using iTechnology in the classroom

This fall I wrote a huge grant to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. which included the purchase of 3 iPads for my classroom. I teach USING a lot of different technologies (digital cameras, photo software, ActivBoard, ActivExpressions, ActiVotes, etc) but I lacked in areas allowing the students to USE technology to learn. This grant, which specified that students learn to speak about artwork using appropriate vocabulary, focused on the app called FotoBabble. Long story short, FotoBabble allows you (or your students) to speak over a photo that you take and upload it into a FotoBabble gallery. Cool, huh?

Recently we did a project on Dale Chihuly’s “Macchia” in my Kindergarten classes. It was really the first time we had talked about a specific “famous” artist, his life, his “process”, or his medium. As the students went through their own process of creating Macchia using markers, coffee filters, and heavy starch, I interviewed them on their Macchia-making process, what they thought about Chihuly’s artwork, and about their favorite parts of the project and uploaded all their interviews onto our FotoBabble account.

I mean, using aural learning (learning about Dale Chihuly), verbal learning (re-telling events in his life, his artwork, or their own artwork), and visual learning (making the Macchia) uses 3 intelligences and pretty much guarantees that a student is going to remember facts about this artist, the artistic process, and their own artwork.

As if this wasn’t meaningful enough, just wait…it gets even cooler!

I then took the link to their FotoBabble interview and put it into a QR code generator (I like Kaywa), copied and pasted their QR code to a word document, labeled it, and displayed the QR code with their artwork. Now parents, teachers, administrators, and visitors can stroll through the hallway, scan the QR codes, and listen to my students talk about their artwork. Technology in action, an extension to reach the masses…it’s a beautiful thing!

This FotoBabble App can be used in so many different ways:

    • Students could interview each other about ANYTHING to develop relational skills.


  • Students could practice speaking skills and learn vocabularies.



  • Students could verbally narrate an artwork, picture, diorama, or project.



  • Students could sing or recite a poem.



  • Students could practice reading and verbalize what was just read.



  • Students could re-teach a lesson or process.



  • Students could…the list is ENDLESS!


I also had the barcodes put in our school newspaper with a picture of the student’s work so we could reach ALL parents with smartphones at home! The sky is the limit here, friends!

Do you use QR codes in your classroom? Have you thought about it but didn’t really know how to go about doing it? Trust me, I thought the same thing…and when these iPads showed up in my classroom I actually had to have a group of 5th graders set me up. Technology is daunting; there is SO much to know, so much to share, and SO much to learn! I definitely had to step out of my comfort zone here, but they were steps I’m so glad I took!

A picture is worth a thousand words, but if you give that picture a voice you are able to say so much more!

Happy creating, coding, and storytelling!

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