QR Codes???? What are THOSE??? 

You have probably seen these squares on products in retail stores, on flyers or surveys.

So, … what are they and how can they be used for education????
A QR (Quick Response) Code is a digitally created 2-D image that is linked to a website. They are beneficial because they allow multiple people to access specific websites quickly. You can create a QR code on this website. Scan the code with a Chromebook, smartphone, or tablet app to quickly access the QR Code’s linked website!

Our Struggle…

In my 2nd grade math class, we use a lot of online math websites to practice standards that are still developing and to enrich standards already mastered. My 7 year olds were having a lot of trouble typing in the long web addresses to access websites. (and that doesn’t even count time spent on their usernames and passwords – sheesh!) By the time they arrived at the website, the math rotation was nearly over! Yes, typing and computer skills are important, but I had to find a way to save time, ease student frustration levels, and still be able to ensure that each child had access to practice math and use technology everyday.
After speaking with my colleagues about our struggles with implementing personalized learning by using educational technology, the idea of using QR codes in our class was presented. First, I created a QR code that linked to a math game we were going to be using soon. Next, I taught my scholars what a QR Code was, how to use it, and why it was important. Finally, we practiced scanning the code and using the website to practice math.

And then the fun began…

Students were able to access class websites, math games, and conduct research quickly all because they were able to Scan the QR Code and GO! The productivity in our classroom had risen, and students had access to way more than just one website that they were comfortable typing in. This took personalized learning in our room to a new level. Because of the success in our class with QR codes, I began talking with colleagues and decided to allow students to take weekly quizzes online. They started grading their OWN tests based on immediate results from Mastery Connect(great story, but….it’s a blog post for another day, stay tuned!)

By incorporating daily use of QR codes in class, students are able to produce links to their own creative online work, and they are able to choose which math websites they need to use for help with mastering a concept. We saved so much lost time that used to be spent on typing, erasing, and retyping websites. Students are able to log on, scan, and immediately get to work.

 Something I decided to do this year was create a QR Code board. It has 2nd grade standards as well as some higher level brain teasers and NWEA MAP Practice skills. This is my first time making this type of board, so I already have a ton of ideas for improving next year’s QR lessons, anchor charts and bulletin boards.

I believe in teaching students information that is relevant to their world. QR Codes are widely used in everyday life. Whether it be at the grocery store, on cereal boxes, office brochures and at sporting events, students see QR codes being used everyday. The only difference is that now they understand what QR Codes are and how to use them properly. A lot of teachers want to incorporate technology into their instruction, but aren’t sure how. This is a quick and easy way to get scholars using technology efficiently. You can use QR Codes at staff meetings, for surveys, parent nights or even at sporting events!

If you have any questions about how to use QR codes for education, or how to implement this practice in your classroom, please feel free to comment below, or tweet me! @MsSierraGould.

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