Using QR Codes in the Classroom

Whether you are filling up for gas, eating at a restaurant, or opening up your mail, undoubtedly you have come across those square patterned emblems called QR codes. But what exactly is a QR code, and what is its purpose? A QR (Quick Response) code is a sophisticated code that can be scanned using a smartphone, tablet, or webcam. After reading the high-speed, two-dimensional QR code, it links to a Web address that contains related information or an audio or video file.

Consider taking advantage of this easy-to-use technology in planning your classroom instruction. After identifying/adding the content you want to link to on a particular website, use QR Stuff to generate a unique QR code. You can print that code on paper or download it as a graphic or even email it to someone. When someone scans the QR codes, it takes them directly to the website you linked to.

So what are the potential uses of QR codes in the classroom? Here are some great classroom applications to try.

  • School/classroom newsletters--Give your parents an inside peek into your classroom. Add QR codes to your school newsletter that link to photos of student work and activities from that week.
  • Beginning of the year procedures--Have this year's students create short videos demonstrating procedures in the classroom. After uploading them to YouTube or a similar site, use the url address to create jumbo-sized QR codes. Print and display in the classroom so that next year's students can scan while learning rules and expectations.
  • Book reviews--After reading a chapter book or picture book, students can create an audio or video book review. Upload the audio/video to a webpage and then create a QR code. Print and place the QR code in the back inside cover of the book for future readers to scan when deciding whether they want to read the book, too.
  • Literacy station integration--Upload a series of audio clips where you explain station objectives. Create a unique QR code for each audio clip. Display them at the stations for students to scan and access instructions as they rotate.
  • Interactive bulletin boards--Teach students how to create their own QR codes for a research project. After creating mini-posters on their topics, they can include a QR code to link readers to already existing websites, videos, etc. for more information. (This would make a great interactive hallway bulletin board.)

For more ideas on how schools are utilizing QR codes within their classrooms, check out this video by McGuffey school district (Claysville, PA).




Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media are integrated throughout the standards.



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