Why QR into the classroom?

My last blog post was about my plunge into the world of QR; the use of scannable codes in the classroom. QR is not new technology. In fact, just yesterday fellow educator @mraspinall posted a picture the hard drive of a computer that his intermediate students had dismantled with a QR code on it. QR is also found in stores and on posters; smartphones have allowed them to evolve into an effective marketing tool. Apps like @Qrafter allow users to download scanners for free, or to create QR codes by upgrading for only a few dollars.

So, why QR? Does it have a functional use in the classroom? For my grade 2 class the answer is absolutely.

Yesterday I introduced QR to my students. I was ready to explain what it was, in kid friendly language. I didn’t need to. Before morning announcements had even finished 3 students had asked why I had a code and what we were scanning. Some questioning led me to discover that all 20 of my kids knew what it was.

I guess I wasn’t introducing something new after all. Another humbling moment for me.

So, our little code made its way into our class library and students used it with absolute ease. Scanning the code, they were brought to a list of websites where they can listen to books. This eliminates the step of typing web addresses or site names into google and navigating through web pages to access the page they need. All useful skills; but not essential during participation in this work station. For me, the greatest benefit was not being interrupted to help find information, while conferencing with my writing groups.

I shared the code with my fellow primary teachers and they were just as excited about the possibilities as I am. While researching and analyzing data on the web is an important skill it can make research in a primary classroom a nightmare at times. QR will allow me to direct students to a pre-screened list of sites (or directly to one site) that are appropriate for their age and topic. A time saver for sure.

7 students asked for a copy of the code to take home last night, to use with their own devices. As I handed out copies of the code I was again reminded that it only makes sense to link the technology that we have access to, to student learning.

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