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September 11, 2012 QR Codes in the Classroom By Christy Crawford
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Is the wall space in your classroom limited? Do you need a lightning-fast way to focus attention on a particular topic? Get yourself a Quick Response (QR) code. These souped-up bar codes can pack a lot of information in a little bit of space. It's no wonder that tech-savvy countries such as Japan and Korea have rocked QR codes for years. Implement these scannable images in your classroom to get kids salivating for more educational information. Read on for six very easy steps to create and scan codes to engage your students and their families.

    Perhaps you've seen the crazy looking squares in print advertisements and on various consumer goods to promote deals or contests. Or maybe you've seen QR codes on the wedding invitations of highly efficient friends. QR codes are even being placed on gravestones to share video stories of the deceased.







    Teachers are using the codes to kick off electronic scavenger hunts, create audio or video book reviews in school libraries, and promote upcoming school events. For our first day of technology class, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders used my smartphone to scan the codes in order to pull up various class guidelines. I've never seen kids so excited and ready to discuss rules!



    Create a FREE Quick Response (QR) Code

    1. Go to a QR code generator such as QRStuff or Kaywa.   

    2. Enter the content (short notes of inspiration for the state test, the URL or website address of a fabulous how-to video, etc.) you need to encode.


    3. Hit return and . . . Voilà! Your code has been created. (QRStuff will allow you to pick various shades of color for your codes.)

    4. Download, print, or email your new QR code. On some sites you can order T-shirts, hats, or chocolates adorned with your QR code. You can simply print the QR code, glue it on heavy card stock, and laminate. Make it easy for the camera on your smartphone or computer to read the image by asking students to avoid lighting glares. Ask them to hold QR cards with steady and stiff hands.  

    Get an App to Read Your Code

    5. Download software to scan or read your code. Using a computer with a webcam to scan the code? Check out the Adobe AIR app or the iCandy reader

    When using a smartphone or mobile device to read the codes, download NeoReader or Kaywa

    Once you have downloaded the QR code reader app, test your success by scanning the code below. Did it activate your computer or mobile device to play an audio version of my favorite tech class commandment? (Check out QR voice to turn text into talking QR codes!)

    6. Blast your QR code information on an interactive whiteboard or wall for all to see. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, connect your computer or laptop to an LCD projector. Using a smartphone? Have an ELMO or document camera ready for students to use to project their QR code findings.

    How are you using QR codes in the classroom? Please share here! Next post, I'll list your suggestions, tips, and a myriad of ways you can use QR codes throughout the school year.



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