We discussed creative ways of using mobile learning tools like phones and tablet computers for learning.

“Focus, action, shoot, let the camera roll”

For some more details on this event, click here.

We are celebrating NAIDOC Week at our university. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held in Australia in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by all Australians. At Edith Cowan University we participated in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

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)

Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices #3: Phil`s i-Story

Using iPads to teach English as a second language

Phil Rice is a teacher of adult ESL learners in the state of Delaware, USA. He has taught English Composition and multiple levels of ESL classes. He enjoys using technology to teach and help students to teach themselves. Phil is an avid user of iPads in his ESL classes, and he has shared some of the activities he uses in his teaching
Show me

Show Me

 Phil sent in this i-Story in response to a posting we did on using the Show Me screen casting app to read that post Tips2012 App Guide: Show Me. The Show Me app was also used for ESL teaching  in Schools in India as mentioned in Jude`s i-Story.
With ShowMe, teachers can…

1) Create an online lesson for an in-class topic. Record the main ideas of your lesson and give students a link or post your creation to an online social media site.

2) Have students create a narrated visual presentation on a topic using your/their iPad and show it in class as opposed to a “stand in front of the class” type presentation.

3) Create a Vocab Map using Skitch / DoodleBuddy and ShowMe together. Pick a picture that is related to a topic you are teaching and annotate it with Skitch showing the vocabulary for the picture. Then, upload the photo and use it on ShowMe to narrate and pronounce the vocab.

4) Download the presentation and upload it to YouTube so students have instant access to your ShowMes!

These are just a few uses for ShowMe. I use it all the time, and I’m sure that you will too once you get used to it.

Thanks Phil for sharing your i-Story.

You can visit Phil`s blog, ESL Commando, to find more ideas for using ICT in ESL classes.

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.

Tips2012: i-Kids make a difference:#1:Jude`s i-Story


Jude the “Living Statue”:  A boy who makes a difference…. 


This inspiring i-Story started with some emails in response to the TIPS2012 blog. Jude and his mum Tania asked questions about using iPads in schools in India and how to cope in settings with no WiFi network.

I directed them to the resources on the blog, and a while later received this email…

Dear Jenny, …

Thank you all so much for supporting Jude “The Living Statue” in raising money for an iPad for an Indian school. He raised a total £220 – which is quite amazing and inspiring, especially as it was all his own idea to do this.

The iPad caused huge amount of excitement and the children kept looking at their fingers  when they were drawing/writing on the iPad, as they couldn’t understand why there wasn’t ink on them!  

Here are some photos of Jude showing the kids at the school how an iPad works.

Jude showing the children in India how to use the iPad

We spent hours at a rather nice hotel in the local town, using their free wifi to download some educational apps.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and Australian Dr Jenny Lane of iPad project in schools, we found some fantastic apps that can be used without wifi.  Especially good were the animations and puppet shows with self recorded narration, which are great for story telling, imagination and those not confident in speaking English – plus they are lots of fun.

Thank you all again for your support…

Tania & Jude

Tania, Jude`s mother comments “I am amazed he had so much courage to stand on Ledbury Road, which is quite a busy street in Notting Hill.  I am very proud of him and very happy for you to include on your blog – which was so helpful for us.”

Living Statutes

“Living Statues” are people who dress up like a statue and stand motionless on the street, usually on a pedestal.  They are usually painted from head to toe – white, bronze or gold, etc. and will only move, or shake your hand etc when you give them some money.
Jude (Millais) is the great-great-great grandson of the painter John Everett Millais (


Tips2012 Professional Learning #6: Catholic Education

Sharing the learning from TIPS Research Project

I am looking forward to sharing the progress of the Tpack iPad Project in Schools with the management team at Catholic Education in Perth tomorrow.  I will be sharing some of the research findings regarding the needs of teachers for professional learning.

  • The role of ICT in the National Curriculum
  • The importance of the development of Professional Learning Networks.
  • The use of Social Networks as a professional learning tool.
  • The theoretical background framing the TIPS  research project
  • TPACK and the SAMR Model
  • How to plan using the Integrated Challenge Framework.
  • How to support teachers as they introduce iPad technologies in their classrooms.

Tips2012 iPad App Guide #41: LiveBinders

Livebinders is a web application which makes it easy for teachers to curate and organise their favourite online education resources (and uploaded PDF / Word documents) in virtual 3 ringed binders, which can then be shared on virtual ‘shelves’ – accessible for free – anywhere, anytime.

The Livebinders iPad app enables users to view and edit their livebinders on their iPads using their Safari web browser. And as an added benefit, the Livebinders website hosts a public library of shared binders covering a wide range of learning areas and topics. These collections are an ideal resource for busy teachers.

For: Teachers, Administrators

Cost: Free (Download Link). Requires iOS 5.0.1 or later.

Requires WiFi?: Yes

Educational Applications

Collate professional learning and educational resources by topics of interest, eg.:

Create convenient places for students to find important information during & outside of school (eg. homework assignments, helpful research resources, etc.

Further Reading


Preservice Teachers using the TIPS blog

I would like to welcome the ECU Pre-Service teachers and students from other institutions who are using this blog as their online resource in their challenge based learning task.

It is good to see future teachers using online sources and social networking to increase their professional learning networks.

Enjoy your module “Teaching and Learning with Touch Technologies.”

On this blog we have a vast professional learning network of teachers from all over the world. We welcome you to our community, and look forward to seeing your voices on the blog as you leave your comments.


Dr. Jenny Lane
Twitter @EduJen