Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Use Chrome to Scan QR Codes on iPads and iPhones

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Let’s face it. Sometimes less is more. If one app can do the job of two or three others, then one app will often be a better choice. It takes up less room on your device, you don’t have to remember how to use as many apps, and it’s generally just more efficient. So, when Google updated the Chrome app for iPad and iPhones, I was intrigued to notice that they had included the ability to scan QR codes. Here’s how it works.

Launching the Chrome QR Code Reader

If your Chrome app is up to date, and you are looking in the menu settings for a QR reader, you would be forgiven for being a little confused when you hear that you can’t access the scanner when the app is open. So where is it?

Currently, there are two ways to access the QR code reader in Chrome for iPhone and iPad. The first way is to use a spotlight search. You can open a search by dragging one finger down the home screen of your device. If you are using a keyboard with your iOS device, press Cmd + Space to do the same thing.

Once you have the Spotlight search Open, type the word QR and look through your search results. You should see the Chrome app icon with an option that says Scan QR Code. Tap that to launch Chrome’s QR reader. See image below.


The other way to launch the scanner is to use a device that supports 3D Touch. All you do is activate the 3D Touch menu by pressing and holding on the Chrome app. The pop-up menu that appears has a similar option that lets you choose to scan a QR Code.

Then all you do is scan the code. The content will then open in the address bar in Chrome. If the QR code contains a couple of sentences of text, then you may find it a little hard to read, but URLs work well. Just remember to hit return on the keyboard to visit the website in question, because Chrome won’t automatically load the website after you scan it.

The Chrome QR code scanner is a bit of a bare bones scanner. It doesn’t do things Iike keep track of previous scans or let you create your own QR codes. If that’s important to you, an app like Qrafter Pro may be more to your liking. However, if you just want a quick way to scan QR codes, and you already have the Chrome app, then this could be all you need.

Using QR Codes in the Classroom

One of my go-to people for ways to use QR codes in the classroom is Monica Burns. She wrote an article for Edutopia last year called QR Codes Can Do That? She also has a book for sale on Amazon called Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom. I also like this crowd sourced presentation from Tom Barrett that has 51 Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom.

How do you use QR Codes?

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The Apple Adapter Classroom Gear Guide

Check out this great post from my sister site The Edtech Gear Guide…

The Edtech Gear Guide

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If you use an Apple device, you are probably increasingly used to using dongles, adapters or whatever else you want to call them. They give you the functionality that Apple doesn’t natively include because of design constraints or a forward thinking approach to new technologies. However, there are dozens of Apple adapters available, and it can be hard to know which ones are the right ones for a given situation. This edtech gear guide was written to help remedy that problem.

The adapters below are ordered by price (from low to high) and include a number of likely scenarios for when you would want to use each one. Official Apple adapters will usually work best and these can be purchased in a number of different places, but third-party versions are available too. The list below is not an exhaustive list, but it does include the most commonly used dongles and adapters…

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Coding in the Classroom with Swift Playgrounds

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The recent release of iOS 10 unlocked a creative coding opportunity for iPad classrooms called Swift Playgrounds. It’s an iPad app that lets you solve interactive puzzles that are designed to help you learn the basics of how to code in a programming language called Swift. It is aimed at students aged 12 and over and is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. So, if you are looking for new ways to start coding with students, this could be a great new platform for you to explore. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Swift?

Swift is an open source programming language that was developed by Apple engineers and released in 2014. It was created to help developers build apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Swift has its origins firmly rooted in another programming language called Objective-C, but Swift is generally considered to be more concise. The app, Swift Playgrounds, was developed to help introduce a younger audience to the finer points of programming with Swift, and to help foster a new generation of programmers for Apple devices.

Getting Started With Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is only available for iPads running iOS 10 or later. You also need at least an iPad Air, or an iPad Mini 2, because these are the oldest devices that are capable of running the app. The iPad 2, the iPad 3, the iPad 4 and the original iPad Mini are not compatible Swift Playgrounds because they either can’t be upgraded past iOS 9 or lack the hardware necessary to run the Playgrounds app.

Once you launch the app you will see lessons at the top of the screen and coding challenges underneath. If your students have never programmed with Swift before, the lessons are the best place to start because they introduce you to the basics that students will need in order to attempt the challenges. Continue reading

What’s New in iWork for iCloud for Apple Classrooms?

Hot on the heels of the recent updates to iOS versions of iWork and iLife, Apple have today announced some new features for their iWork for iCloud suite of online productivity tools. Recently I wrote about how educators could share and collaborate in iWork for iCloud, but as useful as this was, there were still some areas where you would hope for some improvement. Today, Apple addressed some of those issues.

iwork for icloud

The biggest changes are in relation to collaboration on documents. You can now see who is collaborating on a document with you, and where they are in the document. You can also jump to where a collaborator is in the document by clicking on their name in the collaborator list. In addition, printing and folder support has been added. 

Of course, Google has had these features for a while now, but Apple’s willingness to play catch up is clearly evident and hopefully a sign that they are looking to match or better the best that Google has to offer. A full list of changes can be seen below:

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iCloud beta:

  • Collaborator list: View the list of collaborators currently in a document.
  • Collaborator cursor: See cursors and selections for everyone in a document.
  • Jump to collaborator: Instantly jump to a collaborator’s cursor by clicking their name in the collaborator list.
  • Collaboration animation: Watch images and shapes animate as your collaborators move them around.
  • Printing: Print your documents directly from the Tools menu.
  • Folders: Organize your documents in folders.

Numbers for iCloud beta:

  • Reorder sheets: Change the order of the sheets in your spreadsheet, right in your browser.
  • Links: Create links using the HYPERLINK function.

Keynote for iCloud beta:

  • Skip slides: Right-click any slide in the navigator to skip it during playback.

 

Source: Apple via Engadget

What’s New for Schools with the Latest Google Drive Update for iOS?

Google has updated its iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch version of Google Drive with a clean new interface and a few new features ahead of the impending introduction of the new iOS 7 operating system for Apple’s mobile devices. So, what’s new and what’s still to come? Let’s find out.

Google Drive iPad App Update

What’s new for educators?

Visually, users will notice an immediate change in the layout and feel of the new Google Drive app. It now mimics many of the features you find on the Android app and you can view your files and folders as a list or a grid. The details panel is all new, and includes an image preview of your file at the top. From this panel, you can now copy the link to any document so that you can paste it into another document, app or email. Finally, there is an update for Google Presentation files. You still cannot create or edit these files, but there is a new viewer complete with speaker notes, a slide sorter view, and a true full screen mode.

Google Drive for iOS

What teachers still need

We badly need  support for tables. Why has this taken so long? Android users have it, but iOS users can’t view or edit tables and this can be a major inconvenience. I’d also love to see more sharing options. Why can’t we share documents as “anyone with the link”? Better still, why can’t Google Apps for Education users have domain sharing options to share files with everyone in their organization? And what about Google Presentations or Google Forms? Can we expect to see those added any time soon?

Conclusion

Overall, I love the update. I like the cleaner look, the ability to copy links and the nice new viewer for Presentations, but Google Apps for Education users will continue to seek further updates to increase efficiency with Drive on the iPad in the classroom. Let’s hope that comes sooner, rather than later. In the meantime, be sure to check out my guide to a Paperless iPad Classroom with the Google Drive app. It has been updated to include screenshots from the latest version of the Drive app.