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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Five Reasons I Love Using QR Codes in My Classroom

There are so many tools that educators can use to get students interested and engaged in their work. Like most teachers today, I integrate technology into my instruction everyday. I'm lucky to work in a school with one-to-one technology and use iPads with my students throughout every school day. That makes it easy to use QR codes in my classroom -- and there are many reasons I love using QR codes!

What is a QR Code?

A Quick Response Code is a digital image that can be scanned without the beam of light needed to scan barcodes at the supermarket. It's used in advertising and marketing for smartphone users. You may have seen QR codes on flyers, subway posters, brochures and even cereal boxes. They are often accompanied with a message that says, "For more information scan this code." They can be scanned using one of the many free QR scanner apps available for smartphones and tablets. When you scan the code, you'll be taken directly to a website.

What does this marketing tool have to do with education? If I want all of my students to visit one website, I'll create a QR code for that website. And that's only one of the benefits.

Credit: Monica Burns

How QR Codes Can Make a Difference in the Classroom

1. Eliminate the Frustration of Long Web Addresses

Instead of asking students to type in a long web address where they could easily make mistakes, a QR code will take them straight to a website. It's easy to type in USAToday.com, but directing students to a specific article might require them to type in a combination of case sensitive letters and numbers. QR codes are perfect for students of all ages, but especially for children with special needs and those students who are easily frustrated.

2. Take Students Directly to a Designated Website

We all want to avoid using search engines that might bring our students to the wrong website. This direct approach also limits their exposure to similar sites that might not be kid-friendly. You can create a list of QR codes for websites to make Internet research easier for students.

3. Save Time

Instead of waiting for each student to type in a long web address, they can all quickly scan the QR code. You won't have to waste valuable minutes from your lesson because all students will be on task and viewing the correct website in seconds. Try projecting the QR code on the board or printing just one QR code for each table of students to save yourself the time of making extra copies.

4. QR Codes are Easy to Make

Websites like Qurify.com allow you to generate your own QR code for free. Copy and paste a long web address, and they’ll create a code that is unique to that particular website. You can save, print and distribute the QR code to students.

5. Change Up Your Normal Routine

I love to keep things new and exciting for my students. Try creating scavenger hunts that will get your students to visit a variety of websites to gather information on a topic. Get students engaged and moving by placing QR codes in different parts of your classroom or school building.

Are you already using QR codes in your classroom? I'd love to hear how you're integrating this technology tool into your instruction.

Comments (31)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger

Great idea for using QR codes! Anyone can make them - it doesn't require an email account, so there aren't age restrictions. [quote]Hi,

I just want to applaud your great use of technology. I recently started using QR codes myself and see them as an enhancement in the classroom. With that being said, what are the limitations of QR codes? Say for instance at our school students are required to submit an e-portfolio as one of their conditions to graduate. So my question is, can students or anyone create their own QR code? If so, then our students would be able to link their QR code to their portfolio and the review panel could simply scan with their tablets and viola![/quote]

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger

Thanks for your question Timothy! I use QR codes with 1:1 iPads in my classrooms - they belong to the school, stay in my classroom, and are never taken home by students. [quote]Help me out here. Your students have 1:1 iPads, do they take them home? Or are they the school's and only used in school/certain classrooms?[/quote][quote]Help me out here. Your students have 1:1 iPads, do they take them home? Or are they the school's and only used in school/certain classrooms?[/quote]

Kathy's picture

I am a second grade teacher and i just recently started using QR Codes in my room. We just finished an animal project where the kids researched an animal of their choice. They were responsible for finding 3 habitat facts, 3 animal group facts, three fun facts, and one adaptation. I had the kids record themselves reading their project and created a QR Code for each project. The codes are hanging in the hallway with their project. I have invited PreK, K, 1st grade to bring their IPads down and listen to the projects. Very fun and a great way for the youngest of readers to enjoy learning!

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger

I love the idea of creating walkthroughs and making this interactive for younger students!
[quote]I am a second grade teacher and i just recently started using QR Codes in my room. We just finished an animal project where the kids researched an animal of their choice. They were responsible for finding 3 habitat facts, 3 animal group facts, three fun facts, and one adaptation. I had the kids record themselves reading their project and created a QR Code for each project. The codes are hanging in the hallway with their project. I have invited PreK, K, 1st grade to bring their IPads down and listen to the projects. Very fun and a great way for the youngest of readers to enjoy learning![/quote]

Melissa W's picture

I use them with my seventh graders as a self checking device. If I let them know ahead of time, they BYOD and I normally have 8-15 devices so they can work in groups. I create a worksheet and post the answers around the room using QR codes. They scan the code to check their answers. I love using this so it gives me time to differentiate and work with those students that really need it and allows them to work at their own pace. They love it!!

I wrote a blog post about it! Check it out!
http://techknowledgeyteacher.blogspot.com/2012/12/qr-codes-self-checking...

Miss Cassidy Teaches's picture

Is it possible to use QR codes with having students on computers--do they use the camera on the computer to access--or just tablets?

Amjad's picture
Amjad
Elementary and Middle School Computer Teacher at an International School

Hi,
My question is how do students read the QR Code in the classroom?
Do you provide them with a mobile phone, Ipad ?
Thank you.

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger

Students can scan the barcode using a QR Scanner app on their iPads (any smartphone/tablet with wifi or 3G will pick up the barcode)
[quote]Hi,

My question is how do students read the QR Code in the classroom?

Do you provide them with a mobile phone, Ipad ?

Thank you.[/quote][quote]Hi,

My question is how do students read the QR Code in the classroom?

Do you provide them with a mobile phone, Ipad ?

Thank you.[/quote]

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger

The students would need to be able to scan the code from a mobile device like an iPad. You could create a shortlink (go to bitly.com) to make it easier for computer students to find a website (instead of typing in a long url)
[quote]Is it possible to use QR codes with having students on computers--do they use the camera on the computer to access--or just tablets?[/quote]

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