Tuesday, June 24, 2014

QR Codes Adding Layers to Learning

Last week I attended a wonderful Woman's History Conference in Helena, MT.  The wonderful team at the Montana Historical Society put it on.  I always look forward to attending.  Follow Martha's Blog - Teaching Montana History http://teachingmontanahistory.blogspot.com/ or Listserve http://mhs.mt.gov/Education/Forms/subscribeMHHElistserv.aspx and she will let you know about other wonderful events.

There were many wonderful speakers and topics.  I am excited about incorporating what I learned into my classroom.  Montana is celebrating our 100th anniversary of women getting the vote this year.  An awesome milestone!

Part of the conference explored the exhibits at the Montana Historical Society.  We were given a paper to complete a scavenger hunt in the Montana Homeland Gallery.  This is a permanent exhibit created in the 1980's.  

Questions & Reflections

  •  Find at least three places where women's history is included in the exhibit?
  •  How does the material enrich the narrative or change the exhibit's overall interpretation?
  •  Find at least three "missed opportunities" -- places where women could have been included but  wasn't.
  • Would adding women here simply enrich the current storyline or would it require a change in interpretation.   
This event got me thinking.  I was amazed when I realized that women were not a focus in most of the exhibits.  They were mentioned in some or off handedly referred to.  I had been through the exhibit several times before and had never noticed this glaring omission.  As an educator I am troubled when our texts and educational experiences neglect to tell the story of half the population.  

The next day our group was divided up and we again went through the gallery.  This time there were 5 stations.  At each station was a reading that connected to the individual event.  A reading from a woman who told the story.  We each had a page with questions to help us process the information.  It was powerful to hear those stories read aloud.  It gave the rest of the exhibit so much more depth.

I have pondered how the audio component could be added to the exhibit without lots of work or starting over from scratch. I have been thinking about this because the original exercise we did was powerful.  I tried to think how other people could also experience it.

As I pondered I did some experimented.   I opened an account (free in Audioboo)  I recorded one of the readings - Crow Women and their Lodges.  It took me several tries but it worked.  When you scan the QR Code it will take you to the recording I made from an excerpt of Frank Linderman's Pretty Shield.  

How did I attach the audio recording to the QR code?  First I recorded the reading.  Then opened my account found my recording. Clicked on edit.  On the page it shows a button for creating a QR code.  I created the QR code then saved the sheet as a pdf document.  Scan the QR code and then click the triangle to play.

Other free recording apps that would also work.
Croak It (free in itunes)
Eurl voice (android)
Vocaroo (itunes)

I am sure there are many other recording apps that you could use.

Scan the QR Code to hear the recording I made.  Let me know what you think.

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