Why teach? One might say because it is unique, fun and always changing. For me teaching has always been about the children. Every day of the past twelve years, I have seen many children come through the doors of my classrooms. Some have had smiles, some frowns and even tears. Underneath it all, I would ask myself what can I do to help them lead their learning journey?
During the summer of 2012 in Bozeman Montana, I learned about QR codes. Rita Mortenson was presenting a session at DENSI 2012. Her session on QR code use in high school and middle schools made an impact on me. I left her session thinking about how to make it work in my Kindergarten classroom. When I first posed the thought to my school technology coach, all I got was a question “how would you do that with kindergarten?” As I told a few more people, most of the responses were, kids can’t work independently, they can’t do things for themselves! Well that was all the motivation I needed. When you say the word “can’t” to me, that is “my” signal to prove you wrong!
These thoughts and comments got me thinking even more about how kids CAN do things and be leaders of their learning. I set out for the 2012-2013 school year fired up to prove that kids CAN work independently and be leaders of their learning. My answer to all this was through the use of QR codes. Now you see, I didn’t “really” have a plan on how it would all work, but I was just going to push through and make it work somehow.
I threw myself into QR coding and used Rita Mortensons LiveBinder
(http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/472827?present=true) to help me. I made a YouTube channel and then made a Delivr account too. http://delivr.com/ is a free site to make and use QR codes.
I started to make videos giving the directions for literacy centers. I then set out the materials for kids to scan the QR codes and complete the task. This was great the kids were actually working, as 4 and 5 year olds in the first 3-4 weeks of school. Sweet I was proving that kids CAN work independently. However the part about being leaders of their education was not so evident. So I went back to the students for feedback and ways to improve. All I got for responses were, “this is awesome,” “I love learning like this!” While these responses were good and made me smile, it did not give a why and how for the learning that was taking place.
Over the next few weeks stay tuned to see more posts about how and why students were able to use QR codes and video to lead their personal learning journey.