Ways to Use QR Codes for Education
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
QR codes are easy to produce and fun to make, and they'll keep every kid's attention. These pixelated bar codes are digital magic for busy teachers! Use them for everything from running scavenger hunts to polling students. Read on for more ways to use the codes in your classroom, or see my post "QR Codes in the Classroom" to start making and scanning your own codes now.
1. Become a museum curator. Bring a President's Day, Black History Month, or Women's History Month bulletin board to life with QR codes. Place the code linking to compelling video or audio and/or a short quiz underneath images of George Washington, Susan B. Anthony, or any American hero. Give small groups or classes ample time to scan bar codes and enjoy your interactive museum.
2. Keep multiple families happy and productive as they wait for conferences or PTA meetings: create stations for those math and literacy games you would like families to practice and enjoy at home. Use QR codes and a tech-savvy student armed with a laptop or an iPad to quickly pull up how-to videos for each educational game. You'll never have to hear, "But we don't know how to play it!" again!
3. Is there a special basket, bin, or shelf in your library devoted to an author? Use a QR code on that basket, bin, or shelf to instantly pull up videos of the author discussing their life, their favorite books, or tips on writing. Link up to Click, Clack, Moo author Doreen Cronin at Scholastic or Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney at NBC Learn. Check out videos from Pam Muñoz Ryan, Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey, poet Nikki Giovanni, or many other greats with Scholastic's Author Video Index.
4. Let students promote their favorite books with book trailers or reviews and affix QR codes to corresponding books or book posters. Check out Heather Davis's fabulous Flip Cameras and QR Codes lesson plan for book "review" instructions.
5. Market your school's work like you mean it! Use your school's poster machine or large paper to create QR code posters. Write descriptions under each QR code such as: "Scan this image to see amazing blogs, videos, and websites created by your children!" and hang your creations in prominent spots in your school. Ask older, tech-savvy students to beckon parents over to the station for a demonstration. (See my post "Six Steps to a Successful Back-to-School Night" for more ideas for driving traffic to your classroom.)
6. Eliminate math phobia. Send home how-to videos for "scary" math problems by adding QR codes to homework sheets. Nervous parents will get at-home assistance and students will appreciate the review. Try the codes for any intimidating subject.
7. Use QR codes to spread a little positive energy. Allow students to code messages of joy, agape love, or inspiration this Valentine's Day for each other. All you need is one laptop or mobile device and a kid willing to dress in a silly cupid costume to collect and deliver messages. Allow really creative students to embed a photo or emblem into their code at QRHacker.
8. Make a stressed-out kid smile. Add QR codes with crazy sound effects like Chewbacca's growl or a round of applause to a test prep packet. Or let students scan their way to victory with a QR test prep quiz. Go to ClassTools.net to create your ultimate quiz.
Check out these great ideas from our readers:
9. Educator Brandy Warthan wrote, "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!"
10. Another reader wrote, "I'm using the codes as bell work when students first enter the room. The code is placed on the SMART Board as students walk in."
If you're craving more QR code ideas, watch this short, inspirational video from an amazing Pennsylvania school district.
How are you using QR codes in the classroom? Share your ideas with our community!