What are QR codes & why should you care?
QR code is short for ‘quick response’ code. It is a type of bar code that can be scanned by a smartphone or tablet that has the required app installed needed to interpret the QR code. QR codes are being used for:
- tracking items
- promotions and advertising
- product labelling
QR codes in education have been on the fringes of ’emerging’ technology for a while. There are some educators who swear by them and use them in interesting ways to create engaging and effective learning experiences. Now, Google have added a feature to the Chrome app on iOS allowing users to scan QR codes without needing an extra app! This is great for users of G Suite for Education and educators operating in a locked down tech environment that does not allow you to add apps to iPads or iPods.
The great news is QR code technology and ideas are not hard to understand and there are plenty of resources and ideas to have you up and running today. All you need is an iPad, iPod or iPhone and an updated version of Chrome (plus a teeny pit of prep/printing).
Note: other operating systems can also scan QR codes but you will need a separate app that will scan the code.
Using QR codes in the classroom
The good news is many educators have shared their ideas and resources on using QR codes in the classroom so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Below is a Pinterest board of resources to get you started.
One of my favourite QR code activities is the scavenger hunt. It can be used across many subject areas and gets students up and moving.
Scanning QR codes using Google Chrome (iOS)
If you have an up-to-date version of the Chrome app on your iOS device (iPad, iPod or iPhone) you have everything you need to start scanning QR codes – no separate apps needed.
There are 2 ways of accessing the QR code scanning feature in Chrome:
- 3D touch of the Chrome icon (newer devices)
- Using spotlight search and searching for ‘QR’
The short video below takes you through step-by-step on using both of these methods.