For those of you who need a reminder QR stands for “quick response” and is a code that can be scanned to direct you to the website you are trying to access. To read more in depth about QR codes you can also reread B.Taylor’s post on QR Codes in Education. This specific post however will be focused on one fun way you can use these QR codes in your classroom. I found this idea from a post called Transliterary- QR Codes and Art in a great educational blog I follow called Langwitches Blog written by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. The post is about a fourth grade teacher, named Mrs. Teitelbaum, who collaborated with the Art teacher, Mrs. Gutterman, at her school to use QR codes to connect Art and Literacy in the classroom.
Students first drew a portrait in Art class. Their assignment was to draw Vincent Van Gogh’s chairs and make the drawing unique by adding things in the background that were important to them, ie a blanket, toys, music, picture frames, etc. After drawing their pictures, students spent time in Language Arts class writing a script about their work to explain what everything was, how they adapted it to show things that are important to them, and why those things are important.
After creating a picture and a script the students can then record their voices reading their scripts out loud. There are many ways to do this depending on what devices you have at your disposal. In the blog the students used an application on the iPad to record their voices. The next step was to create the QR code of the audio files by inserting the URL codes of the files into Google Url Shortener. This website also has an option of details on the file which provides the QR code for it. Enlarge the image below (click on it) to see the URL shortener.
After obtaining all of the QR codes for the students’ script the teacher then printed them all out and had the students glue their specific QR code to their artwork. They then hung all of the work on the wall outside their classroom. Students where given the opportunity to use available devices like smart phones and iPads to walk around and hear their classmates’ reasonings and thoughts behind their artwork. The pictures were kept up for parents’ night also giving parents and any other spectators who walk by the opportunity to scan the codes and hear the students’ scripts.
I did my own trial of this using another online tool called Vocaroo to record a student reading a narrative of her own art work of a diorama she did in art class. I followed the other steps from the blog and got this product. You can scan the code and hear what she has to say about her work by enlarging the image below (by clicking on it)! If you do not have a device at hand to scan the code you can also go directly to the page with the Vocaroo voice recording to hear this student talk about her artwork.
This usage of QR codes in this way to integrate Art and Language Arts is very beneficial to the students. It gives their work meaning and value. By changing their audience from solely one teacher they are very comfortable with to peers, parents, and any other adult that walks gives them more motivation to put all their effort into the assignment. This would include making sure that their pictures reveal their best and most meaningful artwork and that their scripts are edited to reflect their best writing free from grammar and syntax errors. The exhibit of their artwork and QR codes also gives students an opportunity to show off their hard work and feel pride. Overall through this one method, out of many methods of how to use QR codes in a classroom, teachers can provide students with a new and fun way to put meaning and pride into a relatively simply assignment.
If you have found this lesson intriguing and would like to learn more exciting ways to use QR codes in more classroom lesson plans there are many other blogs you can visit. Some websites and blogs include
Thanks for reading my post, I hope you found this tool and project as interesting as I have. Comment on this page to let me know what you think about this idea. Browse these websites and other educational blogs. Can you come up with any other useful ways to on how use QR codes in the classroom? If you were a student how would having these codes attached to your work change your attitude about the assignment?