Friday, 28 November 2014

November 28th - Quick and Easy with QR Codes

Happy Friday everyone,

Recently, during our daily five rotations my students have been having difficulty accessing (and staying on) the webpages I have assigned for ‘Listen to Reading’.
  I often set up the iPad on the Tumblebooks, or other website I wish to have them choose a story to listen to, and once the story is over, they are unaware of how to return to this page to access another book.  As a result, I have begun utilizing QR codes to assist students in accessing the webpages I would like them using.

These QR, or Quick Response codes are popping up all over the grocery and retail stores and now they are making their way into education as well.  They are a type of bar code which allows a ‘reader’ to link to related information in the form of a website.    By installing an app with a QR scanner/generator (such as ‘Qrafter – QR Code and Barcode Reader and Generator’ - free), teachers can create their own codes and have students scan them to access websites quickly and easily.   

By visiting a QR code generator website ( and entering the web address of the page I would like ‘coded’, a unique QR code is created which you can download and paste into a document.  Once the document has been printed out, students simply scan the code with the iPad and it takes them right to the page I want them to be on quickly and easily – and with out interrupting the conferences I am having with students.

With December right around the corner, I have decided to begin celebrating the holidays early with a draw for a $25 LCBO or Tim Hortons gift card! To enter simply click on the following link and enter your email address. I will draw a random name on Thursday, December 4th and announce the winner in next week’s Tech Tidbits.

Good Luck and have a great week!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

November 14th, 2014 – CASL in the Cloud

Happy Friday everyone!!

With the passing of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) on July 1st, the Upper Grand School Board and schools have had to revisit their email policies and procedures.  As a result, the board has needed to seek out parental consent to forward electronic mail, newsletters, board advertisements and event invitations, all of which may contain advertisements.  Parents who have given their consent to receive these communications have had their email addresses included in a database, which is available to you as school staff, and here is how to access this information. 

·      Sign onto the the UGCloud website ( 
·      Scroll down to the other apps and services and click on the blue bar “Staff CASL Tool”
·      Log in with your windows username and password
·      Use the drop down menus to identify your school, class and format (Constant Contact, First Class or Email with CASL status) you are seeking.
·      Click on Export
·      This will create an excel file with all parents names and email addresses that you can use to contact families.

Although these additional steps will require a few more minutes of your time when you wish to email parents, it does ensure that we are complying with the new CASL requirements.

Finally, you should be checking this information EVERY time you wish to send out a newsletters or parental communication, as parents can revoke their consent at any time leaving us liable for fines upwards of $1 million to $10 million.

I hope this is a helpful tool when communicating with your students and families.

Have a great weekend!