QR codes (Quick Response codes) are two-dimensional bar codes which when scanned with the camera of a mobile device such as tablet or smartphone, can take the user to a variety of digital content. This includes linking to a website, a PDF document, an e-mail address, a video file, or an audio file.
For schools that have invested in iPads or tablets as learning tools, QR codes can be a significant timesaver for sharing links and distributing information to a variety of people very quickly. Projecting large QR codes on a screen so they can be scanned from around the class makes it easy for students to access the same content on their own devices and interact with it individually instead of passively looking at the interactive whiteboard. Scanning also eliminates the possibility that a student may type in a URL incorrectly and spend time troubleshooting. A teacher can print multiple QR codes and place them around the classroom, or add them to a homework sheet, requiring students to complete engaging activities which meet a variety of student learning styles.
The following are examples of how to use QR codes in the classroom.
- Link an individual file or folder from Dropbox or Google Drive and share them using QR codes.
- Have students watch a video clip. Next, use a QR code to link a Google Form, which would compile all student answers in a spreadsheet.
- Create a QR code treasure hunt for use in or out of the classroom. The advantage of text QR codes is that you don’t need to be connected to the internet to scan them, which gives you more flexibility on where the activity can take place.
- Use a QR code for a group of students to watch video A, another QR code for different students to watch video B, and a third QR code for a final group of students to watch video C. After each group watches their respective videos, bring students together and have each summarize their video.