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09 Jul 2012
Comments: 1

QR Footprints in Time

As most of you may know, my hometown is New Braunfels and it is one of the BEST places to live! In addition to claiming to have the world’s largest water park and Buc-ee’s, we also are home to the oldest bakery in Texas and one of the most haunted hotels in Texas (see video below).
 

New Braunfels Historic Tour – 45 – Faust Hotel from iniosante on VimeoProduced for the New Braunfels Convention and Visitor’s Bureau by Iniosante llc. Copyright 2011, all rights reserved.

Historic Faust Hotel: Stop 45 on the NB Footprints in Time tour

No, I have not been hired by the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to beef up NB tourism in the wake of “Can the Ban”… I am simply truly excited and inspired by New Braunfel’s efforts to share their cultural heritage and history in a new and engaging way!

New Braunfels Footprints in Time is a Historic Driving and Walking tour that can be accessed from the website (on a desktop or mobile device). The tour showcases 67 different locations including homes, businesses, murals, and shops and shares and provides beautifully crafted and engaging videos for each!

Each location on the tour also corresponds with a GPS location and a QR code to access the video when you have located your destination.

The Faust video is probably one of my favorites but truly all of them are so well done and weave a wonderfully engaging tale of history and culture. Whether you intend on visiting our little German town virtually or in person, this tour is a must for any family or classroom.

 

Further Thoughts: Consider using these videos and historical tour as a springboard for future classroom projects. Students could use them as a virtual tour and create their own travel brochures or postcards based on the info provided. Students could even create their own QR code historical tour of locations in their school, district, or city using video and podcasts. Finally, students could share these resources with another classroom or community abroad and compare and contrast their history to that of a classroom in Europe or South America.

 

New Braunfels Footprints in Time

 

Know another city that has a QR code tour? Share links in the comment section.

 


24 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Inspire and Ignite Political Debate in the Classroom

Container Ban on River Passes

As a local New Braunfels resident and an educator, I thought the current river ban debate would make an excellent post for a research and persuasive paper assignment. It is also is a nice pairing with my recent Fakebook post as there are Facebook pages both for (“It’s Time to Protect Our Comal and Guadalupe Rivers“) and against the ban (“The River Belongs to Us Not City Council” & “Sign the Referendum to Recall the New Braunfels Container Ban Ordinance“). While I would not recommend using the actual Facebook pages for research as some of the comments have proven to be heated and inappropriate, teachers could glean both pages for arguments and direct quotes from both sides to provide a point of reference for the debate.

Last night the New Braunfels City Council by a vote to 5 to 1 banned disposable food and beverages from waterways within the city limits. This ban has ignited the interest of many residents who may or would not have been active in local government and want to have a voice… and a vote.

River Video taken August 15th, 2011 after a clean-up. 

Ignite Debate: Such a hot topic also proves to be a great fodder for classroom discussion and a wonderful vehicle for debate. Trying to say as unbiased as possible, I decided to build off of my previous Fakebook post:

New Braunfels City Council Meeting

  1. Teachers could create a simulated discussion to highlight basic arguments from both sides (by pulling quotes and posts from FB).
  2. Students would then get a RAFTS  assignment. (Consider all of the the parties (roles) that the ban will affect and all of the vested entities: NB City Council, NB Police, locals, residents on the river, river-oriented business, NB businesses, tourists, the media, state politicians). See Reading Rockets RAFTS info and templates.
  3. Based on their given or selected role, students would research arguments, statistics, and facts/info that would support their stance on the issue. The recent article from My San Antonio provides a great start.
  4. Students would complete a graphic organizer to record their findings before finalizing their project.
    1. Web 2.0: ExploratreePopplet, or HOLT Interactive Graphic Organizers
    2. iPad: Popplet or T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
    3. iPod: T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
  5. Students could then present their persuasive argument in multiple formats:

    Created with T-Chart app

    1. a news broadcast (using Videolicious and images from the council meeting and river)
    2. an letter/email to a local Congressman (When writing a letter/email, remind students to: know their facts, state their purpose, be personal, stay on message, don’t be partisan, be courteous, and request a response). Researching voting records and public stances for multiple congressional figures may help students locate Senators and Representatives that would be more sympathetic to their cause.)
    3. a website (Glogster EDU) or brochure/flier with all information gathered for or against ban that could be presented to locals and/or voters
    4. a persuasive essay
    5. a debate (live or virtually with Edmodo)
    6. a song/rap/poem (quick songs could be completed in using Songify)
    7. a proposal to provide alternate solutions to the ban or a revised law
    8. a 30-second commercial for or against the ban (check out Photostory)
    9. an interview with a RAFTS stakeholder

 River Video taken after Memorial Day, 2011 used in the media to support the ban


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