No Phone, No Tablet, No Problem – Scan QR Codes With Your Computer

This is a ridiculously simple blog post, but one that might really come in handy for those of you who still don’t have a lot of handheld or mobile computing devices like smartphones or iPads.  You can scan QR codes using a webcam on a regular computer!

The site is called Web QR and the URL is just as simple:

There’s really no explanation needed.  This is what the site looks like:

web qr

That’s it.  Hold your QR code up to your webcam. It will appear in that gray box and automatically scan….which will take you to your desired site on the web!

One other nice feature about this site is that it also allows you to create a QR code.  Just click on the word Create at the top and then enter a web address (URL).

Happy scanning!


New Bookmarking Site Has Me Saying WOW (a lot!)

nkwiry home page

Okay, um….WOW!!!  I just, just, just found out about this new bookmarking site, and I am so very lovin’ it!  What a phenomenally marvelous fantastically brilliant idea!  Just look at that screenshot above….it explains everything and WOW!!!  Oh, yeah…the name of the site is nkwiry  (like inquiry…get it?)   It is another online bookmarking tool (see previous post about other online bookmarking sites), but this one allows your students to be part of the collection and compilation of sites!

I just created an nkwiry site.  It took me about 5 minutes to create an account, choose a class code, create categories that are relevant to me, to add my students and create unique passwords for them.  Then I spent a few minutes playing with the other cool features and, at the risk of being redundant, WOW!  There is a class message feature called “class feed’.  You and the students can post comments, questions, or topics to each other!  Bonus!  It would be fun to post bookmark collection challenges there (find sites for kids about rocks that have videos) or use it as a way for students to suggest new topic categories for the class nkwiry.  Oooh…are you into that ‘flipped class’ thing?  Why not post a topic and challenge students to add bookmarks about a topic you’ll be teaching NEXT WEEK!  They’ll start learning before you start teaching, and you’ll have a whole bunch of online materials for your lesson plans!

I also tried logging in as a student.  They don’t have the ability to add or delete categories, but they most certainly can add bookmarks (sites) to a category!  The student needs to type (paste) the URL, name the site whatever he/she wants, and add a simple description.  It immediately appears as an available link, and it  shows who posted it.  Another cool and unexpected feature is that there is a “like” button so that other students can indicate if they like it or find it useful.  The one caution I would advise is to have a serious heart-to-heart with your students about the appropriateness of their links…there is not a feature that allows teacher to pre-approve bookmarks/sites before they post.nkwiry isn’t all pretty and cutesy and primary school-ish, but it is an absolutely thrilling opportunity to engage your students in selecting the tools and sites that will guide their own learning.  It encourages student involvement and shows that their opinions are valued and welcomed.  It’s meaningful and purposeful collaboration!  With monitoring, of course, it can even decrease your workload and make your online bookmarking undeniably more extensive!  nkwiry…love this tool!

nkwiry simple direction screenshots

*  As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.  What grade levels could/would/should use this?  Will you use this?  If you do, share how it’s working for your class and let us share in your success!  You can comment here on the blog, @kerszi on Twitter, or ‘like’ My Primary Techspiration on Facebook.

Tech Tips, Tools, & Tidbits for primary school teachers

 Welcome to My Primary Techspiration!


 computer kid


Hiya!   My name is Kathleen, and I am lucky, grateful, and perpetually happy to be going in to my third year as a computer teacher at a primary school in southern New Jersey.   Before I became a computer teacher,  I taught all kinds of other things for about 20 years, and the bulk of that has been at the primary level.   I’ve taught various types of special education classes, and I’ve also had the great fortune to have been a regular classroom teacher for grades 2 – 5.  Through it all, I constantly find myself driven to find, learn, and use as much technology as I can…for my own needs as a teacher, and absolutely with the kids!

Sooooo, I ended up with this amazing job!  I get to teach little kids all about technology!  It’s a crazy-fun time to have a job like this, because we all know how FAST it all changes, and how much more the kids know…often before they even come to school.  It’s fun to teach the basics like keyboarding and word processing, but OH – how I love to meander into some of those awesome web 2.0 tools with the kiddies!  Even better – they’re constantly teaching me!  I LOVE when my students show me new things!

Okay, here’s a way cool unexpected bonus and perk that wasn’t in my job description:  I often get to help teachers!  Sure, I do presentations and offer workshops, but sometimes….sometimes I just have someone grab me in the hall and ask, “How can I…?”,  “Could you show me how to….?”,   “Can you help me….?”.    Sometimes I get emails asking for help, or advice, or websites, or cool new ways to teach an old lesson, or even just a little I.T. help.   Oh boy oh boy oh boy ~ it makes my heart go all pitter-patter when seriously relevant, real-time, high-interest professional development happens in this way!   And THAT is pretty much what inspired this blog.   It’s my Primary Techspiration!

So here’s the deal:   When I learn a cool new tip, trick, or tidbit…I’ll share it here.  When I get an opportunity to show/teach/help another teacher…I’ll share that here.   When I read something awesome from another blogger’s site…I’ll share that here.   And since it’s my blog, sometimes I might just ramble on about something that’s on my mind.   AND, because we’re all here to learn together, please feel free to post your questions, suggestions, or share a few of your own tips & tricks on this blog or on my Facebook page.   Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you get techspired, too!