Interactive Bulletin Boards

As students transition more and more into creating digital projects, you’ll have to struggle with ways to showcase their work in a community that does not always possess the tools to access the World Wide Web. Lately, I’ve also been playing with the idea of bringing together 1) the digital and 2) “real” worlds in their projects.

Many students yearn for outside feedback, but rarely get it when they post their work on a blog or in an Internet gallery. Thus, after reading a post about Transliteracy, the idea for my “THAI Interactive Bulletin Board” was born.

Using a project from the USA-based “ReadWriteThink” website about Parallel Poems and an art project fromPrinceton Online, the students had a beautiful 2-D Bulletin Board to display in our hallway.  But, I wanted to bring its viewers into the digital world as well, so I used a few tricks to engage the audience – QR codes, a puzzle, and an iPad. But it’s possible with other (more used in Asia) tablets and smartphones. I’ll explain that later.

HOW2DO;
  1. First, mix up 1) the artwork and 2) the poetry on a board so that 1) and 2) are not matched with each other.  
  2. Then place QR codes on the artwork that led the reader to an audio file in which the artist/poet read his or her poem.  
  3. Place also QR codes that lead to the “reader to Google Forms” online that allow the viewer to vote on their favorite pieces of art and poetry.
  4. This can be a a hit for your own students, but If you want to widen the audience, send out e-mails to surrounding classrooms and surrounding schools offering the loan of some of our classroom iPads so that their students can experience the system of “digital bulletin boards with QR-codes”, too.
Many teachers (perhaps most teachers) who possibly will volunteer to participate are not familiar with either 3) iPads or other tablets and 4) QR codes, but perhaps they will the insight that learning about “digital bulletin boards with QR-codes” to their students might be enjoying.  
With a few instructions, the students themselves (third grade) are able to tutor each other as small groups stroll over to the school-hallway to view the board(s). You will see it by yourselves, for almost a week (at least), there are students standing in front of your board(s) with iPads, other kinds of ‘tablets’ and smart-phones, discussing the art and poetry, trying to match them up, and giving their input on the work.
It will be the greatest feedback you’ll have ever, to get on student’s work – virtual or otherwise. The success of this “pilot” has definitely made me want to branch out to other ideas – codes linked to videos or blog posts so viewers can comment, a bulletin board in the library to reach an even wider audience, etc… 
Students find QR codes (in general) engaging, and I think (some or many) Thai kids will engage it also .  Sure, the novelty will wear off in a few years, but we can certainly take advantage together of it now to enhance learning within “Thai bi-lingual schooling” and/or Thai schools where local teacher are learning pupils som basics about the English language.
I know that around in Thailand (eiher it’s in Ubon, Udon, Khon Kaen, Khorat or Bangkok) primary-schools and secondary-schools exists where (in many cases “farang” teachers are teaching to learn “English” components to students. QR-codes can be a very good help for teaching; we at “Thai-QR-help.org” will help and support you by this.
For a few more ideas on how we and you can use “QR-codes” in the classroom in novel ways, such as for classroom coupons, check out the blog at  and do a search for QR codes, or you can just click here.
About the Blogger
Terri Eichholz is a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in North East Independent School District in San Antonio, TX.  This is her 21st year of teaching and learning from her students.  You can find her blog, Engage Their Minds:  Different Ideas for Different Thinkers, at http://engagetheirminds.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s