Adding an extra dimension to our learning with QR codes.

I was desperate to incorporate our iPad project into a display I was making in the ICT suite. There didn’t seem to be any examples from searching on the internet and I was stumped. I had already put together some info on E-Safety and our new blog but I also wanted to display something about the iPad. Not necessarily a “how to” display but more of a showcase of how it is helping our learning. After no luck from searching the internet, I sent a tweet to some teachers and received a tweet back from Mr Andrews, a teacher who writes a blog that has been invaluable in the process of starting to work with iPads. He suggested using QR codes to showcase examples of work. I had seen QR codes before but never really investigated the use within schools. Thankfully, Mr Andrews then emailed me more information and I was excited about the impact these could have.

A QR code (or Quick Response code) is like a bar code, in that it can be scanned with a reader and it will present some information based upon what is held within the code. In the case of a bar code it is normally a number which corresponds with a product or ISBN number or similar. In the case of a QR code, different types of information can be held within them:

  • URL (website address)
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Text
  • vCard
  • SMS
  • YouTube clip
  • Facebook profile
  • Wi-Fi details
  • Twitter profile
  • Map coordinates

Most smartphones, tablets, webcams or can download a program to read the QR codes such as this one for apple devices:

Scan for Android Icon

From reading different articles and blogs on the use of QR codes in education it has given me plenty of ideas of how these can be used in class. Here are some of the links:
How to make use of QR codes with your iPad (teachers & students!)
Introducing 4D Books – Linking analogue to digital
Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes to support learning 

Now from these links there are tonnes of ideas on how these can impact learning in the classroom. But the most helpful use for myself is being able to showcase the work we are doing on the iPads. Having work published to dropbox, this blog, youtube and other websites it would be hard to show this in textbooks or on a display. Using a QR code means that work can be shared more easily. Our Life Channel TV’s in the playground can display QR codes linking to useful websites that parents can scan and read about once they have left the playground.

I also like the idea of how QR codes can help with SEN children or those who struggle following instructions. For example, if we were writing a discussion text, and there was a list of features that you would like to be included, having them on a piece of paper or on the board isn’t always used by the children, especially those who struggle with reading. However with a QR code you could record verbally reading instructions or the checklist, upload this to dropbox and then create a QR code print this on a handout and then let the children scan it to have all the instructions they need and repeat them as often as they needed.