QR Codes

posted Mar 19, 2013, 9:15 AM by Doug Saunders   [ updated Apr 8, 2013, 7:43 PM ]

QR Codes in Education

We have all seen them before; those funny looking, pixelated, boxes that show up in magazines, in newspapers, on billboards, and even on fruit you purchase at the grocery store. The image on the left is a  Quick Response Codes (QR Code) which is an image that can be read by any mobile device that has a QR Reader app installed. Once you download a QR reader app to your mobile device you will be able to take a picture of the QR code on the left. This will open a browser that will point you to the iTunes store where you will be able to download episodes of my ITRT podcast.

What Does a QR Code Do?

QR codes can link to many different outlets. For example, when you snap a picture of any given QR code you might be taken to a specific website, Facebook page, Twitter account, or YouTube Video. QR codes also have the ability to display plain text, a phone number, driving directions, SMS, an email address, or provide access to an online calendar. Below is a QR Code that will launch Waze on your phone (if installed) with GPS directions showing the route you will need to take to arrive at Wilder Middle School. 

How to Create a QR Code

QR codes seem complex, but creating one couldn't be easier.  There are a number of free sites available that allow for you to create QR codes in 3 easy steps. I recently discovered http://beqrious.com/qr-code-generator/, but I have also used:
Delivr.com is cool site because it allows for you can change the information housed within a QR code code without changing the actual image itself. This will save you from having to print out a new QR code every time you change or update the information.

Ways QR Codes Can Be Used in the Classroom

1. Interactive Back to School Night: Post QR codes throughout the classroom, with titles about various student work. QR codes could access student videos, projects, blogs, as well as many other ideas.
2. Classroom Scavenger Hunt/Choose Your Own Adventure: Post QR codes around the classroom that provide hints for students to assist them with problem solving. If they solve the problem correctly another QR code can point them in direction of the next clue (if answered incorrectly there can be a QR code that will point them to another resource that might help them arrive at the correct answer)
  • Click here to view a lesson that takes advantage of this
3. Book Talks: Tape a QR code to the inside of a book jacket that points to a video of a student giving a book talk about that particular book.
4. Self-Assessment: Attach QR codes to the back of flashcards or homework in order for students to get further explanation of a concept or to check their work.
5. Survey and Forms: Create a Form in  Google Docs and create a QR code that will point students and/or parents to complete the form on their mobile device.
6. Guided Tours: Students can create QR codes to place throughout the school in order to assist the visitors at your school by providing them with a brief history of the school, schedule of events, building directions, various protocols, etc.
7. Assignment Reminders: Post a QR code on your board or door showing the assignments for the week.
8. Museum Tour: Students can create QR codes which displays their digital artifacts. The QR codes can be placed around the room for a museum like experience.

QR Readers for Your Smart Phone or Tablet

There are a number of free QR code reader applications you can download from the app store. Here is one you might want to try out.