Local School Embraces New Technology

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

DEPEW (WKBW) These aren't your parents book reports...

At Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School in Depew, classes of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have found a new way to summarize the book they've read for class.

"I started thinking. What if we bring QR (quick response) codes into the school for education? Connect it some how with the curriculum," Technology and Computer Teacher Maria Reszel said.

From there, Reszel came up with a project that takes an everyday school book report, and turns it high tech.

The students start by brain storming and writing up a script about their book on the school computers. They then act out their own screenplay, recording video on the schools sixteen iPads. Then things get interesting, as the student works are uploaded to SchoolTube, a video posting website for classrooms. Those links are then coded into QR or quick response codes.

The codes, square barcode-looking symbols are then printed out and hung up in the hallway at the school. When parents come for open house or to visit the school, they can simply scan the codes using a smartphone or iPad and instantly see their childs hard work.

"I'm sure when the parents come through the school and see what their children can do, they're going to be awestruck," Principal Debbie Szczepanski said.

Faculty and staff know the importance of teaching kids how to use technology like this, and believe it helps the curriculum stick.

"With the QR codes, you're showing them how to connect what they're learning in the classroom in the curriculum and take it a step further," Reszel said.

"It's more exciting for the kids. You see smiles on their faces, and I think they're able to produce much better when they're engaged in what they're doing instead of just writing," Szczepanski added.

OLBS was able to raise money to purchase their iPads recently using proceeds from a student walk-a-thon. Since then, teachers say they can "barely keep the kids away from using them."

Reszel says the school has plans to continue using the iPads and programs like the QR code book reports into the future, saying even when it comes to education, there's an app for that.