Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

QR Codes and the Classroom Connection

QR Codes and the Classroom Connection

By Nicole Long

reading too much? Whooos ReadingQuick lesson: QR codes are quick response tools that encode information, working like a barcode that allows you to “scan” and reveal the source.

In a classroom, this could lead students to a website, your contact information, or even self-created resources. Since I began using QR codes in my classroom, I’ve embraced the diversity and creativity they enable, especially in a BYOD environment.

QR codes have allowed me to integrate new resources not just within my content, but also for my classroom organization and management. See how they can make your classroom better too.

More: My Love-Hate Relationship with Technology in the Classroom

How to start

There are several free websites and apps that help you create QR codes from any computer or device. Once you decide what information you want to share, whether it’s a link to a website or the URL of a video, upload that information to a free QR code generator and save the image. Once you learn how to generate these codes, there are plenty of ways to integrate them within your classroom. Here are four of my favorite
uses for QR codes.

 1. Classroom Resources

In my classroom, I use the power of a QR code with Google Drive. For example, I create forms to keep track of students signing in and out of the classroom, checking out books from our library, or using classroom devices. I connect the URL of that form with a QR code, which allows me to provide my students access to the forms from physical points around the room.

 2. Content Connections

My first experiment with QR codes involved a reading unit. I created a website to store all of the lessons and questions students were assigned to explore during the course of an independent novel study and then connected the link with a QR code.

Using cardstock, I printed the QR code and due dates to create bookmarks that I passed out to students with their textbooks.

I soon learned that I could be a lot more creative, and started “embedding” helpful, supplemental materials into my worksheets. A QR code that takes students to a helpful video, or background information, even a speech!

Imagine reading a text and being able to pause and listen to the author speaking, or studying a historical figure and having the ability to see a video of them giving a speech—it’s an amazing feature to be able to offer my students.

3. Student Resources 

While researching for a presentation, I found a video highlighting all the ways one school was using QR codes. One segment that stood out featured a science teacher who records her labs and then connects the URL of the video to a QR code. She tapes it to a calendar in the classroom, where her students can use the instructional tool to catch up with what they missed or to review without falling too far behind.

I keep a small QR code taped to each of my students’ desks and if a student is absent, they can scan the QR code to see what they missed without even having to ask.

Whether you use Evernote to publish your lesson plans, or YouTube for instructional support, QR codes can give your students instant access to these important course-related materials.

4. Teacher Information

On the first day of school I give my students labels to attach to their notebooks. The labels have my name, email and Twitter handle, but they also have a QR code that takes them straight to my class website.ways to use QR codes

More: Foster Virtual Inclusion With a Classroom Blog

From the very beginning, I know my students can access necessary information for class just by using their cellphones.

By combining the power of what I can find (or create) online, with a tool that allows us to access this information from anywhere, I’ve opened up my classroom to unknown possibilities.

QR codes provide students with an opportunity to self-manage, take accountability, and even create their own extended learning scenarios.

Whether you attach an instructional support video to the gymnasium wall during exercise stations, or provide a link to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech while reading, you’re providing students with an opportunity to take advantage of text connections and resources, all while using their own personal devices.

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How to Use QR Codes in Your Classroom

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  1. Pingback: 5 MORE Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom

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