QR codes are a fun and unique way to share information in and out of your classroom. They provide an easy way for parents to receive information and a creative approach to student engagement. Below I’ve listed step-by-step directions on how to use QR codes in the classroom and I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ways to use QR codes with students.
What is a QR Code?
Quick Response (QR) codes are a type of barcode that is readable by most electronic devices that contain a camera (iPhone, iPad, Android, Chrome Book, etc). The code is typically on a white background and looks like black shapes in a square pattern. The information encoded can link students to a website, video, photo, and other useful information.
How to Use a QR Code
Learning how to scan and create a QR code is a fairly easy process. If you’re using an iPhone, start by opening up your camera app. Point your camera towards the QR code.
You will receive a notification at the top of your screen from Safari. Click this notification and you will be directed to the selected resource.
Using an Android to scan a QR code is extremely similar; however, you will receive your notification at the bottom of your screen that will direct you to your Internet browser. Many Android users prefer to download QR Scanners in the Play Store, such as i-nigma QR and Barcode Scanner, QR Code Reader by Scan, and QR & Barcode Scanner by Gamma Play.
Creating a QR Code
There are a number of ways to create a QR code. One of the easiest ways is using a QR code generator. You may simply google QR Code Generator and a number of sites will appear. My personal favorites are here, here, and here.
You will likely have many choices on what to link your QR code too. I typically use QR codes to link to a video or website. Simply paste the URL into the box and click download QR Code.
How to Use QR Codes in the Classroom
Share Student Work
One of my favorite ways to use QR codes in the classroom is to share student work. My class recently completed a poetry unit where they wrote a poem about a person they admired. Once they were finished, they had the opportunity to record a video of them reading their poem on SeeSaw.
SeeSaw has an easy and unique feature that easily generates QR codes from videos. My students downloaded the QR code that linked to their video and attached it to their poem. Now anyone that scans the code can enjoy a video of them presenting their poem. QR codes are also beautiful and creative displays for a gallery walk!
Listen to Books and Reading Passages for Daily 5
Link to Websites and Videos
This is perfect for research projects and linking to sites or videos that provide extra support.
Students can walk around the room as they normally would but receive immediate feedback on their answers.
Classroom Hot Spots
Provide “hot spots” in your classroom for students to access additional information, anchor charts, and other resources they made need.
Surveys & Sign Up Forms
Another way to use QR codes in the classroom is to communicate with parents. I use QR codes a lot for conference sign-ups and classroom parties. Parents simply open their camera app, scan the code, and they can sign up to bring something or simply access important information such as a school notice.
Early Finisher Activities
QR codes can provide early finishers with extra practice or as an extension to the completed assignment. Students can scan the QR code and it can direct them to additional questions or resources.
QR codes can provide immediate feedback if you link it to an answer key. For math, you could take a picture of the problem showing the work so students can check where they made a mistake a long the way.
Library Add On
Students can write a book review or record a video recommending a book in your library. Before a student “checks out” one of your library books they can listen to a book review to help them make their decision.
Create web quests or scavenger hunts around your classroom to get students moving. Then you could have students check their answers in a different location, if they get the answer correct it will tell them where their next question can be found!
Using QR Codes in the classroom adds so much value and student engagement. It also encourages student independence and 21st Century Skills. If you’re looking for additional tips and tricks for your classroom – check out my top 10 classroom hacks!