QR codes, iPads and Book Week

Book trailers are an engaging way for libraries to sell books to children to read. Even reluctant readers can be engaged by book trailers and are encouraged to select books they may never have been confident to try before. But how do we link the book trailers with the books? This is where QR (Quick Response) codes come into the equation. This year for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) book week I have generated QR codes for each title in the different categories, then printed and displayed the QR code on the corresponding book. There are also posters that contain the QR codes which are displayed in classrooms allowing students to do some research on the books before they come to the library. QR codes are scanned with the camera of an iPad or iPod Touch using a QR reader app. We have the Qrafter QR reader on iPads, iPod Touches and iphones, it’s free from the app store.

This may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. QR codes are easily made with a QR generator online. I used http://www.qrcode.cx/ because I liked the idea of having different coloured QR codes for each book, plus it made the poster bright and colourful too. You just need to do some investigation first and locate your link, in YouTube, a publisher or on another web site or blog. This will allow you to simply copy and paste it into the URL box to create the QR code. Then it is just a matter of deciding what colour you want to make it and then generate the QR code. Then you can save, print or copy the code. I saved my codes as images because I wanted to use them more than once to make different displays. Initially I started linking the publisher’s web sites to the books so students could read a longer synopsis of the particular title, but as my research gained depth I found great reviews and even book trailers on YouTube. Two titles, The Outcasts by John Flanagan and Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby have wonderful book trailers.  Students in our year 9/10 ICT class are going to generate their own book trailers of some of the other titles.

I have noticed while cataloguing our latest collection of fiction novels that several have QR codes printed on the back outside cover of the book, so in theory you could view a book trailer or extra information about the title before you even buy the book.

Squish Rabbit and Brotherband: The Outcasts

Sample of what the QR codes look like when generated, a QR reader such as Qrafter is required to link them to the desired URL

Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby shortlisted book for The Crichton Award for New Illustrators

Brotherband: The Outcasts by John Flanagan. CBCA shortlist book 2012 for Younger Readers

Great Olympic Web Sites

– I’ve done the search for you – just click on the links below! – Great information for students and teachers –

Do you need information for your Olympic Games project? There are some links below to great web sites with loads of information about the Olympic Games, athletes, events, venues, London and Great Britain. Still can’t find what you want? Leave a comment if you want me to locate other Olympic information for you.

Official Australian Olympic Games 2012 web site 


Official London Olympic Games 2012 web site 


Project Britain – Your Guide to British Life, Culture and Customs


Visit London – The Official London Guide


Australia Post Letter Link London 2012 Olympics – Write to an athlete


Go Aussies Go!

Why is the countdown clock different? Because we are 10 hours ahead of London time.

Some of the technology in our classrooms

Technology has come along in leaps and bounds in the last ten years. It is totally amazing what technology students have at their fingertips today and how it is adding to skills, knowledge and learning. Students at our school are fortunate to have access to 1:1 netbooks from grade two together with other shared resources such ipads, ipod touches and digital and flip cameras. Interactive whiteboards in classrooms provide teachers with a resource that enhances student engagement and lesson focus. With a laptop connected to an interactive whiteboard teachers can present dvds and videos and internet activities along with anything else they have prepared on their computer.  Ipads or ipod touches together with great apps provide students with new formats to produce outcomes that build, extend and enhance learning beyond the paper filled classroom that is limited only by imagination. Recently year 6 students have planned and written short books, some chose to produce their book on an ipad with a great app called ‘Book Creator for ipad’. The finished product can be saved and transported as an ebook or pdf and can then be printed if required. This provides two formats for the book to be shared with other students, parents and teachers. Year two and three students use a voice recorder app to record themselves reading, then listen back to the track to self-assess their reading skills. Dragon dictation app transforms speech to text which is valuable to students who struggle to get their words on paper. The text can then be emailed and manipulated in a word document or other similar word processing file. The Choiceswork app is a new find and is great for students with learning difficulties providing a graphical interface of tasks, emotions and rewards adding a new dimension to the structure of the day that is tailored to their specific needs.  The countdown timer on this app is great for students to manage their own time while undertaking tasks. Technology is not the be-all of education, but it is here to stay and teachers are embracing what is on offer and in turn enhancing student learning.

Celebrating Education Week ~ 20th – 26th May

P-6 Students will be involved in the National Simultaneous Reading of The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. Students are asked to bring their favourite bear along to join the the activities. Year 6 students will be acting out the story, there is a teddy bears picnic and then students will be using their bears in extension activities in classrooms during the day. The bears might get their measurements taken in maths and have bear stories read to them in the literacy block. If they are really lucky they might even get their portraits painted in art or even to participate in dance and PE classes. Hopefully they will go home tired, but happy bears!


Vote for the 10 Aussie Books you should read…

The First Tuesday Book Club, ABC TV are looking for the 10 Aussie Books you should read before you die. You can have your vote now http://www.abc.net.au/arts/aussiebooks/ Great titles have been shortlisted to choose from. I agree with Mex Fox that Tim Winton’s ‘Cloudstreet’ is a favourite. There are too many great books to vote for just 3, read them all!

Organise your photos on an ipad 2

Organising photos on my ipad 2 is easy!

  1. Open your photo icon.
  2. Select one of the following buttons at the top of the screen – Photos – Albums – Events – Places. Photos will give you all the photos on your ipad. Albums, Events and Places will refine the amount of photos you are looking at.
  3. Tap the ‘Send’ button – the little boxed arrow on the top right side of the screen.
  4. Select the photos you want to move to an album by tapping each one to ‘select it’ make sure the photo has a little tick in the corner.
  5. Tap the ‘Add To…’ button and select either ‘Add to existing album’ or ‘Add to New Album’ depending on where you want your photos to go.
  6. Add to Existing Album – select album where the photo/s will go.
  7. Add to New Album – enter a title for the new album as prompted, and Save

Easy! You now have them in an album as well as being in your main library. Much easier to find in an Album rather than searhing through the whole libary.

You will notice that when in the Select Items screen there are buttons with other choices on them at the top of the screen. Share – Copy – Delete and Cancel. So by tapping any of these you can do more things!




Education Rita — Gattaca (DVD) — Maestro — The Divine Wind


Interpreter of Maladies — The Crucible — The Quiet American — Year of Wonders

Buy you English novels for 2012 early and get a head start by reading them during the Christmas vacation. All current year 10 and 11 student will receive English novel booklists this week. These are due back to the school office no later that Thursday 3rd November, 2011 with full payment. Books ordered will be distributed fromt he school library on Mopnday 21st November, 2011.