Why This Blog? Why Now? Why This title?

I am no longer blogging under duress. This part remains true: I had a blog once and I lost the password...and then, I gave up. I really am not a giver-upper, but there is a point of diminishing returns to anything that takes energy, passion, and vision and yet, doesn't work out. So, off I go again, wish me luck! AND knock on wood I have had luck. And it is sort of fun.

P.S. Why this title? I read this phrase today 6/16, don't remember where. I liked it. I'm using it. I might change it. It may or may not have relationship to the content.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

QR Codes Finally Have a Purpose

Finally, I can see the point and the possible power of using QR codes ( do you call them codes?) in my professional life...I am going to use them to tell visitors more about my school; The Renaissance Magnet School, an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School. I'll build web sites or record explanations of various philosophical pieces of our magnet school and publish the QR code to the website so that vistiors have access. I might put the QR codes close to the object/poster/painting that needs explanation and/or publish the codes in a handout.

I am also going to use them as tools to further explain our "brochure" wall. Let me further explain:) There is a big wall down our main hall way that we use to keep our community aware and engaged with current Learning Expeditions. As crews do field work, or create products, or engage in projects, photos of student learning go up on the "brochure" wall. We (I) call it a "brochure" wall because the detail is in the pictures and not in the text...so it resembles a big brochure "advertising" the ongoing Learning Expeditions. This is where the QR codes come in...I am going to start including QR codes in the display so that visitors can get a bit more information and/or student reflection/explanation if they wish. For example; I will use a QR code to direct visitors to the website detailing the gold mine our fourth graders visited as part of their field work. I think it is exciting to think about asking teachers to video students explaining the learning experiences depicted in the pictures. I'll create a web site or youtube video, and then use the QR code to direct visitors to student's talking about the experiences shown in the pictures. Great idea huh! Like all great ideas this one came from collaboration at a regional tech conference. The QR code session was facilitated by Liz Walhof...thanks Liz!


  1. Well I can tel you how for now as I haven't made my video yet..which I intend to do. So, a few things to know...QR codes need to be attached to something, and as far as I know it needs to be a something with a URL address...site or video or...Next QR codes are intended to be "value added" In other words the code should add information that is not already present or easily attainable, which is why video is a good idea. The how to:
    1. decide what your QR code will attach to
    2. make sure that you have a URL to attach to
    3. copy the URL into a code maker like Beautiful QR Codes
    4. generate your code
    5. take a screen shot (shift+command +4 on a mac) and paste your code into word or other word processing program to print out
    6. I've discovered that you need to make sure you have a dark colored paper or something underneath the QR code inorder to make it readable
    7. scan your code with a QR reader (free from the app store)
    8. enjoy