With the advance of mobile technologies, QR Code technologies have immensely increased their educational potential. More teachers and students are using them for a wide variety of educational purposes. After reviewing QR code generators and scanners , in this post I share with you some of the practical ways you can integrate QR codes in your lessons. I also create an infographic version of this post which you can access at the bottom.
Based on the sources I listed at the end of this post, I come up with some helpful suggestions to help you integrate QR Codes in your lessons. These include:
1- Create interactive and engaging content
Use QR codes to link to extra reading materials and resources. For instance if you teach students about climate change, embed QR Codes that link to further resources on the topic such as web pages, videos, audio files, PDFs, documents, etc.
Tip: Chrome browser lets you share any web page as a QR Code by simply right clicking anywhere on the page and choosing ‘Create QR Code for this page’.
2- Share resources
Encourage students to use QR Codes themselves to share digital resources with each other or on class website. In group projects, students can generate QR Codes of resources they come across online and share it with the whole group.
3- Help with homework
Another way to integrate QR Codes in your teaching is by using them as heuristics for home assignments. You can create QR Codes for tutorials, instructions and how-to tips that students can access by scanning QR Codes you shared with them using a mobile device.
4- Use in classroom activities
A time saving and an efficient way to share handouts and worksheets with students is through turning them into QR Codes accessible anywhere anytime. Next time you want to distribute handouts with instructions on how to work on a certain activity, save yourself the hassle and try generating QR Codes that contain all the required information and share them with your class, for instance, on class website/blog, through email, or print them out and pin them on the classroom wall.
5- Communicate with parents
Engaging parents in the learning taking place in class is key to improving their kids learning. Parents can keep track of their kids’ learning progress and help in creating optimal learning experiences. Knowing that their parents are in the know can also drive kids to be more accountable for their learning and boost their engagement. Once way to engage and establish sustainable communication channels with parents is through using QR Codes.
As a teacher, you can create and share with parents QR Codes that contain information about class/school events, activities, students learning, or anything else you want parents to know of. QR codes are also safer way to protect the privacy of your messages., well at least the information they contain are not readily available. Even if someone finds the messages they still need to take the extra step to download a QR code scanner to read the codes which can deter lazy intruders from accessing the information at the first place.
6- Scavenger Hunts
Bring to life the classic scavenger hunt game using QR Codes. Students will definitely enjoy the creative and interactive edge of the game. Create QR Codes for objects, lists, or items you want to students to collect or sort out and have students search for and use their QR code scanners to play the game. There are many variations to the use of QR Codes in scavenger hunt activities, use your creativity to come up with ways that are unique to your teaching situation, ones that speak to the learning needs of your students.
7- Use with books and reading materials
Another interesting way to integrate QR Codes in your teaching is by using them in reading activities in and outside class. For instance, if you have a class library, try to generate QR Codes that contain extra information about these books (e.g., videos, movies, online reviews, etc) and place these QR codes within the books.
When students come across these codes they can scan and access the embedded resources to help them learn more about the book or novel they are reading. You can do the same thing with digital reading materials. You can include QR Codes with PDFs and documents you share with students and let them access all the relevant resources you curated for them by scanning the codes.
8- Provide easy access to online content
Always in the spirit of using QR Codes to share extra resources with students, try to generate QR Codes for those URLs or web addresses that are too long and hard to remember and share them with students. Students can easily access these URLs by simply scanning the codes. Yes, there are several URL shorteners that you can use to make URLs short but most of these services are not free hence the utility of QR Codes. Next time you want to share an annotated list of resources with your students use QR Codes.
9- Gather students feedback and conduct formative assessment
QR Codes can help you with your formative assessment. You can use them to generate students feedback to use to inform your teaching practice and to boost students learning. Simply create your assessment which can be a quiz, a poll, an exit ticket, a survey, a questionnaire , etc, and share it in the form of QR Codes that students can access and scan. You can share these QR Codes in print, through email, or embed them in class website or blog.
10- Research project
Another helpful way to use QR Codes in learning is when students are engaged in research projects. Students can cite and organize all the references and sources they drew on and use QR Codes to share these resources with teachers and other students.
The visual below sums up the 10 different ways to integrate QR Codes in your lessons. I also included some interesting resources and video tutorials to help you better understand the whole concept of QR Codes in education. Check them out and share with your colleagues.