Some thoughts & ideas about QR codes.

There are several people out there that are talking about using QR codes in the classroom. I do not see QR codes being a fad that is going away. QR codes are everywhere. I think you will find QR codes to be a great way to share information with others, as well as a cool way to change up your lessons. Below, you will find the tools necessary to create QR codes, as well as some ideas on how to use QR codes.

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Reflections from #rscon3 #ntbootcamp #140edu #lifeingeneral

This summer has been like no other summer. Usually summers are filled with cleaning computers, fixing long standing issues, and deploying projects. This summer however was jam packed with learning. As some of you may know I recently took a job as the director of technology for Huron City Schools (May 19th 2011) right out of the gate I was able to experience Iste and all of its awesomeness and great people. Part of the experience is reflecting on what you have learned and what you are going to do from here on out in your life and in your classroom. During #rscon3 Lisa Nielson (@InnovativeEdu) shared a video from Daniel Pink titled “Drive”. (You can watch it here ) in the video they talk about being defined by your “sentence”. How would people describe you? Is that what you want to be? What is your sentence? and also Was I better today than I was yesterday? These 2 questions have had me pondering for the last few days. What is my sentance? What am I striving to be?

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IEP’s are for Teachers too. Planning your PD.

Tonight’s Edchat topic as well as @llacrosse’s article got me thinking about how we look at professional development. I have noticed that PD is mostly offered as a whole group session on certain topics. The problem with this is that a lot of time you have a mixed audience of different skill levels. Some are bored, some are content, some are overwhelmed. Why do we continue to offer PD in this way? Is the whole staff getting the most out of the PD sessions that you are offering? As the title of the post says I am going to share my thoughts and my plans for this year.

Picture from

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New Job, New Ideas, New Possibilities

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Apple Leadership Symposium in Columbus Ohio. The days events included what I would call a Keynote from Jon Corippo (@jcorippo). Jon is an Apple Distinguished Educator and he shared a lot of insight about reforming the way we think about education and he also showed some amazing work from Minarets High School students. Jon recommended some very good thoughts and ideas. I really like his way of starting out the school year.

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Ipad. Not just for content consumption any more

Today Apple announced the new Ipad, the Ipad 2.  Steve Jobs presented the new device on stage in San Francisco at the yerba buena center for the arts. I have been following the ipad for a while and its use in education. Until this point my view was the ipad is a content consumtion device instead of a content creation device. The new ipad changes my view. I still think that the ipad is not the best for typing but with the addition of the dual camera’s, imovie, and garage band i think it has a better chance at finding its way into school’s.

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Google News Timeline

While writing an article about Google Search in EDU, I stumbled upon a labs project that is called Google News Timeline.  The about page reads: “Google News Timeline is a web application that organizes search results chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a browsable, graphical timeline. Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies.”

To get started click here.

The next step is to add some queries to your timeline. You can do this by clicking on the “add queries” link.

Go through and click as many or as few sources as you prefer.

Now you can go back to the timeline view and browse through the different events that are listed on the timeline.

How can you use this in the classroom?

This is a great resource if you are teaching a “decades” lesson, this will showcase several different events that occurred on or around a certain date. This is also great for current events and historical events. The timeline gives you the full picture of what was happening during events in history.

Remember this is a labs project, it can either get really good and move forward or it could go away all together.

For more information click here.



Who am I?

My name is TJ Houston. Here’s a Wordle that describes me and what I do.

Wordle: TJ Houston

Normally I write for but a lot of times I have something that I want to share that isn’t say “commercial” information. This blog is going to be my personal blog that I can share cool #edtech links that I find or share some photography tips that I have learned. You can find me on twitter @tjhouston and on facebook at tj.houston.

Thanks for stoppin!