Giant QR Codes in the Classroom

Since about Christmas time the children in my class have been using printed QR codes and the webcams on our class netbooks to access websites. Now for those of you who didn’t understand a word of that last sentence, here is a quick 5 point guide:

  • QR stands for Quick Response
  • They are simple 2D code from the family of bar codes
  • Different information can be encoded using tools such as http://myqr.co/
  • The more information there is, the larger and more complex the code will be
  • A camera and code reading software is needed to read the codes and display the results – can be used with mobile phones or computers with webcams.

We have seen a fantastic response from the children in how we use them – it is something that can be easily implemented so long as they have regular access and use. In our class it is just part and parcel of what we do. Even our Foundation 2 children are using them to improve independent internet use.

  1. I print the codes off
  2. The children open QuickMark (our code reading software for PC)
  3. Hold the printed code in front of the webcam
  4. The code is read and displays a web address
  5. Double click and they are on their way

However sometimes I want to share something with the children on the fly and not have the time to print things off – I might recognise they need some more practice with something during a maths session and direct them to a web based activity in the plenary. Or I might find a site via Twitter and want to share it with the children.

So why the giant codes?

Well today I tested to see if an enlarged code displayed on an IWB or via a projector would easily work and of course it did! The children turned their netbook webcams towards it and it read it perfectly. For some of the children they needed to move due to the angle they were sitting, but for others they simply turned the netbook on the table and turned it back!

Getting to a website has never been so much fun.

Of course the reason I use them is that it allows children to get to the web resource much quicker and so increases the time spent doing the activity. Earlier this week I wrote a web address on the board for the children to type in and once again the old problems emerged – spelled incorrectly, spaces and other problems.

There is no question I will be using the GIANT QR code method from now on – the days of writing a web address on the board are well and truly over!

Pic: QR by william couch

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Tom Barrett

Tom is a writer, speaker and consultant. He has been sharing his thoughts on teaching, learning, curiosity and creativity on this blog for over 10 years. Drinking coffee and writing would be his idea of a perfect day.

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37 Comments on "Giant QR Codes in the Classroom"

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[…] Avoid having to print something outIf you don’t have the time or resources to print something off, share it with your students using a QR code. […]

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[…] 44.) Giant QR Codes in the Classroom. […]

Denny
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Denny
4 years 3 months ago

I am about to start using them in our school library. Children will be able to scan QR codes to go to an authors website.

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4 years 5 months ago

Sabrina…

[…]Giant QR Codes in the Classroom | edte.ch[…]…

Anonymous
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Anonymous
4 years 9 months ago

You can say that again~ Tom!
There’s no doubt that QR codes are getting hot recently~
And if used properly, they can be of great help around the campus~

Here’s a wonderful QR code generator free online, check it out:
http://generator.onbarcode.com/online-qr-code-barcode-generator.aspx

And there’s also good barcode generator component for .NET at
http://onbarcode.com/products/net_barcode/

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[…]Giant QR Codes in the Classroom | edte.ch[…]…

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[…] 45. Avoid having to print something out […]

Poster Printing
Guest
5 years 11 days ago

I
love seeing technology like this have a positive impact in the classroom. I’ve
seen these in educational posters, but actually projecting it up on the
wall quickly so your students can quickly access the information is just
awesome. As more classrooms move towards iPads, I think we will see this more
and more often.

laptop computers
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I love mini laptop and I like to share laptop reviews with
people around the world. Here is some information about laptop computers. Thanks for  spending little time writing about Giant QR Codes. 😉

Lkorte
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Lkorte
5 years 4 months ago

A QR Webquest! Cool.

Al Tucker
Guest
5 years 4 months ago
Craig – I didn’t see this as viable until I started working with a QR Code Manager like snap.vu or Bee Tag. I use a set of URLs that change every two to three days. Printing out large versions of these didn’t seem very practical given the large number of links we use in a month. With a manager, I can actually print out one large QR code and edit the destination whenever necessary. The code itself becomes recyclable. Often I’ll have my code pointing to a livebinder site that houses all of the sites we’re using that day. I… Read more »
Al Tucker
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Jabiz-that sounds like a terrific SketchUp project for my commercial art students. Perhaps having them tell me who they are via a QR Code maze. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

I’m crazy for QR codes & have blogged about other uses in the classroom & library! Just search my blog for QR codes & you’ll find several posts. I also created a QR Codes At-A-Glance Comic Tutorial that is Creative Commons share alike so anyone who wishes may feel free to snag it!
Cheers!
~Gwyneth Jones
The Daring Librarian

Jabiz Raisdana
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Jabiz Raisdana
5 years 5 months ago

Hey Tom! Just had a crazy idea. What if you created an entire maze of giant QR codes. Each wall would send kids to different sites, looking for certain things? Like a virtual scavenger hunt in a physical maze.

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Mikey
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Mikey
5 years 5 months ago

Check out http://www.bwscan.com for dynamic qr code generator with free analytics.

Mark Power
Guest
5 years 5 months ago
Hey Tom. As we talked about on Twitter last night, I can completely see your point and where you’re coming from wrt kids at the age your dealing with. And it engages them on a more interactive level no doubt. Didn’t mean for my comment to so critical of your work, you understand. Horses for courses and all that. I guess I overlook the use of technology (in this way at least) in primary schools as, unfortunately, my own kids had no such activities at their school….for them their use of ICT begins and ends in the “ICT Suite” with… Read more »
Brad Patterson
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5 years 5 months ago

That’s pretty awesome. I’m sure the students love it. Nice work. 🙂

Samual J.
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Samual J.
5 years 5 months ago

Here’s a story about putting a QR code at the end of an ESL lesson plan (downloadable demo):
http://www.englishfeed.com/?p=134

The key here seems to be that the use of QR may not be necessary, but, if it adds to the “fun factor,” that’s a really positive way to increase engagement. Let’s face it, kids are the best gadget/tech adopters out there…we may not “get it,” but they do…

So, reach them on their own terms and then teach them on yours. If QR helps. Use it.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

I really like the idea and how you’ve chosen to use QR codes with webcams – I think using any kit to access a particular technology is really important because it makes the children more flexible. It’s important for children to see that even without the availability of a particular technology (like a smartphone), they can still solve the problem using other solutions.

Who knows, in the future there may be QR reader implants you could get for your eyes – that might speed things up – oop I feel a Philip K Dick novel coming on.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

Yes and it is that very problem you describe that QR code use solves in my opinion.

Jennifer Ralston
Guest
5 years 5 months ago
I completely agree. I teach Kindergarten and if we are working on a project on a website that the children must find themselves, I spend half of our time just getting the kids to the website. They make errors in spelling, spacing and punctuation. My goal isn’t to have them know how to spell, for example, voicethread.com, my goal is that they are using the technology to produce meaningful work. I use diigo and live binders myself, but it wouldn’t help my 5 and 6 year olds in the way I need it to. Great post!!
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

I am surprised that you are dismissing this idea so quickly Craig. We seem to be assuming that every pupil finds it easy to scan a webpage full of text and find the right link that you are directing them to. Like I have said before my own experience tells me this is a successful strategy and I would strongly recommend you explore it in more depth for your elementary and kindergarten age children.

Craig Nansen
Guest
5 years 5 months ago
I agree that this is not a good use of QR Codes, especially since there are easy ways to get clickable links to students – we do this with Livebinders (http://livebinders.com/), Diigo (http://diigo.com/user/cnansen), and Portaportal (http://guest.portaportal.com/minot). But there are many good uses for QR Codes in education, especially as hand held devices with cameras and web access are becoming more prevalent. I have many QR Code resources bookmarked in Diigo – http://www.diigo.com/user/cnansen/QRCodes I prefer to create QR Codes with QR Code Generator http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator With QR Code Generator not only are you able to create QR Codes for URLs, but also… Read more »
kmhmartin
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Cool!

Shaw Goodwin
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Shaw Goodwin
5 years 5 months ago

What a great idea…. On to copy

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

I have done that Mark. And I have had to intervene on 4 or 5 different
occasions to correct misspelled urls. A shortened address is also trickier
because of capitalisation.

Many children find it difficult to copy from a board

I can only go on my experience of how 25 kids successfully work with the
codes on my class.

Rachelgoddarduk
Guest
Rachelgoddarduk
5 years 5 months ago

AAh I’m beginning to get qr codes now! My school doesn’t have webcams yet, but they are on the list and I can certainly see myself trying this out once we do. Certainly easier than putting links onto our vle!
And the giant codes sounds even better!

Mark Power
Guest
Mark Power
5 years 5 months ago
Ian makes pretty much the point I have. I applaud you for looking to implement QR codes but in all honesty they’re really a mobile tool. Having to turn a netbook/laptop around to point the built in webcam at the code (having to even adjust position) to then display a link…well, sorry but that’s not actually making things easier through the technology, it’s forcing its use for the sake of it. If the resources are location specific or simply out on the walls, in the corridors, outside, etc. and are targeted at mobile use…great. If you’re in a classroom just… Read more »
3dBloke
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

SHOO CROW!
(it says)

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

We have a set of 15 Samsung NB30s in our Year 5, Year 5/6 and Year 6
classes. So not for each child but plenty to get going with. This is funded
through the normal school budget. The use I refer to is children working in
pairs.

Brad Patterson
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

This, indeed, must be very convenient, and it certainly opens up an entire world of possibilities for the classroom environment.

I guess I’m used to a chinese classroom environment (where I taught the last 3 years), but I must say I’m surprised that all of these students have netbooks. Is it school policy? Are the netbooks subsidized at all? I’ve heard of such standards before but really only at private schools, so I’m interested to hear more.

Cheers, Brad

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 years 5 months ago

I have been asked that before but they actually do not need to type
anything, not the address of a blog or login to a VLE. They do not need to
scan through different links in a blog roll or placed in a website. They
open, scan and double click – and for many children that circumvents actions
they may find troublesome.

Ian Addison
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

great idea, but playing devil’s advocate…is it REALLY quicker to make a QR code, display it, and then get all children to scan it rather than just click a link on the desktop/VLE/website?
I haven’t used QR codes yet, but I am planning on some geurilla marketing in our vollage. We’ve been making websites about our local area and will be putting big QR codes around town to share the sites. Can’t wait to try it.

Simon Cobb
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

To think the location of that photo has crows with QR code readers! Great idea Tom.

David Terron
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

I use them on website for homework links/documents and on walls outside classroom so passing students can access sites and resources too. I love them as kids really ‘get’ how quick it makes things for them.

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