Last weekend, I had a moment of inspiration. Note: This is not necessarily a good thing…
Let’s start at the beginning. This term, I have been using the hour lesson that I have with top set Year 8 on a Tuesday as “Technology Tuesday”. We have had a go with Socrative, Educreations, Dan Meyer’s Three Act Maths…all good fun. Onto this moment of inspiration then.
I know, I thought, we’ll consolidate the work we’ve been doing on straight lines with a treasure hunt around the school! There can be QR codes, and passwords, and problems – it will be wonderful! I mapped it out on the back of an envelope – from the library, to the house room, to the picnic tables. There must be different start points so they aren’t all running around in one big group! The QR codes must be password protected so they can’t move on to the next problem unless they have solved the previous one!
Foolish, foolish, Mrs O’Clee…
The main trouble was that this was complicated to plan, and complicated things take time. A lot more time than I thought! (Probably 3/4 hours planning in total!). The concept was as follows:
- The students have a booklet.
- They solve the first page, giving them a password. Also on the first page is a QR code which gives them the clue to their first location. (There were 3 variations of page 1 therefore 3 different start points)
- Upon arriving at the location, they find a QR code and a clue to the next location.
- They scan the QR code (password protected) and enter the password they have just found. This then leads them to a problem. They solve the problem to get the next password.
- They move on to the next location.
- And repeat.
So what went right?
Well, I was really pleased with the immediate engagement from the girls – they loved running round the school and solving the problems. I told them to be back 5 minutes before the end of the lesson, and they were all 5 minutes late because they wanted to just do one more.
But what went wrong?
The password protected QR codes were a bit of a disaster. If they entered the wrong password 3 times it seemed to lock them out completely, so they all came running back to my room and we had to swap their ipad for a different one that hadn’t been locked out. Perhaps I was missing something, but password protected QR codes are a big fat no-no for my future (plus I had to take out a trial subscription for the privilege of creating the password protected QRs in the first place! A whole $3.95 wasted…)
Of course, that was just my opinion. So today I asked the girls for their feedback. And they LOVED the passwords. Yes, even though they were an absolute pain and at least half of them had issues, they were adamant that they did not want to lose the passwords if we were to do this again. They loved that they had to ‘unlock’ the next problem. I might have to think up a compromise there, because I’ve pretty much had it with password-protected QRs! Perhaps solving the problem gives them a word that completes a URL (maybe a padlet wall) and that leads them to the next location instead?
Other (sensible) suggestions included only sending them to places where they could sit and do workings out, as it was tricky figuring out the problem when they were stood outside next to a wall! Half wanted the clues more spread out, half wanted them less spread out so that was helpful.
I think I will spend a day or two just amending and improving the resources to incorporate those issues before sharing. If you’re interested in seeing them please leave me a comment!