I have done these QR-code Treasure Hunts before but this time I wanted to upgrade the whole thing a bit more. I wanted to use my QR owed treasure hunt as a means to assess my students on their understanding and knowledge regarding the last two units we worked on, HRF and Adventure. At the same time I wanted to see how best I could integrate technology. lastly I wanted it to be an interactive game where multiple communication channels were bing used. Obviously the amalgamation should link well to my learning outcomes for the adventure unit and it's central idea "effectively solving problems requires Trust, Communication and an Open-Mind" This central idea is the result of sharing and I used this after reading some of Andy Vasily blogs about his PYP PE units. Check his website for fantastic ideas, PE units, pyp and teaching philosophy.
Knowing this I started to build my plan. Setting up the questions behind the QR coeds was an easy step as I have already used this website class tools for generating all QR codes at once. I designed questions for grade 1&2, grade 3 and grade 4&5 and they are posted at the top of the QR code page (see picture)
My second challenge was getting clues for the students to get to the next question. I decided in the end to use pictures leading to places within the school and afar taking the photo's I used powerpoint to add text and photo bucket to be able to link it to a QR code. If you want more information on how to do that, get in contact with me.
Then I wanted to challenge the grade 4&5 a bit more and came up with the idea to use hearings and compass bearings as an indicator to find the next clue/question. Out of the 16 questions, they had about 7 that required them to use the compass app.
Instruction took place at the start but at the same time, the students were going to encounter challenges along the way and I wanted to give them an option to get in contact with me. I did not want a fixed place in this mobile era but most initial ideas required setting up accounts and that is not possible below the age of 13 and it would also take time and focus away from what was trying to do. Then someone gave me the idea of a walki-talki and then I thought, this must be available as an app as well and ...... 30 seconds later I had several walki-talki apps to choose from through the app store. A quick trial learned that you need to be on the same wireless network and we have different networks for personal devices and school devices so my phone and a school iPad did not match. Two school iPads did the job and a test learned that from basement to 5th floor, we had perfect sound. This app works between 2 devices, the first two that connect. I therefore made sure that my app was always open and students would open the app, in case they had a question. Once ready, they closed it immediately so other groups had a chance to call in. The app. turns yellow if no connection is made and green when another app. is activated. It also shows that someone is talking, even though you do not hear them, which means they do not hold the talk button. In any case, practically this means that you always know what is happening and you can reach them if needed.
Then I needed them to return on time and I used the Clock timer) for that, set it at whatever time we had. easy and straightforward.
Lastly, I thought long and hard about how to record the answers and for now I choose to let the students write , pen and paper but this is something I would like to address the next time.
I gave every group a a-4 with a picture of the location they needed to start their hunt (all staggered), a clipboard with answer sheet, a pencil and an iPad. We discussed guidelines and off they went.
I wanted everything on 1 page and came up with the format as you see in the top picture in this blog. A-4 size, which meant I needed to guide the students how to approach the scanning. I use the inigma app, which is very quick and chances are they scan the wrong code. I laminated all the pages as they needed to stay up for at least a week. Each class needed 2 lessons to complete.
The students were fully engaged, were working independently in groups of 2, they were solving challenges and had to work together. It was a great way to assess their knowledge and understanding of my last 2 taught units and the wrap up session with discussion about the questions and possible answers showed that students were more and more getting focussed on the process of learning, enjoying a challenge and not feeling pressure to "fail" . ICT wise it was great, mainly becomes the focus was not on the iPad itself but it had just become a tool you needed in the learning process, not more or less than using your brain, ask questions to your partner etc. It became fully integrated.
I used the following apps:
- Walki Talki standard
- Free HD compass (not that accurate though)
- Inigma QR code scanner
I used the following programs:
- Classtools (qr-code treasurehuntgenerator)
- QR-code generator site