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.
- I print the codes off
- The children open QuickMark (our code reading software for PC)
- Hold the printed code in front of the webcam
- The code is read and displays a web address
- 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