Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Quick Response

A funny thing started to appear in magazines a couple of years ago.
Initially I had no idea what to do with this barcode.  I tried to snap a picture with my phone and you know what happened?  Nothing.  Well, I had a new .jpg file taking up space on my phone but not much else.

Today people understand by downloading a Quick Response (QR) app to your phone that when you snap the picture a whole new world is opened up to us. 

As a teacher you can use today's site, i-nigma, to create QR barcodes that will link your students to website links and more. This is a great treat of the week for your students to discover something new in your content area.  A few other ideas include:

  1. Vcard: For starters, you might consider updating your business cards to include a QR code, which would upload your contact information directly into another person’s contact list. Hand your cards out to parents at back to school night and show them how to add you to their address book if they have a mobile device. Here’s an example of the QR code I am putting on my new business card (try it out and see how my contact information will display on your mobile device): 
  2. Interactive Back to School Night: Post QR codes throughout the classroom, with titles about various student work. QR codes could access student videos, projects, blogs, and many other ideas only teachers can envision. Hand out devices (iPod Touches, for instance) to parents who don’t have a mobile device and show them how to read the QR code and access the materials.
  3. Resource links on class handouts: Include QR codes that link to online resources, your contact information, articles, YouTube channel/playlists, your email, phone, SMS, Facebook link, Twitter, and any other resources students will need to access. Remember to include the URLs and text-based information as well, for those students who might not have a mobile device.
  4. Mobile Assignment Reminders: As your students leave the classroom, post a QR code on the door, with the title “Assignments for this Week.” Students could quickly scan the QR code and have that information instantly visible on their mobile devices. They won’t lose this as easily as a piece of paper.
  5. Self-Assessment: Create flashcards with the QR codes on the back, which would provide the answers. You could get very creative with this and incorporate links to websites that would provide additional information about the questions.
  6. Guided Tours: Students could create a guided tour of their school, a historical site, museum, or public building–researching the site, creating mobile webpages, videos, audio files, or any other type of appropriate media to provide more information–creating and posting the QR codes to the various locations.
  7. Mobile Class Newsletters: Include a QR code along with the printed URL that would direct parents to a mobile version of your class newsletter. Make sure you include directions on what the QR code is and how it can be read by a mobile phone.
  8. School News: Have students create weekly videos on school activities, publishing them to their school Intranet or other private location, then post QR codes that link to these updates with the notice “What’s Happening in School This Week!”
  9. Code Quest: Create a cooperative learning “Code Quest” by posting QR codes at various locations. Each QR code will ask a question that will require the retrieval of an object. Once the object is found, another QR code will send students to another location, to locate yet another object. This Code Quest involves teamwork, cooperation, thinking, and moving around!
  10. Instant Surveys or Quizzes: Create a survey or quiz using a Google Docs Form and create a QR code link to that form. Students, parents, whoever, can easily access and complete the survey or quiz on the mobile device.
Try this QR Code now to see what I want for Christmas:

Similar sites include: Kaywa, Create QR Code, Mobile Barcodes, and Snap Vu.

READER RESPONSE: Tell us which idea you plan to use to integrate QR codes into your classroom. 

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