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QR Codes in the Classroom

By Christy Crawford on September 11, 2012
  • 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.


Comments (9)


Thank you so much for sharing this post! I just not beginning to hear all about QR codes and learning new ways to integrate this totally awesome tool in the classroom. Currently, I am starting off small and using QR codes as self-check response systems in math class. I created a package of addition and subtraction task cards and place value task cards with QR codes at the bottom of each task card. Students simply solve the problem on each task card, record their work and their answer on the answer sheet, and then self-check their answer using the QR code. Students are encouraged to go back and fix their work if they got the wrong answer...so far students are loving it and are fully engaged!

You can check out my resources at http://tabletalkwithcandc.blogspot.com

Make several QR cards at a table, each QR linking to a fun movie clip that students categorize as an example of one of our literary devices. Great way to review and give students something fun to do when they finish work ahead of time or when you are working with a smaller group of students at a time and need something for the rest of the class to do.

What do we go to 2 type in our codes?

I'm an AVID fan of QR Codes in the classroom. My sixth graders have completed created interactive book review bulletin boards, used codes for quick reveals and many other activities. I am particularly proud of the QR Quests!

QR Codes were also GREAT for open house where I generated a "ME CARD" code so my contact information went right into the parent's smartphones. We also recorded ourselves reading poetry (on Vocaroo) and shared the QR codes with parents at open house.

I am particularly proud of the QR Quests we've done. Here are some blog posts I've created on the topic:


I'm using the codes as bell work when students first enter the room. The code is placed on the Smartboard as students walk in.

So how do they scan it if it is on the smartboard? Are they allowed to use phones in class?

I took my Kinders on a tour of the school on the first day, guided by QR codes. We scanned the codes with our iPads and they played videos of school personnel introducing themselves (secretary, nurse, librarian, etc). So fun!

I like the idea, but my Android doesn't seem to be cooperating. My e-mail is poakes9@hotmail.com.

How do I get to the screen for the Content type as seen in #2(above)in Kaywa? I was able to create a QR for myself, but after that, nothing.

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