Everyone has seen them, but not everyone knows what they are, or how to use them. QR codes have gained traction more recently when cellular phone cameras became equipped to read QR codes without a special application. QR stands for Quick Response. It’s basically a quick, scannable barcode-like image that takes you to a specific digital destination. That destination could be a file, a website or digital form. Businesses are using QR codes for menus in restaurants, directing people to secure websites, surveys and everything in between. People have become accustomed to using QR codes as a way of convenience, so why not use them in your schoolhouse? Check out some of the ways that educators and school districts are using QR codes to expedite communication and drive families to important places and information.
The benefits of using QR Codes in the classroom boast that they are easy for students to find links and enhance classroom learning.
- Easy video and link access on a worksheet. You can change the file or link often, but keep the QR code the same.
- Interactive bulletin boards
- Connecting students to Audio or video file for read alongs
- Learning stations resources and directions
- Showing examples of projects. You can create QR for linking students to examples of quality work so they have an exemplar to guide them.
- Differentiate instruction for students by using scaffolding techniques based upon students’ needs
- Interactive labs or periodical tables
- Create quizzes or formative assessments
- Everything you print and put on a wall or put on paper and handout can be distributed using a QR code.
- Provide robust feedback on activities or tasks. Create answer keys or robust feedback on tasks and connect with QR code. Students can self-assess easily.
- Provide extensions assignments. Create a fast-finishers corner or display where QR codes reveal an extension activity.
- Project/problem based learning
- Student Portfolios. Link the QR code to the digital portfolio of students
- Scavenger hunts
- Classroom Leadership and management
- Task cards
- Rewards or recognition
Equally, there are incredible benefits to using QR codes in your school or school district that can make communication among students, staff and families easier.
- Family newsletters
- Event advertisements and fundraisers
- Showcase Best Practices
- Family resources
- School calendar
- Student clubs and sports sign-up
- Student seat assignments (cafeteria, auditorium) Create a seating assignment for lunch and special assemblies. Post the QR code on the table or wall.
- QR Codes On School Equipment. Attach all sorts of additional information to equipment to assist in use. Some examples of this are linking loan equipment to forms and rules for lending. Linking complex or dangerous equipment to instructions or safety warnings.
- Homework help
- School policies and handbooks.
- Individual contact cards (virtual business cards)
- Teacher websites, add QR codes to pictures of staff members and link these to short video clips of the teachers introducing themselves.
- Make digital books and magazines in the library available to students through QR codes. There are a vast number of magazines that can be downloaded for free from sites like https://issuu.com/, or students can download classics from https://www.gutenberg.org/ or from Google books.
The list is endless. QR codes are an easy way to direct people to an important place in a hurry. Not experienced how to make a QR code? Here are some FREE sites that allow you to create your own individualized QR code.
- QR Stuff – create a colored QR code. Very helpful if you color code student groups
The idea here is that you can connect resources with users through a QR code. QR codes make accessing information and resources easier–and who doesn’t like easier?
Michele Rispo Hill is a passionate educator who has dedicated a lifetime to the education profession as a teacher, author, and presenter of professional development. During her tenure in the classroom, Michele was honored as the teacher of the Year in 2014. She served on numerous committees, mentored new staff and was an advisor for the classes of 2009 and 2018 and the Jostens Renaissance program. Today, she serves as the Coordinator of Admissions and Strategic Marketing and Equity Specialist for a career and technical school in New Jersey. Michele also serves on the advisory board for SchoolRubric.
Michele has developed and implemented professional development with a sharp focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, engaging students, and educational leadership. Michele has authored numerous articles published in the area of education, as well as co-authored 100 No-nonsense Things that Teachers All Teachers Should Stop Doing, and now is the co-author of Fired Up Teachership. Michele is a champion for students and staff; her enthusiasm and positive energy is contagious!