Using QR Codes in the Classroom

My Thanks

... go out to Tina Coffey and Meg Swecker of Roanoke County Schools for sharing so many great resources with me at the recent VSTE conference this summer. Some of this information here also came from Mary Beth Hertz's article, "Using QR Codes in the Classroom." And finally, another good blog post beginners will appreciate is Lisa Dubemard's, "What the heck is a QR code and why should I care?

So...what is a QR code?
It's short for "Quick Response" and it is (usually) in the shape of a square. It looks like a bar code with black (or other colored) splotches instead of this:

You need 3 things to get started.
  • a smartphone or any mobile device with a camera (such as an iPad or even your laptop can be used if need be)
  • a QR code reader app
  • internet access

Then what?
It's very easy. You launch the QR reader app, point your phone at the printed code and press scan... it reads it like a bar code reader. It then links you to a website, an audio file, a video, a document, a map, etc. You might think of it as “print-based hypertext links.”

Black and White and Scanned All Over

To get started, if you don't already have one, you will need to download a QR READER to your mobile device (phone or iPad.) After you get more comfortable with QR codes, you may want to try out a couple other readers to find the one you like best. Of course, there are many more apps than I have listed here.

For the Android phone. Find them at "Google Play."
  • i-nigma
  • Microsoft's TAG -
  • QR Droid
  • ShopSavvy - one of the original Droid apps. Great for comparison shopping! Scan a product and you will be be presented with a list of local and online prices for that product.

For the iPhone,find them at the Apple iTunes "Apple Store."

So now that you have a QR reader, it's time to play with it!

Around the room, you will see several QR codes. Scan them to discover a video, audio file, map, document, etc. Record the answer to the questions related to each QR scan on your answer sheet. Then, we'll reconvene to discuss the possibilities QR codes have for education.

Some ways QR Codes can be used in the classroom with students:

  • An online video that students can watch on their own (at their own pace…ex- in PE - a how-to video taped to the wall)
  • Today’s homework
  • Book reviews (attach to back of library book)
  • An article in a newspaper for current events
  • An online quiz or poll
  • A simulation or game
  • A campus tour
  • An image or presentation
  • A scavenger hunt
  • A place for the students to write on a topic at hand (ex- art students tell or write about their artwork...create QR code to link to this)
  • A shared google doc where multiple students could contribute ideas

So how do I create my own QR codes?

To get started you will need a QR generator and your computer. These QR generators are online apps, so nothing to download. Just go to the website.

For the basic QR code, all of these are good.

Some other fun QR generators

More links and videos to get your creative juices flowing!

QR Codes in a Nevada Elementary School

Using QR in the Classroom