For this post we are getting both a review and tutorial on QR codes. At least I’m going to share how I have implemented them in my classroom recently. QR codes began as a tracking device for auto manufacture. With the rise of smart mobile device (smartphones, iPod Touch, iPad, other tablets)(SMD), they can be utilized in the educational setting. The code allows you to link a website, 160 characters of text, phone number, SMS, or contact information on a scan able item.
I’ve used QR codes once and I have another lesson set up to use them again soon. So far I’ve implemented them gallery walk style. When we were studying World War I propaganda, I found the posters I wanted the students to study then created a Google site with those posters. I then created a QR code that sent the students to the link to look at the posters individually. This proved beneficial for me as my printer doesn’t have color ink, color being critical for propaganda. In addition, instead of creating a PowerPoint where every student had to go at the same pace it allowed the students to go at their own pace. They could have just visited the website, but the QR code isolated each piece of propaganda as a small chuck. This system also opens up differentiated instruction possibilities. For instance, when reading a document you can put a code on for students that could provide different scaffolding tools like word definition. You can specify to students what codes they need to scan or what codes that they don’t need to do. The next lesson I’m using QR codes with will be examining the effect of World War I on African American life in the U.S. For this lesson, instead of creating a site, I’ve linked to codes to other sites and the students have to take notes and report back. This negates the need for a computer lab, but still allows students to access outside material using their smart mobile device.
The students seem very receptive to the process. They liked the ability to get up, walk around and go at their own pace. For the few students who didn’t have an SMD, they were able to share with another student who did have one and still accomplish the task.
The process is rather simple. There are several QR code generating sites. I use www.qrcode.kaywa.com to generate mine. This site gives you the option to create either free static codes, so once they are created the code can’t be altered. You can also do 5 free dynamic codes, or more with a paid monthly subscription. Dynamic codes give you the ability to alter the destination of the code. They also give you the ability for analytics, but these are mostly geared towards businesses.
There are numerous other ways codes can be utilized. I’ve read of teachers putting them on worksheets to get the answers for previous homework assignments. I’ve seen a Periodic Table of QR codes. And this website has even more ideas.
Step 1: Decide what you want to codify.
Step 2: Go to www.qrcode.kaywa.com
Step 3: Create the code.
Step 4: Right click on the code and select copy
Step 5: Insert QR code into Word document and print
Step 6: Post and have fun