How I use QR codes in the classroom

This post is republished from an entry on the editorial page of www.osakajalt.org

Over on the EdTech blog, Kimberly talks about Quick Response (QR) codes and how she uses them in the classroom. QR codes are something that I have been using for years and is something that I have talked about before (you might have seen one of my presentations about it at Tech Day), so I thought I would post something here on the Osaka JALT blog about them as well.

Hands down my favorite use of a QR code in the classroom is to give the students the answers to their homework. In many of my classes I give the students a handout that has extra activities for in class on the front and a homework assignment on the back. Of course, with hundreds of students each week, I couldn’t be checking each assignment myself and I didn’t want to leave the students in the dark. I was tempted to give the students another handout with the answers, but that just seemed like a waste of paper. I also thought about writing the answers on the board, but that seemed like a huge waste of class time and I don’t think my arm would be up to writing the same answers again and again for each section I was teaching. Instead, I create a QR with the answers embedded right in the code and put it on the top of the next week’s homework assignment. Students can scan the code with their cell phones and check their answers at their leisure.

This system has worked out great. I have avoided using extra paper and kept my blackboard free for class activities. My favorite QR code generator is Kaywa. Just select the ‘text’ radio button and start typing. When you are finished, chose the size that you want and click ‘generate’. A QR code will appear on the screen; right mouse click it, copy and paste into your document. It’s that easy. Keep in mind that the more you type, the denser the code will be and students might have trouble scanning it if your copy machine doesn’t make clear copies.

Below is what one of my handouts looks like:

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