QR Codes- Uncoded

What is a QR Code you ask? Well it wasn’t until a few days ago I could not have answered this question. I saw these odd barcodes on everything and everywhere and felt like it didn’t pertain to me. Oh how wrong I was. They QR code is made for people like you and me to get information right at our fingertips-our phones!

QR stands for Quick Response Code, and it is a barcode that can be scanned both vertically and horizontally, giving it it’s unique appearance. Unlike a barcode, the QR code can hold more information, and virtually any kind of data.With a smartphone you can download the QR reader application and then you are ready for QR reading. Once you scan a QR code it can take you anywhere from a website, a blog, a personal profile, a wikispace….pretty much anywhere.

Here is a quick video explaining more about the QR code  http://www.commoncraft.com/video/qr-codes

What is that? You would like to make your own QR code? Well luckily it is incredibly easy to do! All you need is a QR code generator such as Kerem Erkan or QR stuff. Once you have found a code generator, decide what you would like your code to link people to and make a selection from the menu. Fill out the information you want to link with your code and then generate. It is important not to make the code too big, for it to have a clear back ground, and that the code quality is clear.I have link a site that explains this – QR codes.

Here is a QR code to a QR code generating site:

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Extra Extra- Hear All About It, With Podcasting!

  Podcast stands for Personal On Demand Broadcasting. A podcast is fun way to create and broadcast audio through itunes or other media players. With a podcast you can record an audio track with a program such as audacity and upload it into an mp3 format for the public to listen. All you need to create a podcast is a computer, a microphone,a connection to the web, and a camera for an enhanced podcast.Once you have recorded you podcast you can then export from audacity to your desired itunes or other location. I created one for our Web 2.0 tool class and we uploaded them into our itunes U account. There are lots of great websites with step-by-step directions on how to create and upload a podcast.  I have listed a few below:

Video: Podcasting in Plain English

How to: Step-by-step podcasting

Podcasting is a great education tool.Students can create podcast in fulfillment of assignments or they can subscribe to educational podcast. The podcast created for my web 2.0 class will more than likely be the beginning of a series about different artist for students to listen to in class. I am excited about this new tool and am looking forward to using it in the classroom.

Tagxedo

 

” Tagxedo is an online tool that turns words into stunning artworks” Hardy Leung, creator of Tagxedo.

 

 

Here are some of the strengths of Tagxedo taken from the Tagxedo website.

Making word cloud is fun, and is much more fun with Tagxedo! With Tagxedo, you can:

  • make word clouds in real-time
  • customize font, theme, color, orientation, and shape
  • fine-tune with lots of options
  • save as images for printing and sharing
  • view your word clouds as thumbnails, and pick the one you want for further tweaking or saving
  • choose from many standard fonts
  • use custom fonts (e.g. downloaded from Font SquirrelDaFontFontSpace, or your own hand-drawn fonts)
  • constrain the word cloud to selected shapes (heart, star, animals, etc)
  • use images as custom shapes (e.g. a portrait, an animal silhouette)
I think tagxedo could be a great tool for the classroom. It is a fun way for students to merge technology and writing together. It seems easy enough to use and you do not have to sign up, which is great for students without an e-mail address. You just log in and create.
Almost any subject in school could find a use for tagxedo. Any history unit could make a tagxedo on a famous person, including artist, presidents, authors etc. Students could also create a tagxedo to accompany something they have written.
I would like to try this program with my upper grades next year when they do an artist study.
Here is an example I found of a completed Tagxedo of Frida Kalho

Bitstrips

Bitstrips is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create avatars of themselves that can then be developed into webcomics. With bitstrips, users can completely customize characters and place them into a wide variety of scenes with props and speech bubbles. Bitstrips for schools allows teachers to create a classroom with avatars for each student. Students can then create webcomics with one another in the classroom.

I think bitstrips is a great classroom tool because almost any subject could incorporate a bitstrip into a lesson. A language art class could easily use bitstrips to improve literacy skills, social studies and science could both create a bitstrip explaining the sequence of events. In the art class, a bitstrip could be created to accompany a lesson on graphic arts and design.

I can see myself using bitstrips in my classroom next year and sharing what I have learned with other teachers in my school.

Here is a link to the Wiki page I helped create with more information on bitstrips:

Bitstrips Wiki

Here is an example of a completed bitstrip that a fellow student/art teacher made for our presentation:

RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a Web 2.0 tool used to follow website updates such as blogs and news. Websites using an RSS feed lets publishers syndicate content automatically. This is beneficial to readers or subscribers who want updates from their favorite sites or aggregate feeds all in one place such as google reader.

Here is great video that breaks down rss .

I personally had never understood the meaning of the rss symbol on a webpage or what it meant to “subscribe”. Now that I know how easy and convenient it is, I will be subscribing to all of my favorite sites. All you have to do is click the RSS symbol on a webpage and then select where you would like to follow. With google, you can add the page as a widget on your igoogle page, or you can select to add it to your google reader.

Google reader is another great tool from google. Google reader is an aggregator  that allows you to subscribe to feeds from your favorite sites. New updates from your sites will appear in you google reader. You can create folders to help organize the types of feeds you are receiving. Here is a great video on google reader:

google reader in plain english

You can also add google reader to you igoogle  here’s how : adding google reader to igoogle

Google reader could be a great tool for the classroom. Students could create a google reader account and then subscribe to various sites that would be beneficial to their studies. For example, in art it would be great or students to subscribe to museums and artist blogs to keep up with current exhibitions and news in the art world.

I am loving google reader as an educator especially. It makes connecting with other art teachers blog updates and art and education news incredibly convenient. What a time saver, it is all right there for you in one place with all the newest content at your fingertips!

Here is a great link from edutopia on RSS feeds     http://www.edutopia.org/tech-teacher-RSS

Mash-ups

So I have just been introduced to Mash-ups/startpages via igoogle in my Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom course. I have learned that igoogle is a type of aggregator that allows you to retrieve information from multiple websites.I have never actually created my own startpage before but I’m please with yet another feature google has to offer.

With an igoogle page I can link all of my favorite site such as g-mail, weather, and news through the use of widgets. After I have found all of my favorites I can then place into categorized tabs such as my homepage, entertainment, art education, and tools. When I log into my igoogle page, it is all there for me in one place  with new updates from rss feeds (another new feature I am learning about).

I am enjoying having all of my sites and more in one place, it is very convenient. I think this will be a great tool in my Web 2.0 tool belt for the future! As an elementary art teacher, igoogle might be somewhat advanced, but I do not think impossible. With a little guidance I think my students could create their own start page with tabs for different subjects such as art, music, science, social studies etc. 

Here is a link for anyone new to mashups and would like to start there own igoogle page : setup igoogle

Also, here is a nifty video that explains rss feeds and mash-ups…

RSS Video