QR Codes can be found just about anywhere you look. They are on buildings, billboards, informational brochures, and even in the classroom. Before I get into classroom use, let me first discuss what QR codes actually are. QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are strange looking squares that link to a website, a piece of text, an image, or other piece of information.
So, how can QR Codes be used in the classroom environment?
So many ways!
- QR Codes can be used to start a classroom discussion
- In my classroom, I have a bulletin board near the door where I place all of my QR Codes. Some of these codes link to a video that I want students to watch before class begins. Other codes on my board direct students to an article they need for their Bellringer. Students simply scan the code as they walk in the door with their electronic device. (Some of my students don’t have an electronic device that can scan…so we use the buddy system a lot!)
- At the end of every unit, I create a QR Code that links to my unit presentation (Keynote, Power Point, or Prezi). If students are absent from class, or are unsure of their notes, they simply scan the QR Code that links to their unit presentation.
- Some of the QR Codes on my bulletin board link to extension information for students who want to learn more information about the topic being discussed. For example, after discussing the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, I briefly discussed Puritan norms with my students. Since the course is only a semester long, we unfortunately do not have time to discuss all topics in great detail. So, I found a website that describes Cromwell’s laws and created a QR Code that links to the site.
- An essential part of social studies classes is the use of primary sources. I strive to teach my students to think and read like a historian, which requires primary source analysis. Some of my students would rather read a primary source on their electronic device, so QR Codes are perfect for my classes. When I’m creating a presentation for lecture or discussion, I simply create a QR Code that links to a specific source url. Then, I copy and paste that image into my presentation. Voila!