Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 Ways Teachers can Use QR Codes for Learning

What are those funny looking bar code things anyway? Quick response (QR) codes are codes that can be scanned with a QR reader to provide instant access to a variety of materials and information. These codes are most often provided on print-based materials such as magazine advertisements, flyers and books. Perhaps the most common use of QR codes is to provide access to websites about a particular subject, but QR codes can link to any kind of information that can be placed online. This page is an excerpt from my recently published book, Educational Technology for Teachers.

QR codes take advantage of internet-connected handheld computing devices such as smart phones. These devices must have a QR reader app installed in order to access the information linked with a QR code. A few recommended free QR reader apps include Scan and Neo Reader. To scan a QR code, simply open the QR reader app on your device and then scan the code, you will automatically be taken to the linked website.

Here are 6 ways teachers can use QR codes for learning:
  1. QR codes can be placed on worksheets to link to audio recordings of spelling or vocabulary words, or to video reenactments of historical events that have been studied in class. 
  2. Teachers can provide access to class presentation recordings by placing QR codes on a posted calendar in the day the class presentation was given. 
  3. Teachers can place QR codes on trees or other outside foliage that link to more information about genus and species. 
  4. Sheet music could be printed with QR codes that link to audio recordings of individual student parts featured on music websites like Noteflight
  5. QR codes can be placed around the school to link to further information about each room or about various objects. 
  6. Students can place a QR code in a paper or poster that links to their own work in an online portfolio.
To create a QR code, the website or material to which the QR code will link must be online. You can copy the web address to the website or document (or anything else online) and then paste the web address into an online QR code maker, which generates a QR code that will link to the web address. Two recommended free QR code maker websites are QRstuff and The QR Code Generator. To learn how to make a QR code at, Watch the free video lesson in chapter 3 of my textbook.

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