Monday, June 20, 2011

QR codes

Have you ever heard of QR codes? If your like many of the people I've talked to lately, probably not, but I’ll bet you’ve probably seen them. 

 QR codes or  Quick Response Codes are two-dimensional barcodes, readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. When you scan the image with your mobile device, it instantly gives you the information contained in that code. They work similar to a barcode, but you can encode a variety of information including web url's, text, phone numbers, etc.

To create a QR code try  This is the site that I've been using and it is super easy to use! Click on the link above, or scan the QR code on the left to go to the site.

So I've been doing a lot of thinking on how I can use QR codes as part of my model technology classroom next year as I will have 2 iPads with cameras as well as my personal 4th gen iPod touch. I want to give my class a little taste of tech on the first day that won't require a lot of thought or effort on their part sooooo... I've decided to do our beginning of the year school tour using QR codes.

Since I have a dog theme I'm going to have a dog give us our clues. I'll generate a QR code for each clue and place it in a speech bubble. I'm hoping to laminate these so I can use them from year to year. I have to try that out to make sure the QR reader will still work with the laminating film. I suspect it will, but would hate to do all of them only to find out that it doesn't.
I am also going to put a number on each dog and then make a master clue list with each number and what the clue is so that I will be able to easily remember where each dog takes us without having to scan each dog as I put it up around the building. I think this will be a fun and unique way for us to do our tour and will give my class a taste of tech. My intent is to have enough clues for each child in my class to be able to scan at least one dog.

I also found this site with several other ideas. I really like idea #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

My only concern is, how do I manage the iPads so that they don't walk off. Open House and/or parent-teacher conferences are always so crazy. Hmmm.. something to ponder. Any ideas?

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