QR Codes are something that have always intrigued me. I mean you scan this funny looking thing and it takes you to any website!
Yeah. That was my reaction too. I had no idea these things existed until my first year of university when we had to do a scavenger hunt in one of my classes and we had to scan a QR code at each pit stop. I thought it was pretty nifty.
So since this week is do anything goes week, I decided to dive into some of the articles I had saved on Pinterest regarding QR codes and their use in the classroom.
So first of all, what exactly is a QR code?
According to WhatIs.com, a QR code (quick response code) is a type of 2D bar code that is used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone.
In this process, known as mobile tagging, the smartphone’s owner points the phone at a QR code and opens a barcode reader app which works in conjunction with the phone’s camera. The reader interprets the code, which typically contains a call to action such as an invitation to download a mobile application, a link to view a video or an SMS message inviting the viewer to respond to a poll. The phone’s owner can choose to act upon the call to action or click cancel and ignore the invitation.
So basically, a QR code is a bunch of square dots in a uniquely, random pattern. You download a QR Code Scanner app and then point and shoot. It will then take you to what it is or give an option to, depending on the app. Super easy!
However, what has always puzzled me is how on earth does one make a QR code? Well after a quick Google search, I came across this website which was both informative and helpful. It recommended using GOQR.me to make QR codes. So I played around on it and it was pretty easy. It lets you make a QR codes for various purposes such as sharing a url, event, location and many more. I created one and included it below! If you don’t already have a QR Scanner, just go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for one. There are many out there!
SIDENOTE: I apologize for what I just did to you but I saw an opportunity and I just had to take it. For those of you who do not understand what I did or why it is funny, click here.
So now that is done, let us get to how to use them in the classroom! The first article I found was from edutopia titled 12 Ideas for Teaching with QR Codes. I could see myself using most if not all of these. I really liked number 8 which is providing extension assignments by putting a code on the assignment that students could scan when done which would take students to a game or activity. However, I found that this site was more for middle years if not secondary. So my search continued…
The next article I found was Using QR Codes in the Classroom to Enhance Learning and it is actually a blog post from What Have I Learned – Resources to Enhance your Instruction. This blog is run by a lady named Jessica who is a teacher in the States and it is full of resources and ideas and definitely one to check out! Anyway, I found her post to be a bit more helpful as it was geared more towards k-3 (as is her entire blog!). Something I loved was incorporating QR codes into her listen to reading station of Daily 5. What she did was she found books on websites such as YouTube and turned them into a QR Code. When students would get to that station all they would have to do was scan the QR code! How simple is that! That is way easier than how I did it during internship! We had students connect their headphones to the same CD player and they would all listen to the same book. However, students were spending half of their time trying to agree on a book! By using QR Codes, you a) have students actually listening to a book, b) they are not arguing over what to listen to and c) you can constantly be updating your list which will keep students engaged!
Overall, what is my impression of QR Codes in the Classroom?
Love them! They seem like something that are great and they have sooooo many uses than the ones I listed. Go onto Pinterest and type QR Codes in the classroom and you get thousands of ways to incorporate them! The only issue I see is having enough iPads or tablets to use them. For example, if I were to use them in my listen to reading station of Daily 5, depending on the size of my groups I would need about 5 or 6 devices. However, iPads and tablets are becoming more and more popular in schools. Many schools are looking into getting iPad carts if they don’t already have one. I see this as being a positive thing as sometimes an iPad is easier to use than a computer (and a lot faster too.)