QR Codes are making a comeback

You either love them or hate them. Some educators feel like using QR codes are unnecessary; why not just give kids a shortened URL? Last year, I asked my high school students what they thought about QR codes as a way to access information in my Library Learning Commons. Responses varied slightly, but the general consensus was:

“Nah. We don’t use them.”

“They’re lame, Sorry Miss.”

Then came the iOS 11 update about a month ago. This update turned the iphone camera into a QR code scanner.

So I created a trial sign-in for students using the Library Learning Commons on their spare just to see if the perception of QR codes had changed. First of all, many students didn’t even know that feature existed. As I showed them how to access the new sign-in, I heard many of them say,

“Actually?”

“That’s sick.”

“I didn’t even know you could do that.”

Now that it’s been a month, I’ve asked students for feedback to determine whether or not I go back to my paper & pen sign in. And do you know what? Students said they love the ease of access using the QR code.

It’s fascinating to me how Apple seems to determine trends with teens. But, hey. I am flexible and seek to meet students where they are. QR codes are definitely a great way for students to see their smartphones as a tool for learning. I know that some students (especially ones with slow processing speed or perceptual reasoning issues) really benefit the most as I’ve seen students put in a URL several times and not access the website they need.

I have used QR codes in Inquiry centres for students to access supplementary videos, to showcase book talks or to link to surveys. Students have also recently shown an interest in creating their own QR codes. For example, I am working with several grade 9 classes to create a pit stop for the Amazing Race EDU global collaborative project and they would like to have students do a physical challenge and post it to a padlet. I added this slide to the “Creating a Pit Stop Resources” and many students are now incorporating QR codes into their game.

Here is a brief video tutorial I shared with them:

Even if your students don’t have iOS devices, showing them the In-igma app means that all students can access a QR code easily and quickly.

And so, it may be time to take a look back at those ideas about using QR codes that we abandoned before and see if they work with this generation of kids that now think QR codes are “lit”.

I had this one by We are Teachers book-marked. How about you?

 

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