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QR codes offer powerful instructional opportunities

What is a QR Code? A QR code is an abbreviated name for “Quick Response Code.” A QR code is a two dimensional barcode that was originally designed by Toyota for use in automobile production due to it fast readability when compared to traditional UPC Barcodes. A QR code contains a series of black squares on a square grid that can be read by imaging devices. What is a QR code used for? QR codes can easily be created to send people directly to a web resource via URL. This allows the opportunity to quickly scan the QR code and be taken directly to web content without having to type the URL directly into a browser. What is needed to create and access QR codes? QR code creator – You will need an app that can create QR codes. There is a huge number of effective and free apps for creating QR Codes. I personally like “The QR Code Extension” which is an extension that is added to the Google Chrome browser. It allows you to create a QR code from any website currently being viewed with the click of a button.

QR code reader – Students will need a QR code reader app on their phone or mobile device. There are a large number of free options available and often have both a reader and a creator within the same app. How can QR codes be used in education? There are many ways to use and implement QR codes. It is a great way to embedded multi-media content into instruction, student work, collaboration or projects. The web and mobile devices have changed the way people learn, access and interact with information. We now have near limitless access to information and content on demand. While trying to figure out how to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, I did not reach for a cookbook, I searched the web for resources. What I found was all the reasons why it was a bad idea to attempt to deep fry a turkey, in high definition color! Knowing that this is how students learn, access and interact with information it makes sense to utilize them in instruction. Examples of QR code use in education. QR Codes can be used anytime you want to provide quick and easy access to a web resource. While there are many, many ways to utilize QR codes a few examples:

Flipped Classroom – Provide QR Codes to link to web content that you want students to watch or access prior to covering it in class.

Use QR codes in stations in the classroom or scavenger hunts around campus where they must go to access important information about a topic or the next clue.

Scaffolding/Differentiation – Provide QR codes that provide additional information or information presented in a different way that can help struggling students or provide additional enrichment.

Student Voice – Provide QR codes to link to surveys, digital web boards, exit tickets, or forms to provide an opportunity for student to have a voice in the classroom.

QR codes in math – Professor Larry Perez – Saddleback College

One specific example I wanted to highlight was the use of QR codes by Saddleback College Math professor Larry Perez. Professor Perez currently teaches Intermediate Algebra, Calculus I and Calculus II. He makes great use of QR codes by embedding them into student work. The QR codes link to videos he has created that cover the topic of the problem. According to Professor Perez “On occasion we as instructors create worksheets to give to our students so they can practice learning objectives we recently covered in our classrooms. In some cases as students’ progress through the problems, they get stuck at a particular step preventing them from reaching the solution. It is very likely that the particular skill that prevents them from moving forward was a skill covered in a previous lecture or from a prerequisite math course. Using QR Codes and leveraging existing smart phone technology, we can provide the student with immediate access to content directly related to the necessary skill. This somewhat emulates the learning environments we as teachers try to create in our traditional classroom lectures.” (Taken from Professor Perez’s website

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