QR codes (quick response codes), alongside iPads and iPhones, are becoming increasingly popular. We see them everywhere from commercial packaging to advertisements. You can create QR codes using free apps such as QuickMark and QRReader or websites such as Unitag (click here for a YouTube video I have created explaining how to use Unitag). QR codes can be scanned and take you to a website, show text, a video and so much more – providing an interactive experience.
The excitement and motivation a simple tool can elicit in students is incredible.
QR codes have great potential to enhance learning and motivation in the classroom. They can simply change a simple task to something more exciting or create entirely new possibilities. Below is a simple list of ways that I have and/or endeavour to incorporate QR codes into my teaching.
- Students receive questions to answer and the QR code provides the correct answer.
- Students research a topic and create a poster using QR codes to present their information.
- Rather than students typing in a long URL provided by the teacher, they can simply scan the provided QR code.
- Create interactive displays and posters in the classroom – if they were simply written they are unlikely to be read by the students.
- Questions and answers are embedded in separate QR codes which are placed around the room for students to scan and match the question to the answer.
Click here for 40 interesting ways to use QR codes in the classroom by Tom Barrett.
Click here for an article from Edutopia about using QR codes to differentiate instruction.
There are also many products on Teachers Pay Teachers that you can purchase with QR codes already on them. Click here to read about some.
In the YouTube clip below, Karen Mensing provides some great ideas for the use of QR codes in the classroom.
How will you incorporate QR codes into your teaching?
It’s really important to me that the learning experiences I provide for the students in my class are purposeful. There are so many apps out there for almost every subject and topic imaginable, but when I actually started to search for great apps to use in my classroom this year, it was a lot more difficult than I imagined.
The majority of the apps that I have come across are simple games that simply fill in time. I want more for my students. I want them to be excited and engaged, while also being challenged, creative and learning valuable skills.
I am excited about the potential iPads and apps can bring to a classroom, but that is exactly it – like anything else, they have potential. It is up to us to ensure they are enhancing the learning experience and not simply filling in time or being used as an unnecessary extra activity. Instead of apps being used as fast finisher activities, they should be used by students as part of their learning and to illustrate their learning.
The following is a list of apps that I believe can be meaningfully integrated into lessons.
- Students create their own videos and tutorials.
- Click here for an example of ‘Explain Everything’.
- Similar to ‘Explain Everything’.
- Searches for pictures on the web.
- Students are able to solve problems from addition to division.
- Students create their own movie trailers and star in them.
- Students create their own comic strips with their own photos.
- Students create their own play using their photos or provided images. Students can also add audio.
- Creates movies using images/photos/text/music.
- Create a trailer.
- Record and narrate.
- Create an opinion video.
- Create an electronic storybook.
Apps in Education is also a great website which provides great information about apps.
Click here to read a great blog post from Tim Ryland’s Blog that compliments this post very well.
Click here to add to a Google Doc with a list of apps.
stockimages / Freedigitalphotos.net
How do you meaningfully integrate apps in your classroom?
What apps do you use in your classroom?