Monday, January 21, 2013

QR Code Reading

Over the last two years QR Codes have become more main stream.  The TSA has QR Codes to provide helpful travel information, an increasing number of grocery items have them for additional product information, and one can not flip through a magazine without seeing a QR Code.  

Their usefulness has also found its way into the classroom.  I can't take credit for this idea; I think I first discovered this idea by reading it on Twitter. Whether your kiddos are reading text books, paperbacks, copied books, or handmade books QR Codes are a great way to enrich their reading experiences.  

One year my kiddos were deep into an investigation about animal adaptations and had access to an array of Reading A-Z leveled readers about plants, animals, adaptations, and ecosystems.  I also had a bevy of videos on the same topics.  I decided to combine the two.  Having already had the A to Z booklets printed out from the previous year, I only needed to create QR Codes for the videos.  

  1. Use a QR Code creator (my favorite is SnapVu) by pasting the link for the video into the creator. 
  2. Download an image of the code to your computer.  
  3. Once the codes are saved (sometimes I do it as I save the images) create a sticker sheet in Publisher.  To do this I insert a 4 x 5 table and arrange the table so that it fills the sheet with 1/2" margins.
  4. Paste the image of the QR code into one of the table's cells. Be sure to include a title of what the code links to.
  5. Repeat until all of the QR Codes you are creating are done and print.
Once printed, I stick the codes into the book; directly onto the page that is most relevant to the video.  Sometimes I keep the title of the video on the sticker, but sometimes I cut the title off so that it becomes a reading gift.  There's nothing like reading, clicking a QR Code, and being surprised at what is behind the code.  That is a lot of the fun with them!

Not only is this a favorite way of mine to use QR Codes in the classroom, but it also meets the need of the Common Core.  The Common Core wants kiddos getting information from multiple sources and multi-media sources.  Also, most of the videos available range from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.  This is a perfect amount of time to digest extraneous information.