After several weeks of planning to use QR codes in my classroom, I have finally managed to incorporate them into the children’s books as a way of recognising their brilliant work on the blog. My initial difficulty was the fact that a) my ipod doesn’t have the camera feature and b) I didn’t have a smart phone. We have webcams at school and I know that with specific software, they can do a fine job of reading the QR codes BUT I wanted it to be much more portable and interactive. So my first step was to get a smart phone (I’d been hankering after one for a while and this gave me the necessary impetus to get one asap!) Once my lovely HTC Wildfire had been delivered, I could then embark upon my new quest!
The next steps were to have a look at how others had used or are using them. My Twitter friends @Dughall, @ideas_factory, @jamesmichie, @primary_pete, @chris_1974 and @tombarratt had been tweeting the virtues of using them in a variety of ways plus had written excellent blog posts – so it should be easy then?
For the uninitiated, a QR (Quick Response) code is a specific two dimensional matrix barcode that can be read by camera phones and special barcode readers. The code is made up of black pixels arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded which the barcode can be text, a URL address or other data. The information that is stored on the barcode, the bigger it becomes. The one below is a unique barcode which when scanned will take you to my class blog. To make these QR codes, I used www.qrcodemaker.co.uk, which was simple to use but there are many others just as good.
So, now all I have to do is type in the URL address of the page on the blog which I want to store in the code and a new and unique barcode is created for me to import as a .png file which I then print out and give to the children to stick in their books. To say that they were amazed at what happened when I clicked the code, would be an understatement!! One of my boys said it was like’James Bond’….. but joking aside, I now have a record of what they have written on their blog in their books which was my intention at the very beginning. At parents evening last week, several parents were instructed how to use the codes by their children. The children explained what they were and apparently whilst waiting to see me, found it amusing to use their phones to access further work completed by their child!
Of course, a record of their work is only the start of things…I now want to begin using them in other ways such as suggested by my fellow tweepers and on Tom Barratt’s excellent ‘Interesting ways to...’ series. I feel another post coming soon…