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Friday, February 14, 2014

Share the Technology Love

Remember Valentine's Day when you were young: decorated boxes, little envelopes containing cartoon characters, and oodles of cupcakes and candy! These are an important part of my school memories, and, even though we now have food police and stricter guidelines on "sharing the love", I think it is still important to create lasting, fun imprints of school in the hearts of our children. As a Kindergarten teacher, part of the fun was creating a special Valentine for my students to take home to their loved ones, so I was thrilled to be a part of the "design" team this year for my daughter's Valentine craft!

Since Megan had looped with her Kinder students into 1st grade, she wanted something new and fresh, but due to several days of training, was running out of time to think! Last year, the student card included a picture, and she wanted to do something personal. Yea,  for technology!! I suggested a tiny QR code linked to a student message. This not only adds a touch of technology to the craft, but it also brings parents into using technology as well.

I have always loved QR codes and have used them to send personal voice messages and videos to those I love. Everyone still looks forward to getting real mail, especially children and older folks (my parents are in their 80's), so send that perfect card and add a QR code that personalizes the message. It is like an email card....that comes in the mail.

Create a video on WeVideo.
Create a voice message on a simple site like Vocaroo.
Link to something you want to share with the one you love.
All you need is the URL and a great QR code generator like QRStuff.
Go out and share the technology love!

By the way, here is the final product for Ms. Felty's class:

Caveats:
Include directions for parents on a great app to read the QR code: i-nigma is my favorite, and is available in both iTunes and Google Play.
These student voice messages were stored in a Google site, so, unless kept for perpetuity, they will "expire". To keep the memory "alive", the audio will be sent home to parents at their end of year in the student's personalized digital yearbook.

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