So I gave QR codes a go the other day in a PE class. Got the idea from Mr Robbo the PE Geek (http://thepegeek.com/).
What is a QR Code? “A quick response (QR) code is a two dimension bar code that can be read on devices such as a mobile device (camera phone) or a laptop computer which, once accessed, will allow you to complete an action. For instance, reading some text, accessing a web site or texting a number. A useful way of thinking of QR codes is that they link the physical world (the poster, print out, room, or physical object) to the electronic (web resource, text information) or facilitating communication (SMS message, phone call). This adds value through improving the potential of making access to information more efficient and effective” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code)
How do I read QR codes? You’ll need to install the appropriate QR Code reader software for your mobile phone device to be able to read QR Codes (most are free!!):
- iPhones: Download from iPhone Apps store. There are FREE versions available!
How do I use the QR CODE READER once it’s on my phone? Run the program >> It will enable the phones camera >> You then position the camera above the QR code you want to scan and make sure the entire code fits within the screen (i.e. don’t be too close or too far away) >> The code will be read and will redirect you to the appropriate URL or information contained within the QR code.
Will it cost me money to use the QR Code Reader? It will only cost you money if the QR code redirects you to a website. Then it all depends on what plans you are on. In the activity we will be doing, the QR codes will not link you to websites. They will only have EMBEDED TEXT for you to read.
QR Code Challenge: This is the ‘run down’ I gave the students on how it was all going to work:
- To begin – your team will scan a QR CODE LOCATION CARD. This Code will reveal hidden text that will lead you to your first location
- When you get to the location, you will scan the QR Code CHALLENGE CARD and perform the challenge or answer the question. (Be sure to capture evidence of you completing this challenge on someone’s phone… ie. Take a photo!) (Record any question answers on your teams ANSWER SHEET).
- When you’ve completed the challenge (or answered the question) you then scan the next QR CODE LOCATION CARD to find the next location you need to head to.
Reflection: Was nice to use something different in the class. Students were naturally interested in this new software so the ‘novelty/new’ factor was motivating. In hindsight I would have introdcued the concept of QR codes earlier (ie. embedded codes into powerpoint slides in weeks leading up) so students were using and familiar with the software. Not that its difficult to use – but only a few students ended up getting it on their phones – it would have been a lot more engaging if more students had the software so more could actively get involved in scanning the codes.