Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Technology in OUR Classrooms!

 Welcome to our new monthly feature focusing on our very own LVUSD teachers!  Each month we will be highlighting a teacher by sharing one of their lessons that showcases the use of technology in the classroom.

This month’s teacher is Jeanne Sbardellati a first grade teacher at Bay Laurel!  The title of the lesson is Using QR codes in Digital Storytelling.  Enjoy and thanks for sharing!!

Using QR Codes in Digital Storytelling:


During the summer program at Bay Laurel, I had the opportunity to try out a project in digital storytelling, language arts, and art with students going into second grade in the fall.


Part 1 introduced students to Paul Gauguin and his relationship with Vincent Van Gogh in the 1880’s in France.  Paul Gauguin painted a piece called “Gauguin’s Chair”. I had a copy of the work for them to see.  The students were told they were going to create an art piece called “(Their name)’s Chair”.

Part 2 was part directed draw (the chair) and part creative on the part of the children.  Students were asked to surround their chair with things that were important to them as did Gauguin.  I also asked them to put two picture frames on the wall that “told something about themself”.

This part of the lesson was divided into two parts.  On Day 1, they put in the basic items they wanted in their picture.  On Day 2 I observed some pretty serious thinking by these great 7 year olds!  They had each grasped the idea of putting things in their pictures that told something about themselves.  They returned to their work throughout the day and added “something important”.

Part 3 involved writing about their pictures.  Using the Step Up to Writing model for first grade, as a class we generated the following topic sentence:


Paul Gauguin painted a famous painting called “Gauguin’s Chair”.  I made a famous drawing, too, called ________________________________(Their name’s Chair).

First, in my drawing, ______________________________.

In the picture frames that I drew________________________________.

I also put many details in my drawing __________________________.

Write a Conclusion.

I met with each student to conference about their written work.

When the student was satisfied with their writing, to save time I typed up their work.

In Part 4  students read  and recorded their written work into GarageBand as an audio file/voice podcast.  Click on “New Project”  .  Voice  >  Create with Child’s name (I saved it on the Desktop) > Click on Male or Female voice and record. Note:  I used a Logi-Tech Headset with a built in Microphone because it reduces the ambient noises of the classroom in the background.  Be sure to go to System Preferences and click on Sound to be sure that the Input and Output are clicked on for the Headset.

Record student reading their written work.

Save As:  Student’s   IMPORTANT:  Look near the bottom and be sure to click on Compact Project (you need to do this for it to Save as an M4a file.  Otherwise it will save as an aiff  file and some people may not be able to hear it .

Part 5 – Scan student work and create .jpg file.  The pictures need a place to reside .  I found their easiest place to store these files was on my Moodle page. I gave each child/picture a place of their own by creating a Topic section for each picture.  I was then able to add their voice recording to match their pictures.

Part 6 – Creating a QR Code for each picture.  By putting each picture in their own Topic section of my Moodle page allowed me to have a unique web address for each picture.

Here is how to create a QR code:

  I inserted the URL of each m4a file into

  Clicked on “Details” to get to the generated QR code

  Saved the QR codes as an image file



Now anyone with a QR scanner on their Smartphone, iTouch or iPad walking by the art work, can scan and listen to the student artist’s audio reflection!


Here is a copy of the lesson for you to download Using QR Codes in Digital Storytelling 

If you have a great lesson that you would like to share or know someone who should be please contact





  1. Dear Jeanne,

    What a fabulous lesson! I think I'm going to try it with my 2/3 combination class!

    Thanks for the tips on how to incorporate Garageband and QR codes. Love it!

    Linda Yollis

  2. This is a great lesson plan. I like the way you have been able to tie art appreciation and QR coding together in a way children can gain a greater understanding of both. Using Garageband to record voice is a good use of a free Mac program.

    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia