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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Google Advanced Search


Did you know there's WAY more to Google than just typing a word or phrase into the little search box?     

Try out these cool Google searches: 
• Calculator‐ just type your equation into the search box 
• Conversion tool‐ 1 mile in feet, etc. (type into search box) 
• Dictionary‐ “define:” and then the word you want 
• Weather‐ “weather” and then the City 
• Flight‐ Enter the airline and flight number 
• Movies‐ “movie:” and your zip code 

 Want to learn more? Go to http://www.google.com/help/features.html 

Have you ever clicked the "Advanced Search" link at the bottom of the search results page? There you'll find a variety of useful searches.  
https://www.google.com/advanced_search

 "Find pages with..."-  These options will narrow your search by including or excluding specific words or phrases.

"Then narrow your results by..."- Check out these great options for narrowing results by language, last update, specific site, reading level, file type (.docx, .pptx, .pdf, etc.) or usage rights (copyright free).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

QR Code Auto Generator- Great for Creating Lots of Codes at Once!



Want to make QR codes to your students' online projects but the thought of doing them one by one is scaring you away?  Have no fear!  The amazing Tammy Worcester has designed a Google Spreadsheet template that will automatically create QR codes for you!  Just paste in the desired URLs and let the spreadsheet do the work. 

To access the template, go to https://docs.google.com and login with your Google account (you can create one for free if you don't already have one.)  Click CREATE and FROM TEMPLATE.  Search the templates for QR and choose "QR Code Auto Generator Template".


Then just follow the directions on the spreadsheet to create and print your codes!

UPDATE:  If you have a problem printing your codes, try going to FILE and DOWNLOAD AS HTML.  Then you should be able to print from the HTML.

For more information and specific instructions, go to Tammy's blog.
http://www.tammyworcester.com/TipOfWeek/TammyWTechTipOfWeek/Entries/2012/1/24_Tip_110_-_Auto_Generate_QR_Codes_in_Google_Spreadsheet%21.html

Monday, February 13, 2012

TCEA Highlight: Shoeboxes, Wikis and Blogs... Oh my!


This TCEA presentation from Keller ISD showcased using a wiki approach to frame the research process. Students use their own wiki page to brainstorm and narrow topics, collect resources, take notes and reflect on their learning process. 

The iSearch method guides the students through the process of identifying and researching topics that interest them using the following questions:
1.  What do I want to know?
2.  Where can I find my answers?
3.  How will I keep a record of the answers that I find?
4.  How will I share what I learned?
5.  How will I know I did a good job?

This is a great printable resource for students to track all the phases of the research process. Use it as a written journal or convert to a wiki page so students can work on their project from anywhere that has Internet access. 

Sample class wiki with sample student pages:  http://isearchpatterson.wikispaces.com/home

To learn more about the iSearch method, go to http://www.isearchusearch.com

Ready to get started using wikis in your classroom?  Check out the GCISD online course "Classroom 2.0: Wikis" in Eduphoria Workshop. It's available 24/7!

How have you used wikis in your classroom?  Leave us a comment to share your ideas.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

QR Codes in the Classroom



QR codes. They're everywhere... in magazines and newspapers, stores and restaurants.   So what are they and how can you use them in your classroom?

What are they?
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a two-dimensional barcode that is most commonly encoded with text or a web URL.  The code usually consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.   

For more information about QR codes, check out the Common Craft video here:  http://www.commoncraft.com/video/qr-codes

How it Works:
Step 1- Create the Code:
  1. Go to http://goqr.me/  (Other options are http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ or http://www.qrstuff.com/ )
  2. To create a code to text, click the TEXT tab and type or paste in your text.
  3. To create a code to a website, click the URL tab and type or paste in the website URL.
  4. The code will automatically be created on the right.  Click the OPEN button. 
  5. Your QR code will open in a separate window.  You have 2 options:
    • To print the QR code:  Click FILE and PRINT.
    • To save the QR code as a picture file to add to worksheets, blogs, wikis, web pages, etc.:  Right click the code and choose SAVE PICTURE AS.
Step 2- Use the Code:
The end-user scans the code with a device (smart phone, iTouch, iPad, laptop with web cam, etc.) that has camera capabilities and a QR reader app.  Some recommended apps are:

Cool Lesson Ideas:
Art, Writing and Technology- audio based QR codes
http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/11/22/transliteracy-qr-codes-and-art/

Animal Habitats- text based QR codes
http://techie-bytes.blogspot.com/2011/11/animal-habitat-qr-codes-in-classroom.html

Other Ideas:
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1KscGBstkGFJkkoahgkMqiHsKeQSm1Rh6uuKDfg3ZPxs


How have you used QR codes in your classroom?  Leave us a comment to share your ideas!

 
 
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