Sunday, November 6, 2016

De-coding QR Codes in the Classroom

For a few years now I have always recognized the small square bar code looking things located on various items that I had purchased. Things like receipts and logos are where I primarily would find these bar codes located. Not until being enrolled in a Ed Tech and Design class at UNI this fall was I able to make the connections of what these small square bar codes looking things were actually about.

To my surprise these bar codes actually had a name, QR codes. Aside from them being placed on the many things mentioned above, their use went far beyond what I had originally imagined. After completing an in-class activity, I become more interested in all the possibilities that QR codes could have not only in my personal life, but also my educational life/career.

A few quick facts about QR codes:

  • QR stands for "Quick Response," as once the code is scanned the information embedded is accessed quickly
  • They can hold much more information than a traditional barcode that you are used to seeing on products you may buy at the store
  • QR codes can contain a variety of things like links to a videos, text, and much more
You may be wondering by now why I am so interested in talking about QR codes. The key to this question though is the accessibility and innovative qualities it can provide within the classroom. As an aspiring teacher I have become more aware of the growing trend of effectively utilizing technology in the classroom. 

QR codes provide a perfect opportunity for students to engage in independent work using a technology based tool. Using new technology can be a scary thing for many, but QR codes are a perfect example of an easy way for students to dip their toes into working with something different and 21st century savvy.

A few examples of ways to incorporate QR codes into my future classroom:
  • Expanding on an activity I did in my Ed Tech class, I could create a QR code scavenger hunt around my classroom filled with different resources that would help the students complete a research assignment
  • I could create my own QR codes of different links to books being read aloud for students to access when checking out a book
Here is an additional resourceful blogger talking about QR codes that I found through browsing Pinterest: 

Photos used with permission from:
-Creative Commons-Wikipedia
-Wesley Fryer-Flickr

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