School & District Management

QR Codes as Classroom Tools

By Liana Loewus — January 24, 2013 1 min read

Monica Burns offers what amounts to a classroom teacher’s ode to QR (“quick response”) codes, in an Edutopia blog post.

The fifth-year teacher explains that having students scan the codes with Smartphones or tablets is simpler and less time-consuming than having them type in long Web addresses. She also claims the codes are easy to make (for instance, Qurify.com) and “keep things new and exciting” for students. She writes:

Try creating scavenger hunts that will get your students to visit a variety of websites to gather information on a topic. Get students engaged and moving by placing QR codes in different parts of your classroom or school building.

The obvious caveat here is that Burns works in a setting with one-to-one technology—mainly iPads—and most teachers do not.

But here’s another potential caveat: When’s the last time you used a QR code yourself? Is this a real-world-relevant tech tool or simply a passing (passed?) fad? Seems to me that long Web addresses are here to stay, so maybe giving kids practice with them isn’t a bad use of time. I’m not so sure about QR codes.

Teachers, as always, please weigh in.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.