Innovative ICT in Education: QR Codes

This session covered what QR Codes are and their possible uses in the classroom.

Aims:

  1. What are QR codes?
  2. How to make QR codes.
  3. Possible uses in the classroom.
You can find the PowerPoint used during the session by clicking here to download it.

1) What are QR codes?

As QR codes were once explained to me, QR codes are ‘barcodes on steroids’. It stands for Quick Response code and are used to open up multimedia content on handheld devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets and computers).

2) How to make QR codes.
There are hundreds of websites out there where you can create QR codes. If you Google ‘QR code generator’ you will be left with pages and pages of results. So to make it easier for you, I am going to recommend 3 websites in particular.

The most basic QR code generator is http://qrcode.kaywa.com/, with the option to create a URL, text, phone number and SMS based QR codes; however in education I would recommend only using the URL and text QR codes.

A QR code generator with more options is http://www.qrstuff.com/. With 19 different options to create a QR code, from the basic URL and text data files to ‘Google Map locations’ and ‘Skype calls’. Another great feature is the ability to change the colour of your QR code to tailor is to your department, faculty, personal tastes.

Another website to create QR codes is http://www.qrcodemaker.co.uk/ver2/index.php?. With all the basic data files to create a QR code from (e.g. text, URL, Location etc) but with the ability to tailor the QR codes by adding multiple colours, pictures and rotating the QR code. This website requires registration to prove to the developers that you work in education.

3) Possible uses in the classroom
The potential uses of QR codes in the classroom are endless and I have only listed a handful below. Hopefully this post will inspire you to create your own ways to use QR codes in YOUR classroom.

Interactive notice boards
Bring your notice boards to life by linking to YouTube videos and online content.

Bring YOUR resources to life
Link your resources to online content: exemplar work, tutorials, answer checks.

Learning stations
Promote independent learning by setting up differentiated activities around the classroom for students to complete.

Interactive Labs
Place QR codes on skeletons, information posters and other objects in your classroom.

Interactive textbooks
Link your analogue textbooks to webpages and videos to make the experience more interactive.

Library books
Link your books to reviews/podcasts/audio books.

Exercise books
Allow students to link their online work/blog posts to their exercise books for future reference.

Virtual tour/quiz
Place QR Codes around your school, department, classroom linking to online content/questions.

Newsletters
Link Newsletters to student work online to share exemplar work with other students/parents/teachers.

The content inspired a canvas of questions to answer and discuss. Discussions ran on how QR codes can be used in particular subjects, but I am a strong believer that you need to tailor their use to your teaching style.

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