Some thoughts & ideas about QR codes.

There are several people out there that are talking about using QR codes in the classroom. I do not see QR codes being a fad that is going away. QR codes are everywhere. I think you will find QR codes to be a great way to share information with others, as well as a cool way to change up your lessons. Below, you will find the tools necessary to create QR codes, as well as some ideas on how to use QR codes.

For people who are unaware of what a QR code is, Wikipedia defines a QR  code as “A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code)  a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readerstelephone cameras, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.”  Think of it as a barcode that you can customize and point to anything, from pictures to websites.

Have you ever seen something that looks like this?

Screen Shot 2011 08 05 at 11 36 07 AM

Chances are you have. To begin, how do we create these square barcodes? There are several different QR code creators out there. You can read my previous posts about creating QR codes with the Google’s tool goo.gl which creates a short URL as well as a QR code. You can find several QR code generators on Google.

Here are some ideas for integrating QR codes into the classroom:

Video / Resource of the Day
By using “QR Jumps”, the content embedded in a QR Code can be changed and managed at any time.
Screen Shot 2011 08 08 at 6 54 31 PM

Next, we all lose things. It’s a fact. Why not create a QR code that points to a folder in Google docs with all of the work sheets and materials you will be using for the year? Or, you can bundle several different links for a unit or chapter and have them available to the student. You can read my post about bundling links here.

History/English Class: Have QR codes that link to text with facts about famous people and post them around the room. The students have to use those facts and match them to the famous person. By utilizing QR jumps, you can change where the code goes.

So, you do not have to re-create the code each time you want to post new information.

Art Class- Place QR code near artwork, so people can get more information on the artist. You could also design a QR code and paint it on canvas and scan it!

Math Class- Place QR code on worksheet that links to video’s to help solve the problems

Analog or Digital? Did you and your class write out a script, and then record a play or a news cast? In the script, place a QR code that links to the digital version.

Create a virtual tour of your school or building:

  • One in the entrance – linking to a text of the school mission statement or URL of school website as well as contact information.
  • One in the corridor – linking to school vision and some history of the building.
  • One (or more) outside every classroom with planning of work being completed within, bio about teachers, audio of music compositions or poetry recitals, slideshows of artwork etc.
  • One in the hall with an associated video clip/snippet of the Christmas/end of year show.
  • One in the library with associated audio clips of pupil book reviews.
  • …others that you will inevitably think of.
  • Give visitors/inspectors a device when they arrive.

Use http://jumpscan.com/ to create your contact information to place on your business cards. You could also use this in a lesson to create a “Contact Card” of a famous person.

Science Class- Have QR Codes on different parts of the body that link to video’s that go more in depth about that part of the body.

You could have your students create “Choose your own adventure stories” with QR codes and google docs. Have different codes that navigate to different pages.

Yearbook- Every year there are several left over pictures that are not used on the year book, you could have an online gallery of the un-used photo’s and have a QR code pointing to it. You could also use a QR code for promotion of the yearbook and sales. One school in Texas created a video with the years events around the world and placed a QR code in the book that directed to the video.

Readers / Creators :

Web (Webcam Based)- http://miniqr.com/reader.php

Web (Image Upload)- http://zxing.org/w/decode.jspx

Windows / Mac

Android & IOS (Iphone Ipod Touch)

These are just a few ideas, and I am just skimming the top of the potential of QR codes in your classroom. You can find a TON of ideas and resources over at “The Effective Teacher” wiki

How are you using QR codes in your classroom?   How could you be using them?

Thanks

TJ

TJ Houston

TJ Houston the Vice President of Managed services at Epiphany Management Group. TJ leads professional development in all areas of technology and loves developing ways to make teachers, students, and staff's lives easier with the use of technology. TJ also loves photography and his portfolio can be found at http://www.tjshots.com. All of the views on this site are his own.