Thursday, June 14, 2012

Want a Free Flash Drive from Kerrville ISD Tech? a flash drive? In an effort to ensure all Kerrville ISD staff members, who use a district computer, understand basic computing and practice good storage procedures, we are giving away 2GB flash drives to the first 100 people who complete the "Basic Computing: What Every Staff Member Should Know" eCourse in Eduphoria's School Objects. The flash drives are going quick so hurry!

If you are new to Kerrville ISD, following these instructions:

Step 1: Go to the Kerrville ISD website

Step 2: Click on "Staff" tab, then click on "eduphoria's School Objects" link (right side)

Step 3: Login (kisd user & pw), click on "workshop" link, then click on "eCourses"

Step 4: Select "Basic Computing: What Every Staff Member Should Know"

Step 5: Be sure to click the "Register" link next to a green plus graphic

Step 6: Watch slides, complete eCourse, and incorporate training into habits

Step 7: Remember to click the "Request Credit" (under My Portfolio)

Enjoy and good luck!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

QR Codes: The What & Why for Educators

Kerrville teachers learn about QR codes @ Techpalooza 2.0
Many educators think the jury is still out to whether QR codes are more than a current educational fad. Others think it is a very useful tech tool that will be engaging students in classroom learning activities for years to come. Regardless of current opinions, there are plenty of teachers who are somewhat clueless about QR codes so if this includes you then be in the dark no more! Even if you decide not to use QR codes with your students, you will at least be better informed and able to share the 411 with others when the topic comes up (and it will).

So, what is a QR Code? The term is an abbreviation for "Quick Response Code" (which gives you a hint). QR codes are similar to barcodes and have been around since 1994. They were used as a way to track vehicles during manufacturing. If you want to know more of its history, click on the hyperlinked term in the previous sentence. Otherwise, keep reading and find out why teachers are jazzed about using QR codes in the classroom.

At last week's Techpalooza 2.0, teachers in Kerrville ISD had a chance to learn more about QR codes. A self-guided tour was setup in a classroom so teachers could experience for themselves how QR codes work rather than just hear about it (another brilliant idea by Joel Adkins). The photo above represents the discovery process and I had fun watching teachers figure it out. It made for some creative discussion afterwards.

If you missed out on Techpalooza 2.0 or didn't get a chance to visit the QR Code Room because you attended other sessions, then use the following step-by-step instructions to find out for yourself what QR Codes are about and how you might use them in your classroom. Sometimes you just have to experience it before you can understand it. Once you have the "ah-ha"moment, you can rush down to the resource web links at the bottom of this post post to learn more.

A Techpalooza 2.0 Session Brought to You!

Step 1: Install a QR Code Reader on to your mobile device. There are free apps available for most smartphones and tablets. Go to your mobile device's app store and search for "qr code reader" and install one of the apps that received good reviews.  For example, here are a few to consider:
  • iOS: QR Code Scanner, i-Nigma 4, QR Scanner, QRReader
  • Android: QR Code Scanner, Barcode Reader, QRdroid
  • Blackberry: QR Code Scanner. Barcode Reader
Step 2: Open your QR Code Reader app and scan your first code.  Below are two codes to get you started and give you an idea how it all works. You need to hold your smartphone or iPad camera at the right distance (depends on code size) for it to scan automatically. After a couple tries you will be scanning and learning in no time!
Example #1: A Special Message 

Example #2: A Cool Blog

Learn How Other Teachers Use QR Codes in the Classroom:

QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide (by Cool Cat Teacher)

QR Codes in the Classroom (by Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything)

10 Ways To Use QR Codes in the Classroom (by Classroom in the Cloud)

QR Codes Explained and Ideas for Classroom Use (by Free Tech 4 Teachers)

Learn How to Create Codes with QR Code Generators:

Qurify (a free web-based QR Code Generator)

Quikqr (another free web-based QR Code Generator)

Tip: There are also mobile apps that will allow you to generate QR codes. Search for them the same way you did for a reader except type "qr code generator" (some of these are not free so happy hunting for the free apps).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Youblisher - Jazz Up Those PDF files!

I recently came across a pretty cool web-based tool that converts your PDF files into nice flippable pages. This is nice when you want to jazz up your reports and presentations.

Since the site will store your publications, you can easily have a place to store them in the cloud and use the urls to share with others. It works very smooth but the upload process may seem a bit slow. I suspect it is the conversion process. One more ads to deal with as a free product (let's hope this is true in future).

To learn more, click web link below:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't forget about Techpalooza this Monday!

Techpalooza photo napkin

Techpalooza 2.0 - Mark your calendars!

When: Monday, June 4, 2012

Time: 9:00a - 4:00p

Where: Hal Peterson Middle School

Techpalooza 2.0 will be lots of fun so don't miss it!
For more info, visit the official techpalooza site: