I’m sure you’ve seen them. They are showing up everywhere.
QR codes. Those little, square squiggly barcode looking things.
A QR code is a handy way to share all sorts of information quickly and easily – the QR part actually stands for Quick Response. QR codes are designed to be de-coded by dedicated QR readers and smartphone apps. Codes consist of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background that is unique to specific information. This information might be text, a web site or all sorts of stuff.
And I know you’re asking yourself
So what? I teach history. I got better things to do with my time.
I know . . . cause early on, I was saying the same thing. Kinda cool technology but it doesn’t really help me do my job. But the more I play with them, I’ve become convinced that teachers can use these things to help kids learn.
Especially as more and more of our students are carrying around smartphones and other mobile devices like iPads and iPods, the use of QR codes can be incredibly powerful. Part of the beauty of a QR code is that you don’t need a computer lab or laptops or really anything other than an understanding administrator and a couple of kids with mobile devices in their back pockets.
Kids can learn when and where they want. You provide choices. Individualized instruction. Rapid dissemination of information. Fast feedback. Pretty much what most 21st century education pundits are pushing for.
So I started looking around for ways to integrate the use of QR codes into history instruction. And ran across a great post by Kerry Turner that gives some handy advice for history teachers titled, wait for it . . . 10 Ways to Use QR Codes in a History Classroom.
So with thanks to Kerry, here’s five of the ten.