“Traditional thinking is all about ‘what is’. Future thinking will also need to be about what ‘can be’” By Edward de Bono
Quick Response codes also known as QR codes are similar to barcodes. When you scan QR codes using apps such as i-nigma or scan with your smartphone, ipad and computer (if you have a web camera) it links information to you. The information can be text, videos or websites etc. I believe with bring your own technology coming to many schools, I see QR codes becoming more popular in the classroom because they can be read on many devices and it is a real world application now. Here are some ways you can use QR codes in the classroom…
1. Put QR codes on classroom library books using labels/stickers so it stays nicely on the book. You can start by you creating some of the QR codes for books and then eventually letting the students make their own telling about why other students should read this book. You can also have students create ‘book trailers’ and turn them into QR codes using iMovie! You can also place QR codes inside books where you want the student to stop and do a comprehension check or a reading response without sending home a worksheet.
2. You can create scavenger hunts and/or webquests for your students that get them moving around the room. Scanning a QR code makes is easier for the younger students so they don’t have to type the long urls. You can also place QR codes around the school informing parents and/or students about different places around the school.
3. Add QR codes to homework sheets that are helpful hints. For example, if the student forgets how to solve a math problem or gets stuck, they can scan the QR code for help. You can put them at the bottom of the page or right next to the problem. The QR codes can be linked to a ‘how to video’ such as a Khan Academy video or a ShowMe video you created yourself. You could also link the code to text such as the math notes that were given that day.
4. You can have the students become self-directed learners by creating QR stations. The students scan the QR code to reveal the task and the students must work together to get the task complete. This builds on the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration and critical thinking. In a science classroom, the QR stations could have codes stating how to do an experiment or it could explain a task that the students had to complete. For example, using the materials in front of you, you must design an experiment in thirty minutes that demonstrates all three of Newton’s Laws and must use at least one simple machine. QR stations can work in Physical Activity (GYM), Art, Music or any classroom!
5. A fellow teacher and virtual friend, @MrLemere, had his kids use QR codes to create work cited pages for their research. What a great idea! He was able to check for copyright/paraphrasing issues on the spot and show the kids who copied word for word, and why it was wrong!
To start putting some of these great ideas into practice in your classroom, you can use QR creators such as Kaywa, QRStuff if you just want to create one QR code but I like using Google docs when creating multiple QR codes quickly. I adapted the below directions from Tammy Worcester’s tech tip.
1. Log into Google and go to Google documents.
2. Click on the create button to the left hand side and click on spreadsheet.
3. Label column ‘A’ Information. This is where you will put the information you want the QR code to have, for example your text, video, url etc.
4. Label column ‘B’ QR Code. (Eventually your QR code will appear here)
5. Resize the columns and rows so they are approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. You want them big enough to be able to scan easily.
6. Copy and paste this formula in cell B2, then click enter.
7. A QR code will appear!
*If doesn’t work on the first try, it could be because you had a space after the A2) so delete the space and try again. The row will change to green and that is how you know it will work. Ex. A2.
8. Click the tiny blue square in the bottom-right corner of the cell and drag down to fill the formula in that column. QR codes should appear for all the information you filled in each row. If you didn’t fill in each row and you see QR codes then you can go back and put in information and those QR codes will change to add the new information.
9. Print them out, cut them up and place where you want them in your classroom.
I would love to here how you have used QR codes in the classroom! Tell me about them in the comment section!