Ever wonder what those funny-looking barcode type things are? Are you starting to see them around? Once you know to look for them, you start seeing them everywhere.
They are QR codes – QR stands for “quick response” and you can scan a QR code with a free app on any camera-enabled device – tablet, phone, etc. Once you’ve scanned the code with your QR code reader app, you will be directed to the website, YouTube video, or text associated with it. Check out how QR codes in Belk Library are being used – as links to videos on how to use different types of equipment in the library or links to catalog and lists.
In her blog, Tammy’s Tech Tips for Teachers, Tammy Worcester has written a few blog posts/tech tips that provide a good introduction to QR codes:
- Tip 94 – QR Codes – Part 1 explains what they are and how to read them
- Tip 95 – QR Codes – Part 2 explains how to create them and also includes a great list of ideas for how to use them in education.
- Tip 110 – Auto Generate QR Codes in Google Spreadsheet explains and provides templates for using a formula in a Google spreadsheet to automatically generate a column of QR codes corresponding to text or urls in an adjacent column.
Your first reaction might be to question whether your students would be able to read them – whether or not they would have devices to do so. In fact, you are going to find mobile devices in more and more K-12 classrooms. You will see schools and programs described as 1:1 (one to one) or BYOD (bring your own device), and in those situations, each student has a device (provided by school and/or brought from home). You will also find schools that have iPad or iPod (or other type of tablet or handheld) carts that can be rolled from room to room; devices can be charged in the cart and synced and loaded with appropriate apps. See a blog post with great links about BYOD, Bring Your Own Device Resources and photos of carts from Apple Learning Labs.
So try your hand at creating QR codes or just reading some with your phone or other device, and also try to get past any skepticism you have about using them in your classroom and start to brainstorm about cool ways you could. Here are a few links to websites with great ideas for how to incorporate QR codes into your teaching and learning once you have your own classroom:
- 45 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes to Support Learning – from the very popular series, Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways where he starts a Google Doc presentation and invites others to contribute their ideas.
- 5 Real Ways to Use QR Codes in Education
- QR Skill Posters – for physical education
- The Ultimate Educators Guide to QR Codes
- Make your own QR Code Scavenger Hunt!
- Free QR Code enabled worksheets
What are some ideas you can think of or cool ones you found from the above links? Share your reactions, thoughts, or ideas about QR codes in education.