QR Codes: A Beginner’s Guide

QR codes, or quick response codes, have recently become the hot topic in technology education. These blocks of code have been popping up all over billboards and product packaging in the United States, and teachers across the country have been finding ways to implement QR codes in the classroom in many different ways as well.

In a nutshell, QR codes are a quick method of delivering information. Any device with a camera and app capabilities can read them, including smart phones (Android, Apple, RIM, and WebOS), iPods, tablets, and laptops. An individual need only point their device at the code, and the information is decoded and delivered. QR codes can be used to deliver contact information, documents, videos and websites. Just imagine the possibilities!

Use the guide below to create and start using QR codes in your classroom, and make sure to let us know how you are utilizing them!

1) Locate a QR code generator

My favorite code generator was created by the folks over at QRstuff.com. The site allows users to input several different types of data, change the color of the code image, and export created works by email, copy-past and print.

2) Input your data

If you are linking a website, simply select the “website input” option and type in the URL. For a document, copy-paste your text into the appropriate field after selecting the “input text” option. You get the idea.

3) Generate your QR code

Once you’ve input all of the information and available option, click the option to generate your new specific QR code. After your code has been created, it can be emailed, printed, or copy-pasted into another document.

Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom

– Print QR codes to chapter-specific resources on a piece of paper, then cut out the codes and place them in your students’ textbooks to aid them in their studying. They’ll love the new interactive additions to their reading assignments!

– Add QR codes to homework lists or assignment boards in your classroom. That student who forgot to write down their homework assignment in class (we all have one) will love that you’ve posted an easy link on your classroom door for easy reference.

– Create a scavenger hunt for your students by placing QR codes around your classroom or campus that link to different pieces of learning content related to the current lesson. Kinesthetic and visual learners will love these types of activities. Come to think of it, every student will love an excuse to get away from their desks and move around!

– Add QR codes to your class website or business cards to provide extended contact information. In our social media-laden world, sometimes we want our students or their caretakers to have more than one way to get a hold of us. QR codes can fit multiple contact methods into one simple image.


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