Follow www.kevindajee.com

Follow www.kevindajee.com

Greetings to all my readers and followers. Please could you visit my new WordPress self-hosted site at www.kevindajee.com and subscribe and follow. My apologies for not posting sooner. I have been busy writing as always but I have also been working on developing a self-hosted site and I am pleased to announce it is finally now up and running.

I look forward to connecting with you all again and of course welcoming new readers!

Please let me know of any issues with the new site, and any feedback as always is much appreciated.

Regards

Kevin Dajee

@KevinDajee

Online Learning Tools- Quizzes

Online Learning Tools- Quizzes

There is a vast array of online learning and game-based learning tools 16395-technology-in-the-classroom-web-2-0-resourcesthat are freely available and which teachers can use to encourage engagement, participation and a sense of fun into the classroom- using these tools together with a smartphone, mobile device and tablet can create greater engagement using a medium students enjoy and are often familiar in using. Such advanced technology at your fingertips and the improved response rate of the technology and software provides the teacher and students with more opportunities to utilise devices that can be embedded seamlessly in  a lesson. Tony Stark would approve I am sure!

Teachers can create an interactive and dynamic classroom environment using, for example, online quizzes to test a student’s knowledge and also generate a bit of fun competition in class.

There are a couple of quiz based online learning tools that I am using and that appear useful, but I am yet to realise the full functionality of these, and each time I try one out I’m thinking of different ways to use them. In its simplest form though, I am using them as a quick fire test or quiz in order to test the basics of a topic being studied and to aid in the preparation of exams. Quizzes can enable you to test student knowledge using different question styles including multiple choice, checkboxes and true/false so that you and a student can gain a quick insight into whether in the least, basic information is being retained from a topic.

I am mainly interested in speed of use and data response in these as well as how quickly quizzes can be generated. I have used the following 3 quiz based tools in various ways, so they are recommended but I shall provide further details of how I am using some of them in a future blog post:

Kahoot!

http://www.getkahoot.com Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that makes it Kahoot 1fun to learn any subject, in any language, and on any device. I am using this quite a bit and I am also aware of colleagues using this to gain quick fire test type information about understanding on certain topics. I really like this site and the fact that it is extremely easy to put together a quiz to share with students in class, factored with the ease of use on mobile devices makes this a winner for me! Look out for a future blog post by me on this one!

Goconqr

www.goconqr.com Provides free online learning tools and signing up allows you to goconqr-logocreate Quizzes, Mind Maps, Flashcards, & Notes Encouraging students to sign up allows you to create a group and invite each of your students to become a member. I have not used to the full extent but I can certainly see myself using a bit more of the variety of tools this site has to offer.

Socrative

I like Socrative, but I find that it is somewhat time Socrative- Logoconsuming at times to generate questions to use in a quiz, but once you do the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, giving you instant insight into levels of understanding is extremely powerful. It is Socrative- Teacher & Student Logoalso mobile device friendly in the sense that both teacher and students can download applications on their phones.

The instructions for using any of the above 3 tools are available on their sites and appear straightforward.

So give online learning and game-based learning Quizzes a go if you haven’t already. The technology is so much better in classrooms now and most students are equipped with mobile devices that such quizzes and activities are much easier and responsive to use.

If you are using anything else in terms of online quizzes and other online learning tools please share and comment.

QR Codes: How to use those Strange Looking Square Designs in Education

QR Codes: How to use those Strange Looking Square Designs in Education

qrcode.29605084KevinDajeeTwitterYou see these strange looking square designs everywhere these days: cereal boxes, discount coupons, newspapers, posters, and adverts. Attending a recent comic-con event I was surprised to see QR codes in quite a few places that allowed me to scan and access further information about my favourite films and TV shows without needing to type in long web addresses. I even saw someone with a QR code tattooed on their arm next 2015-04-27 23.03.34to an image of a Xenomorph (from the Alien film franchise), unfortunately I did not get close enough to scan it and I am still curious as to where the code would have taken me! It is this feeling of curiosity and self-discovery in using smartphones to learn information that I wanted to bring to my teaching and learning environment.

So what are QR Codes? QR codes (where QR stands for Quick Response) are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read using devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. They can link directly to websites, videos, articles, social media pages and much more. All that is needed is a camera on your device and a QR code reader which can be downloaded for free as an app.12-QR-Quote-TonyVincent

The fact is that most students (especially  those aged 16-19 and adult learners) own mobile smartphones that can read QR codes in seconds. So, how can these little black squares be used in education and aid the techno-friendly teacher?

They are very easy to generate. To create a QR code linked to online resources, you only need to copy and paste the address of a web page or video link into some QR generating software. I tend to use qrstuff.com for online resource links and videos. However, for simple text based content that you would like being linked to a QR code you can use goqr.me. For Audio Voice based content- you can use qrvoice.net. With some software, you can change the colour schemes of the QR codes as well and in some cases even the shape and pattern.

Once you have produced your code, you can then transfer it to your teaching resource, leave it on the interactive whiteboard for students to scan, or print on the material of your choice.

I have found that using technology that students actively use like QR codes and Smartphones can create extra engagement and a sense of curiosity and discovery. There are lots of ways QR codes can be used, and with creativity the possibilities are infinite. Most recently in the teaching of Psychology, I have successfully used them in the following ways:

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Learning Stations- Placing codes in different areas of the room or on tables, these will take students (can be in groups) to different online activities, videos or content. Students gather and note down information and discuss findings.

Quizzes and Questioning- Inputting a series of questions and answers within codes in a treasure hunt type activity, in which classtools.net can be used.

Use as a Resource Link in work booklets and handouts: linking students to examples of essays, videos, mark schemes, articles and instructions to a task

Provide Extension Assignments- A great way to provide optional activities for students who want to excel is to simply put the code on an assignment and let them follow it to the extension activity or question.

Incorporated in Posters and information handouts- Placed at school/college events and promotional material.

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As teachers we don’t necessarily want fancy gizmos or expensive and complex software; time and efficiency is important to us. We have an opportunity to utilise resources that we generally already have access to inside and outside of our classrooms:

Smartphones & QR codes- Together they are simply another tool in your teacher’s toolbox which can create some interesting lessons!

If you have any further ideas of how QR codes could be used please share!

Kevin Dajee (Follow on Twitter & Facebook)