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How to Use QR Codes in Student Projects

Written by 14 December 2010

How to Use QR Codes in Student ProjectsScannable bar codes may be just what you need to spark some student interest in your classroom - read on to learn how to use them to showcase your student work and give some life to your classroom's infographics.

Last April ago I took a trip to Tokyo, Japan.  One thing that really stood out to me there was the abundance of these scannable barcodes.  These things were everywhere - flyers, posters, billboards, even in advertisements on the sides of commercial vans.  Over the past few months, I've watched these codes gain popularity in the United States (If you're from another part of the world, I would love to hear about the trends you've seen - leave a comment). 

The world as we know it is becoming scannable.

So, what is a QR code?

"A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones...scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone's browser." - Wikipedia

How do I make a QR code?

My favorite way to create them is with bit.ly, a free URL shortener that now automatically creates QR codes for your shortened URLs.

How can I use QR Codes with my students?

Bibliography of student work

Create a page on your wiki or blog, or craft an email or a handout to give to parents that includes links to student work.  Along with the links, put a QR code for each of the virtual projects.  This way, viewers have the option to view immediately via their smartphone, and if they are viewing a print version, they don't have to enter the URL into a computer.

Link to additional resources for class materials

Put QR codes on all of the elements on your periodic table poster, link them to a wiki page or better yet, a fun video showcasing that element.   Challenge your students to come up with a better idea, and have them bring in their own QR code.

Inspirational quote up in your classroom? Include a code that brings up a photograph of the author. 

Have a classical poem up instead of a quote?  Use a code that takes you to a podcast of the poem

Music teachers can create codes that link to podcasts of classical music.  When you're playing a particular piece in class, attach the related code on the music itself, so students can listen to the recording at home.

Reports & Projects

With any assigned book or reading, include QR codes linking to book reviews.  Include codes to the online versions of your assignments, your classroom's calendar of events with upcoming due dates, or related videos, articles, etc.

How are you going to use QR Codes in your classroom?

- Kimberly

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