As the use of technology in the classroom is becoming more and more evident, an increasing number of teachers are looking for ways to implement innovative teaching methods so as to keep students engaged throughout the education process.
In specific, with the use of mobile devices in the classroom educators can now make great use of the QR codes. The QR (quick response) code is a form of barcode, which by being scanned leads to a digital destination. This destination does not necessarily have to be a website, as it could also be a page on Facebook, a YouTube video, a document or any kind of data or content. All mobile devices come with pre installed applications that are used for scanning QR codes, and many such applications are available for free download for such devices. QR codes are extremely user friendly as they can be created very easily and free on many websites such as www.qrstuff.com. There, the educator can quickly and easily link the required data or content to a QR code that has just been created and then utilize it in print or digital form in a myrial of ways. Some ideas could be the following:
- Literacy Enhancement. The teacher can link a passage or a whole e-book to a QR code, so the students can then simply scan the code and access the text.
- Quizzes and Testing. By scanning a QR code students can also be redirected to a destination where they could take a small quiz or test. Such quiz could be created with Google Docs or could be part of a Learning Management System of the school, where all information such as marks is stored centrally.
- Polls and Voting. Similarly as above, students could also participate in quick polls, either anonymously or not.
- Accessing video content. As already mentioned above, the QR code can redirect somebody to watch a video. In this way students can simply access video content on their mobile devices and watch it at their own pace.
- Online collaboration. A very interesting way of using QR codes would be for collaborating online. For instance, students could be accessing a shared Google Doc or contribute in a shared classroom blog simultaneously. In this way, they could all work together, from their mobile devices towards the same goal.
- Projects- Presentation. Students could also be the ones creating QR codes. In cases where they have to compile research or present their findings they could also use QR codes in order to present data.
- Scavenger Hunts. Perhaps the most exciting way of using QR codes in the classroom is in scavenger hunts. Here students could be scanning the QR codes (which may be hidden) in the classroom, in order to find clues and accomplish their mission.
- Differentiated or Staged Learning. QR codes allow the teacher to even accommodate the needs of a mixed ability class. In particular, each student may have to scan their own QR code with resources, which could be specifically tailored to their needs. Likewise, in a classroom setting where students have to go through different stages in order to complete the learning process, having them scan QR codes can make this whole process much easier to run.
Overall, it seems that there are many ways in which QR codes can be utilized in the classroom. Of course, the above list is not exhaustive as educators can come up with many types of content which can be linked to a QR code. Ultimately, the most important benefit that we can have from QR codes is the flexibility that they offer, the ease of use and the increased engagement among students. So, go ahead and experiment and please add more ideas in the comment box below.