QR codes – my take

The first QR code I ever saw was earlier in the year on the side of a coke bottle where they were used as a gimmick. Although very cool, I didn’t see the potential use for them in education. However, the past few months has seen a hive of activity on the QR code front and so I jumped on the bandwagon and have been having a go with them in school.

There are many good ideas in these places:

QR codes Improve Web Access – by @tombarrett

Introducing 4D books – linking analogue to digital – by @deputymitchell

Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom – crowdsourced

Code and Chips please – by @dughall

QR Codes in Education: A Burgeoning Narrative – by @jamesmichie

The first thing I’ve done with them is copy quite a few others and link children’s online work with their writing books. This was great as most of our literacy unit involved creating an information text website so there is now a cross-referenced QR code in their literacy books and it doesn’t look to the parents like the children have done nothing all term.

I’ve also made a poster advertising our school blogs, twitter and facebook with a QR code attached but so far only one person has scanned it and that person was not a parent.

One way I would like to use QR codes though is to find/create questions for all of our reading scheme books then attach the code to the books for parents to scan at home and use the questions with their child. Obviously, this could be a mammoth task but hopefully would be worth it in the long run. And if anyone is up for making any shared resources then that would be more than awesome 🙂

I’m also trying to think up some sort of murder-mystery/crime-solving type activity but haven’t quite got the idea fully formed in my head yet, need more time to mull that one over.

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5 Responses to QR codes – my take

  1. Chris says:

    I’m also still trying to find the full potential of QR codes. I think that a lot of the success of any QR venture will depend on the availability of readers. By that, I mean that we need to encourage all smartphone-owning parents to install suitable apps as well as downloading software onto their PCs to use with webcams. If your parents are anything like ours, many of them just won’t bother and so the pupils that might really benefit by being lured into their work by the technology will miss out. That doesn’t mean that we won’t do our best though!
    I’m also trying to sort out some sort of orienteering course around the school grounds using QR codes to give pupils directions to the next waypoint, either using photos or written instructions.
    Good luck with your experimentation 😉

    • emmaldawson says:

      Thanks for your comment Chris. I definitely agree that getting parents to engage is more difficult, and we have the problem that our children are slightly younger too as we are a lower school that many parents are reluctant for their children to have things like mobile phones. Even getting them to comment on our school blogs has been a slow process.
      In terms of readers our new laptops have built in webcams so I’m going to install a reader on those, but as yet we have no portable reader devices so some ideas will have to be put on hold.

  2. Great post. Ive got a few QR codes in and around the walls of my classroom. My kids are always techno-impressed when I show them how they work, but none seem to have gone so far as to install a QR reader on their mobile device as yet.

    I am looking for QR codes to catch on in 2011, then I think the murder mystery / treasure hunt idea would work really well.

    • emmaldawson says:

      Thanks for your comment Mark. Mine were impressed when I stuck them in their books and showed them how they worked but most of them are a bit young to install a reader on their phones (a lot don’t have phones yet) as they’re only 8/9. I’m working on getting them to be more tech-savvy though, they couldn’t even type when I started with them in September as they rarely had ICT lessons.

  3. Mr Smy says:

    I completely agree with almost everything you say. I am working with a small group of teachers to try and introduce these in school in some way. As we are secondary, more will have phones, but they are not allowed them out in school, and by no means all have phones smart enough to have a reader. We also do not have portable devices available.

    Our plan is for some sort of treasure hunt, using digital cameras, but having to return to some sort of ICT base to decode the message. This would encourage teamwork as well the problem solving, and encrypting clues within the QR code. We are also hoping to use them within a Y7 PSHR monopoly day. If we pull it off, I’ll blog both of those ideas.

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