I’ve kinda been MIA and if you want the truth it’s because I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t really had a chance to breathe otherwise. I thought since work is my life right now, that I could give you a glimpse into what I’ve been working on with my kids. If it gives any teachers some ideas, then yay!
I teach 2nd grade and my brain is always turning, trying to figure out how I can use technology in the classroom with my kids. Technology is truly a passion of mine that I love to share with my kids. In 2013, our kids are so tech-savvy, it’s only logical that my teaching reflects that as well.
I look for inspiration on Pinterest, from other teachers, on Twitter and just by doing Google searches. The lightbulbs came on when I saw that teachers are using QR codes in the classroom.
QR means quick response. Basically, these funky looking barcodes can be scanned using your mobile device (cell phone or tablet) and will automatically redirect to a website, email message, facebook, Twitter- wherever it is programmed to go.
Well, you need ideas if you’re gonna use QR codes in the classroom, right? Here’s what I have come up with so far. Some I found on the internet and others have just popped into my head during the day while I’m teaching.
- Interactive Bulletin Boards– Our children made family trees as a culminating activity for something that they were learning in Social Studies. These family trees are hanging in the second grade hall and one day I thought- “what if we record the children’s voices talking about what makes their family special, link that audio file to a QR code, print the QR codes onto labels and stick them to each child’s family tree. This way, anyone can walk by, scan the QR code and hear each child talking about their family. This makes the board interactive. This idea could work for anything- drawings, stories, poems, etc.
- Listening Center– I have lots of printable books from Reading A-Z that are in my classroom library. I have recorded students reading some of these books, linked their audio to a QR code, printed the QR code onto a label and put it on the back of the book. This way, a child can choose a book from the library, scan the QR code and listen to their peers reading it.
- Book Response– In conjunction with listening to the book being read, I also thought the children could answer questions about character, setting, plot, main idea, etc. and students who choose to read that book can listen to a peer responding to it.
- Scavenger Hunt– We are learning about place value in math, so I recorded different teachers giving the children a number riddle. For example: “My number has one less ten than 74, 3 hundreds and 8 ones. What’s My Number?” I uploaded the videos to You Tube, linked the video to a QR code and hung the QR codes throughout the building. I send the students off with their reading groups with clipboards, a recording sheet, and 1 iPad. When children scan the QR code, the You Tube video will pop up. They need to try and figure out what the number is and record their answer on their recording sheet.
So now you’ve got ideas, let’s make QR codes!
Once you record your video and upload it to You Tube, you can plug the link to the You Tube video into any QR code generating website and voila! You’ve got a QR code that when scanned goes to your You Tube video.
I use Kaywa to make mine, but there are so many free websites that you can use to create your own QR codes including:
I don’t really think it matters which one you use, so pick your poison.
If you’re recording voice, Vocaroo is an awesome website that allows you to record voice for free and it will turn your audio file into a QR code with one click. You don’t even need to use a QR code generating website, Vocaroo has that feature built in.
Next, you need a mobile device with an app that can read QR codes. We have iPads in the classroom, so I use the app Scan, which is free in the iTunes app store.
Ta-da! That’s it.
It’s easy and fun. The kids think these QR codes are like magic! I love watching their excitement when they see it come to life.
Do you use QR codes in the classroom? I’d love to hear how you’re using it because I’m always looking for new ideas.