Posts Tagged app

Trading Cards for the Classroom

I saw a post from @rmbyrne recently about a FREE app from Read Write Think called Trading Cards.  It sounded like something  I would be interested in, so I downloaded it and began to play.  This app has a lot of potential! I can see it being used across grade levels and across the curriculum.

To get started you need to choose your topic and the category under which it belongs.  You can choose from Fictional character, real person, fictional or real place, object, event, or vocabulary.  I would put some thought into this to make sure you are choosing the proper category.  The app will pose guided questions for you to answer as you move through creation.

Once you have selected your category you are able to start into the project creation.  Insert an image of your topic by either taking a picture or importing from your camera roll.  Then choose a card design.  Once that is completed, start entering your data in the assigned fields the app has for you.  When you click in a field guided questions pop up to help you understand what kind of information they are looking for.  Your information is limited to 120 characters for each field.  Use the buttons below the card to flip from the front of your card to the back, share your creation, or save it in the app itself.

If you choose to share your creation, you have the option to save to your photos, send as an email, or send to a printer.  It gives you a preview of how your card will look.  The intention would be to print them out.  You can then cut and fold the card so that it becomes two-sided.

I think these would be great for reviewing characters from a book the students are reading, reviewing vocabulary words, researching different locations, use as a study guide, and much much more!  In need of a new project?  Give Trading Cards a try!

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Access Audio Files via QR Codes

Image Courtesy, Flicker: Charley Lhasa

QR Codes are everywhere.  You find them in stores, on flyers, on billboard signs along the highway (although that may be the DUMBEST thing ever!), and now all over schools.  More and more teachers are using Quick Response codes in the classroom for all types of situations, such as a self-checking system, to give directions, or just to grab a student’s attention.  They are finding that these adventures are fun and easy for everyone.  Students are even creating codes for other students to use!

I want to share with you yet another way to include QR codes in the classroom: linking to audio files.  Teachers and students alike can create audio files online and then link them to a QR code so anyone with the code has easy access to them.  The audio files could be a student sharing a story or problem they have created.  It could be a teacher giving directions or prompts.  Classrooms or campuses can share upcoming information with parents.  The opportunities go on and on.

Making this happen cannot get much easier.  A website,, will allow you to record yourself online.  It then saves the recording to the web. It supplies you with a URL that will take anyone who has it to your audio file.  Copy this link and you are then ready to create your QR Code.

There are many sites that you can use to create a QR Code.  My favorite is  Once you open the site you have 4 steps to take:

  1. Choose the type of data you are creating a code for.  In this case it will be a Website URL.
  2. Paste the URL you created for your audio file from
  3. Choose the color of your QR Code.  Keep in mind that darker colors make it easier to scan.
  4. Download the code.  It is a good idea to rename each code and place all your codes for a project into a folder as you are downloading them.  This will help you keep your codes organized. You will need to know where each code will take you.

To walk you through each of these steps from audio files through QR creation, click here to download a cheat sheet that has been created.

Depending on how and where you are using the codes, it is likely that you will need to print them out.  The QR codes do not need to be the size of a full size sheet of paper.  In fact, they scan easier if they are a bit smaller.  A good size for codes is 3.5 x 5 inch or even a wallet size photo.   Click here to download a cheat sheet that will walk you through the printing process.

How are you using QR codes in your classroom?  Audio files would be a great addition to add to activities or to share the amazing things your students are creating each and every week.

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What’s Note to Love?

With the iPad’s ability to record audio, capture images and sync information across multiple devices, taking notes has never been easier – or more fun!  Here are a few of our favorite “Note-Taking” apps and why we love each and every one!


Jen’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Like many other note-taking apps, Notability allows you to organize your notes into notebooks.  I LOVE that you can annotate over PDFs with text, pen and highlighter tools which makes editing on the go a breeze!  My absolute favorite part of Notability is web clips!  Web clips allow you to search the web and add websites to your note as an image with a link.”



Robyn’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“I love having the ability to view my notes on any device- PC, laptop, phone, and  iPad. This app allows me to have instant access to all of my OneNote notebooks- both personal and collaborative notebooks that I share with others. Having notebooks, sections, and pages keeps me organized, and I love having the ability to make “To Do” check boxes, bullet points, and add images straight from the camera to my notes!”


Notes Plus

Chris’ Favorite – What He Likes Best…

“For me, being able to circle any text or image, and then effortlessly move it around is a big plus.  I also love how Notes Plus allows me to import different backgrounds and links audio recordings to the page I was taking notes on when I recorded it.”



Chad’s Favorite – What He Likes Best…

“All of my notes are available no matter where I am! On my iPad, Mac, PC, phone…everything is cloud based so I can always get to the info I need. It’s super easy to use, too! I can bring in pictures & audio, create checklists, and everything is organized in nice, neat notebooks. Evernote will even title a new note based off of the meeting I’m in from my calendar! And my favorite part? I can share my notes! With Evernote I can create a unique, view only webpage for my notes that I can tweet out to fellow classmates or my students!”



Holly’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Penultimate is simple.  And by simple I mean, SIMPLE!  It’s basically just limitless notebook paper that you can use your finger or a stylus to handwrite on.  I’m a dork, so I also love how the notebooks I create look and open like “real” notebooks.”



Sundry Notes Pro

Jess’ Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Newschool and oldschool all mixed into one! With this app, you get the best of both worlds! It reminds me of taking hand written notes on a note pad. I love the lined paper, the easy organizing features, and the quick ability to share!”


Below you’ll find a comparison of apps to help you determine which app best suits your note-taking needs!  Most of us here at the iCafe regularly use several of these apps, as the situation warrants.

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