Saturday, October 5, 2013

Meet the Teacher - Interactive Style

A couple of weeks ago we had "Meet the Teacher Night" where students and their parents are invited back into the classroom in the early evening. The students are able to show off their teacher and their classroom.  For me it's an informal meeting of parents, particularly those I don't have the luxury of seeing  face to face at the door. It's also a great way to see how my students interact with their families.  I love seeing this.

This year, in a new school, I decided to try something a little bit different. In my previous school, and perhaps around my district, I'm know as a bit of a techie at the early primary level. :-)  But in this new school I wasn't sure if the parents of the students in my class knew anything about me or my teaching past.  As far as they know I'm the new English grade one teacher (it's a dual track French/English school) and while I don't look young enough to be fresh out of teacher training, you never know what people know or think about you. So I decided to spruce up our open house a little bit.

With the help of my students who were brave enough to be filmed or have their voice recorded, I took  little videos of them talking about different aspects of our classroom that were important to them. I then created mini QR codes and posted them in the spots where the videos were taken.  For my two students who at the time  did  not have permission to have their images on line, they created voice messages using and we created QR codes with those.  My students then spent the last part of the afternoon learning how to use a QR code reader. They  were ready to show off to their parents when they returned later in the evening.

Now I know there is a huge Augmented Reality (AR) craze right now, and it would have been pretty cool to have my students use an AR app such as Aurasma to have their videos appear when the app is  lined up to a classroom trigger point, but I don't think that is the best use of that technology. Yes, it's very cool, but how practical is it for those that aren't able to come into the room? In fact as you'll see below you didn't even have to visit me room to enjoy the benefits of the QR codes I created with my students.  But I digress.

Photo Credit: horizontal.integration via Compfight cc
The parents arrived and their children sprung into action.  I wish I was able to take pictures of the smiles on their faces as they showed their parents the important aspects of our classroom. The parents had smiles too as they saw their child, and their child's classmates talk about the different aspects of the room.  It freed me up to have short conversations with all those who were visiting.

The other thing that I did, which took very little effort on my part, and had another big impact on our visitors is that I hooked up my iPad to Apple TV, created a folder with all the photos I had taken since we formed as a class, and created a simple slide show which played the entire time.  While many of the photos are already on our class blog it was great to see so many people interested in watching the slideshow.  Now I have to thank Ms. Walia for the idea and what a great one it was. So simple.

Curious to see some of the videos and voice recordings my students created?  Here are a few. Just scan the QR codes.

How are you getting your students more involved with "Meet the Teacher Night".


  1. This is fascinating. I just learned about QR codes today at York Region Google Camp. Could you share what site you use to create QR codes?
    Heather Jelley

    1. Fantastic! I must admit It took me a while to see a useful purpose for them and once I started to see how they could be used in an educational setting for more than just "fun" I was hooked. At the moment my QR creator of choice is . Your comment may have inspired me to write a post on how I've used QR Codes in my grade one classroom. Karen

    2. Oh please do write a post. I did connect with but totally by chance. Love to have you outline the process. So inspired by potential uses for these codes.