QR replacing Q&A in the classroom

Posted: April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

QR code to this post!

I am not a iphone user, and my iMAC melted so I am not very app-savy, BUT we do have an ipad at our house so I am aware of the world of apps.  I became of QR codes at a dinner party as my i-friends scanned a bottle of wine they like and had all the info they needed from SAQ.  I only thought of them as consumer product codes until today.

The basics – The QR code is a web link to a site, document, picture, map… whatever can be posted online.  With a QR code reader app (mac) or picture-interface app on an android pohone you read the codes and are directly linked to the site.  I was surprise at how effective the readers are.

I have a brilliant gym-teacher friend who is innovative and way outside of any sweaty gymbox you have ever seen.  She does an activity with Celtic sports stations.  Until this year, she modeled each station herself and hoped that kids would stay engage for the 5 – 7 min they were at the station.  This year she linked QR codes to videos or historical facts about each sport.  Now,  students arrive at a station and scann the QR code with the ipad already there and after seeing someone in action participating in the activity they want to try it.  Brilliant.  As she told me, kids that are into the activity still are, and the kids that might lose interest quickly, now have a digital carrot to keep them engaged.

Once I started looking there are lots teachers blogging and writing  about using QR codes in their classrooms.  THE Journal interviewed one teacher, London Jenks, who has students use their iphone or android device to participate in science scavenger hunts as well as checking answers.  He talks about the hurdles of ensuring all students have access, but solved this with online tools as well.   I even found a link to a QR Periodic table of elements – what a great tool to learn and self-test!

Kathy Schrock writes a blog about technology in the classroom and in one post lists a tonne of links to QR ideas and resources for teachers.  She gives several options for free QR code generators as well.  One of her links lead me to Speechtechie.com, a blog by Sean Sweeney about using technology in language learning.  He has posted about what QR codes are and how to use them in education.   He has a 9 part series of posts that take you through how to create QR codes, read them and then the many activity ideas he has discovered for K-12.  The big take-away for me was the engagement QR code activities ensures.  Highschool students love their cell phones, and elementary grades are keen on any activity with the ipads or ipods.

Speechtechie points his readers to Kaywa to gnerate QR codes.  I tried it out by creating a free member linked to my Google account.  They have a great little tutorial that shows the difference between dynamic and static codes. Kaywa allows options like tracking activity or editing QR codes but you have to pay for this.  I made my code and tried it out… you can too!  All the QR codes in the blog are ones I have created.


QR code for google form

I really liked the Speechtechie activity that had kids represent themselves by a picutre.  These pictures were then linked to a QR code and classmates would scan them and have to guess or remember who was connected to the image.  I can see this tool uses as an oral interaction activity where the student would scan a QR code  to connect to information they need to respond to their teammates questions (orally of course).

Catlin Tucker offers several more engaging ideas in her blog included putting QR codes on assignments to offer help or enriched learning.  I also liked her ideas to create a QR code wall of fame in the classroom and using QR codes to advertise school activities.

The use of QR codes in a school without ipad access introduces the question of mobile device rules, but as London Jenks points out allowing them “provides them with access to the same technologies outside of the classroom.”  It also offers the chance for these students to further expand their digital potential.

Check out this video with this little QR code genius!

Scanhere to see a great video of QR in action in a classroom

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