QR Codes and the Classroom!

 QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are  barcodes that contain information. What kind of information do they contain?

  • links from websites
  • text
  • contact information

In other words, you can link anything with a QR Code from the physical world to the online world. All you need is a QR Code generator (you can just google it, there plenty of them) and a smartphone with a QR reader to scan the barcode (you can find the application in every app market for free).

Use of QR Codes in Classroom

Why these codes are useful in my classroom and what can I do with them?

They are useful because:

  • they are motivating for students (and teachers)
  •  they save valuable time and paper
  • they provide a kind of bookmarks that both student and teacher can go back and forth
  • they provide a link to mobile devices that help students do their homework and follow along

I have found an interesting lesson plan in the Cool Cat Teacher Blog.This amazing blog helped me a lot to understand the use of these codes in the classroom and Vicki Davis has done amazing work. So,  I am sharing it with you:

Step 1: Homework Assignment
I ask students to download a FREE QR Code reader onto their device as homework at least 3-4 days ahead of time and pair students who don’t have an ipod, ipad, or smart phone with those who do. Let them find and pick the code. (You could ask them to go through their magazines and find a qr code to test.)

Step 2: Lesson Preparation
Go to Kaywa’s Free QR Code generator (above) and encode the four types of things into at least 4 QR Codes. For a larger classroom, you’ll need more. Print them and tape them on the wall.

Include some funny videos, the phone number for the school, a text message that says something like “You Rock Because You Can Read This” and an SMS pretending to be from someone like Justin Beiber.

Step 3: The Lesson
Start the lesson with a simple statement.

“QR Codes are barcodes for information. Using your free QR code reader I want you to figure out what kind. You have 7 minutes to figure out what is encoded in these secret messages taped up on the wall. Go!”
Step 4: Learning to Use QR Codes
I then have the students go back to their computers and pull up their last blog post. I teach them to take a screenshot of the post and paste it into Microsoft Word. (We include their four best blog posts in their printed portfolio.)

Then, we use Kaywa’s Free Free QR Code generator to create the code and insert it in their document. We test it. Because it links to our private Ning, it will take them to a username and password screen which they enter. Then, they can see their post.

I find the use of QR Codes really exciting, motivating and useful! Would you considering using them with your students? I sure do!