Thursday, February 26, 2015

Science, Art, and Testing Technology

Tomorrow night, my school has the yearly Discovery & Art Fair.  With new interest and passionate leadership, it has grown over the last few years.  It started as a quiet little gem and has now expanded into a seriously cool event for families of all ages.  In the past, I took the lame route and put up some art based on math or some kind of boring seasonal project.  This year, I stepped out of my box and ACTIVELY thought about what my students could share with the school community about their learning.

First graders study life cycles of animals.  After our research, reading, and the writing phase of our amphibian unit... We celebrated by creating salamanders out of salt dough.  On the day we were to start, I had four students out sick.  Ugh!  So, I had a spur of the moment idea- use the iPad on a stand to record the directions!  I was even able to email it and send home some dough for two students.  The others watched the video in school and then created their salamanders.

I'm a photographer, so I taught my students to take pictures of our learning.  That day was no exception.  They love it when I post them on our classroom blog as a Wordless Wednesday feature!  During this time, I was also preparing for a technology training that I was giving to some colleagues.  Brainstorm!  Why not pull together ALL of the visual displays of our learning and display them for the fair?  Just to be fancy, I learned how to make a QR code that would link to the video of my teaching.  I love it when things come together!

Here is what the display for tomorrow looks like:





Making the QR code took exactly 5 minutes, including installing the free app!  


To make the video, I just used an iPad on a stand, then uploaded it to a secure YouTube.com channel (nonsearchable).  Using the app, this little cutie popped up:

Will I use this all the time?  Probably not with first graders, but you never know.  I only use technology to enhance student learning, not for the sake of using technology :)

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