Thursday, May 9, 2013

QR code QRaaaaaazy!

I have taken a dive into the sea of QR codes and I am drowning in them- (In a good way!!)  And along with nearly everything else technology-wise that I have tried this year, I LOVE them!  Since each student has their own device, I can connect them to any website (document, etc.) that will supplement my instruction and there is no easier way to do it than through QR codes! 

QR code creation is fast, easy, and free and my students LOVE scanning the code and pulling up the site on their tablets!  I have tried sharing the links with them through Edmodo, but QR codes are so much more appealing, (to me and to them), to prepare and access.  I include QR codes on my Activboard with learning targets and instructions for the students.  If I get a new idea or find a resource at the last minute, I can come into my room in the a.m. and quickly link the resource to a QR code and display it for my students. 

Below, I have included the link to the site that I used this year to create my codes.  I know there are a ton more out there and I plan to do a little more exploring for next year, but this site provided me what I needed this year; simplicity and quickness! 
 If you are just getting started with QR codes, I highly reccomend this site!! 
Click the link below, paste the link to the website you want to get your students to, and VOILA:  They give you a QR code.  You can have the code emailed to you, you can print it, etc, but what I mostly did this year, was snip the code, using Snipping Tool, then copy and paste it to my Activboard.


Here are a few examples of the ways I used QR codes this year:::::


 
I have used QR codes for special occasions such as to link Earth Day activities for the students to access when they finished an assignment during the week of Earth Day.  These codes took the students to National Geographic interactive lessons on climate change and global warming.  The great thing about these activities, is that they supplement our science curriculum.  So it's not like I was just giving my students some random activites to celebrate Earth Day, but I was taking advantage of engaging them in something that they would need anyways!




I linked my students to an edcanvas, which is an online resource that organizes many resources in one place for students to use.  They scanned the code and it took them to the edcanvas: Cinco de mayo, which they then used to research Cinco de mayo.  Students presented the information they researched about Cinco de mayo to the class and to a 7th grade class in Iowa, whom we connected to through a Skype call.




Before we started a lesson, students scanned a QR code that took them to edcanvas: Analogies that helped them to review a topic that we covered earlier in the year.  I gave them just a few minutes at the beginning of class to complete the edcanvas and I also posted some questions for them, that they would need to be able to answer after viewing the materials to discuss with the class.



 
I have linked students to YouTube videos that review a concept we have done earlier in the year before we discuss.  With the QR code, I included our learning target for the day and expectations of what they needed to get from the video in order to participate in the discussion afterwards.








Students were linked to a figurative language website where they investigated meanings and examples of poetry elements.



 









Students were linked to a Google Doc where they signed up for a presentation day and time.




Something that I have always struggled with as a teacher, is what to give my students who finish early to do, while my other students are still working.  I did not really like just telling them to read silently, yet I needed something that would keep them quiet.  At the same time, that something would need to serve a purpose by having a connection to our curriculum and supplementing what they were responsible for learning that year. 

 For this, I again turned to QR codes and came up with:  the QR Code Wall!!!!!
Problem SOLVED! 
Linked to the QR code wall are resources that my students can connect to in their spare time. 
These resources include mostly language arts resources such as: 
Other links on the wall include Edmodo and Mark Wood Explorer Homepage.




Finally, outside of my classroom, under my name plate, I have QR codes that link students, parents, and coworkers to my school webpage and my technology blog.



I will continue to use QR codes as a daily part of my classroom and work towards integrating them in new and different ways... I welcome your suggestions, comments, and ideas if you have any!

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