A QR (Quick response) Code is a barcode that can be scanned from any mobile device or computer. The code takes you to a specific website, content information, or more information about a particular concept. I learned about QR codes at the NCSS conference. I originally found information on QR Codes last year when it was blogged about in relation to the codes being placed on conference badges and a useful way for people to collect and share contact details. We see QR codes everywhere from advertisements, magazines, newspapers, on signs, or on business cards. Many creative teachers have seen this as a great opportunity to connect the content to the students through the use of technology.
Creating a QR Code
Creating a QR is very easy. You go online to a free QR code generator here. You can take any website and enter it into the generator and place the code on any handout, website, or email it. Students can now acess information by the quick click of their smart phone.
Reading a QR Code
QR Codes can be read by downloading a free QR reader app to your smartphone or computer.
QR Codes in the Classroom
I created a lesson on the Civil Rights Movement using QR codes. It created a great buzz about my technology class and got the students engaged and already up and searching through my classroom.
Here is a sample lesson on the Civil Rights Movement through a QR code scavenger hunt
According to, the blog Don’t Waste your time, they stated the following examples to use QR codes in the classroom.
Lecture Theatre and/or Presentation
- Place the QR Code in a slide that links to a YouTube video you want the students to watch, but you don’t want them to take up your valuable time in your lecture by showing them there and then.
- Generate QR Codes that refer to materials the students may want to explore, but you haven’t time to show them in the limited lecture/seminar times.
- Place the QR Code in your slides that links to the information about the core text for the lecture, details of what it is and where in the Library it can be found (floor, section, shelf details, etc, or even link to eBook version if it’s available?).
- Generate a QR Code that links to an online survey or question you want them to answer while they’re with you, and show them the results (like a CPS system?)
- Put the QR Code at the end or your presentation for the students to scan as they exit the theatre, that links to an audio copy of the lecture, or to the activity you’ve asked them to do.
Books & Textbooks
- As these wonderful codes are being used more and more, how about the publishers using them in their printed versions to link to publisher-generated, and user-generated, content? This opens up so much more content than a CD in the back cover could ever do! The following YouTube clip demonstrates how this is already being done.
- Not every classroom has posters and things stuck to the wall, but what if you and your students worked on a poster about, for example, the San Andreas fault line? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to include audio and visual content in the 2-dimensional presentation? While we wait for video paper to come of age and be affordable, the inclusion of a QR Code on the poster means the person viewing it can still access the video content without typing a long complicated link.
- If you have a name-plate why not put a QR Code on it which links to your online profile page on the Institutions website? Why not get your business card printed with one it the back; you can then put so much more on it (contact details, publications, research, readings, RSS feed, etc).
- As I’ve already mentioned, Andy Ramsden and his team at Bath University are leading the way in this field and application of QR Codes, and he recently tweeted that they’d catalogued 1384 assignments. Please read about his work as it is not only a good example of using this technology, it is also a beacon for all of us learn from about bringing the various different departments and interested parties together to develop the system and working practice to make it work