A QR (Quick Response) Code is a barcode that can be scanned by a camera on a smartphone (or similar device) that then takes you to specific information like a website, contact information, or text. Originally, QR codes were used for manufacturing to label parts that were used in building cars in factories in Japan. However, today you see them everywhere from advertisements, magazines, newspapers to business cards along with other commercial uses. Many creative educators have seen this as a great opportunity to bridge a connection through technology.
Creating a QR Code
Creating a QR is very easy. You go online to a free QR code maker like www.qrstuff.com. Here you can choose the content that is added to your QR code along with the formatting of the code and then you can choose how the QR code is shared with others. Examples include printing, emailing, or adding it to a website. In this way, users can quickly access the information you are interested in sharing through a quick scan from a smartphone.
Reading a QR Code
QR Codes can be read by downloading a free or low-cost QR code reader app to your smartphone. All of the major smartphone brands have QR code readers available. Some examples of the most popular QR code readers include Red Laser (which also scans traditional price barcodes), Scan, and QR Code Reader.
QR Codes in Education
This week I created a QR code for my website. I added this QR code to the front page of my syllabus that I handed out at the evening parents and students night. It was amazing to see how many students and parents pulled out their smartphones right away and scanned it to see where the scanned barcode would take them. It created a great buzz about my technology class and got the parents and students engaged and already up and searching through my classroom website.
There are so many other ways to get students engaged in learning through QR codes. You can post a QR code that will take children to your website with the assignments for the week. You could create a QR code treasure hunt where students would have to scan the code to get the clue to find the next code. QR codes seem to really get everyone excited about what ‘mystery’ lies behind the code and everyone wants to scan it right away to see.
Here are links for more ideas to using QR codes:
- 10 Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom
- QR Codes: In the Classroom
- QR Codes in the Classroom – Math Examples
QR Codes are a great way to get kids and parents excited about technology and learning.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By FotoosVanRobin
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com