The Future is Now!



Technology image by Pixabay.

QR codes and augmented reality? We are not in Kansas anymore, people. Am I really going to be using things like this? Am I going to be able to figure it out? My first reaction was that I am an old dog and these new tricks are getting ridiculous. But teaching does not leave us with the luxury of hitting “pass.”We must get on board or get off the ride. This is what is going on in our kids’ lives. They need to be able to feel confident and comfortable with the technology that is available to them. We owe it to our students  to first learn these skills and then pass what we know along to them.How else will they be able to compete? So…I dove in.

QR Codes

I knew that a QR code was that little cryptic looking black and white square that seems to be popping up everywhere. I knew you could scan the square with your phone and get information. That was pretty much the extent of what I knew. Monica Burns’ article introduced me to  some new things that are going on with QR codes. Audio is a feature that I didn’t realize could be tied in. The dynamic links that she spoke about really interested me as well. I use bellringers in my class daily, and a dynamic link would allow me to create ever changing daily starters for students to work on as they arrive in class. I also have a class pet and we have a Twitter account for him. Dynamic QR codes could be linked to the Twitter account to relay information or new photos from our classroom.

I’m also beginning to explore using Plickers as a formative assessment tool. The Plicker cards are embedded with a QR code and each card is assigned to a particular student. Students use the cards to answer by holding up side A, B, C, or D of the QR code. The teacher scans the classroom with a smartphone and each student’s response is recorded. Instant assessment.

Another site I  checked out was What I liked about this website was that you could program questions and answers in, get a QR code, and have students search for answers. I think students would have fun with something like this on orientation night. With clues scattered throughout my classroom, they could find the answers to the questions they find by scanning the QR code. Here is a link to what I came up with using for fun: Mrs. Dishner’s Orientation  I also came up with a QR code using to direct students to a read aloud inspirational story about a struggling reader. Thank You Mr. Falker

I think it would be fun to use QR codes as a scavenger hunt in a library setting. QR codes could be affixed in areas of the library and links could explain things like features of particular genres, author information, details about what can be found in various resource materials, available technology, and checkout policies. I actually had a student help me add QR codes to my classroom library books last year. He programmed the title and author’s name in and assigned each book a QR code which we printed off and he affixed the codes in the back of the books. I will admit that I still used my index card system as back up. See “old dog” statement above.

In the article by Kelly Walsh, I found the suggestion for using QR codes to let students vote interesting. I would use this for student government elections. It would allow for anonymity and create a new level of excitement, I think. She also suggested using QR codes around a building to provide information. I think it  would be a great way to orient our sixth graders to a new building by placing QR codes around our campus to allow them to explore with their parents in a fun way.


Augmented Reality

Is this what Pokemon Go is? That’s been all over the news this week and I think that it is timely that this is what we are discussing in class. My daughter has had me drive around chasing Pokemon each time we’ve been in town this week,claiming  that we are close and just drive a bit more. Kids, even big kids, love this type of technology. But forgetting Pokemon, when I read the article by Eddie Makuch regarding Oculus Rift, I felt like my brain was going to explode. In the article he mentions the possibilities of exploring all over the world without having to travel or pay the expense it would take to do so. He talks about the limitations schools have of providing field trip experiences due to time and money constraints but explains how students will not have to continue to miss out on these opportunities because of what augmented reality programs will be able to provide. I started thinking about how all of this could impact the elderly and physically handicapped people as well. People with physical limitations could have the world available to them through augmented reality technology. As I said, my brain is exploding. After reading the articles and watching the videos I think I could use Aurasma in the classroom for many things. I love the idea of having students upload a picture of work they have done then overlay videos explaining the work. The printed images could be posted in the classroom on a bulletin board and then students with the Aurasma app could scan and listen to classmates explain their projects. Another way I would use this with students oral book reports. Each year I have students who have anxiety issues and presenting live is a problem for them. Aurasma would be a great alternative. Aurasma in the library could involve instructions on how to use self checkout technology. Students could scan pictures of other available technology too to find out how to check those out and how long check out periods are. In younger grades, students could scan images of books that are available as read aloud, then listen to them through their devices. Take a look at my Aurasma attempt if you download the app.

We are living in stimulating times. I’m going to buckle up and enjoy the ride.



Awesome Free Ed Tech Resources eBook! (2014, December 7). Retrieved July 14, 2016, from

QR Codes Can Do That? (2016, March 14). Retrieved July 14, 2016, from



8 thoughts on “The Future is Now!

  1. When I read about Augmented reality, I thought of Pokemon Go as well! I was walking along the boardwalk in Virginia Beach earlier this week and saw a grown man knock someone out of the way to catch a Pokemon! Now back to the topic . . . I love your idea for using Aurasma for students who have anxiety issues about public speaking! Great suggestion! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon, I can so relate to the “old dog” analogy! Whoever would have thought all those years ago when we were in school to become teachers this would be where we were at? But alas, I agree with you “get on board or get off the ride”. I must say that I LOVED your idea of a scavenger hunt using QR codes. I typically do a scavenger hunt for meet the teacher night, what a great way to incorporate technology into my classroom right there! Even being in a high poverty school most all of my student’s parents have a smart phone. I also really enjoyed that your QR code took me to storylineonline! That is one of my most favorite sites to use with my students so they don’t tire of my “Charlie Brown” like teacher voice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you, Sharon. I feel like an old dog that can be taught some new tricks, but I honestly feel that in some ways we’re going overboard in the technology emphasis. The reality I came to is there is a lot out there and we don’t need nor should we incorporate it all. There is a time and a place….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had the same thought, to link the QR code to a video. I love you idea to link it to a book read aloud and I love Jane Kazmerrick. The scavenger hunt idea is excellent. I also love the idea of having students upload a picture of work they have done then overlay videos explaining the work.

    Students could even make QR codes of recordings of themselves explaining a concept from class and then share them with each other. I hope I can remember all of this to use in my classroom in the fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, too fast i guess! It wouldn’t let me edit, so I will continue here….Using the QR codes with Plickers helps give the illusion of being very high-tech to students, even if you are not in a school with a lot of resources. It is still interactive and gives immediate results, but you only need your (the teacher’s) smartphone to do it.

      I love the idea of using Aurasma for students who have problems with public speaking. That would really allow them to get their presentation right before they have to show them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I noticed you discussed plickers. I am sure it has it’s benefits, but I have actually had Plickers backfire in classes because it takes so long to scan the students’ answers! It’s really not efficient for large classes at all (and let’s face it, class sizes tend to be too large these days). I am curious about how others have done with plickers? Do you find it effective in your classroom’s? I think their are other technologies that do similar things but aren’t quite as time consuming. I also didn’t like having to print out the cards for each new activity. We are one to one at my school with laptops, so I hate being forced to print unneccesary things, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

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