For the past few days I’ve been using QR codes in my lessons. They come in very handy when you need to share links, whether in the class or for home use.
QR codes are simply another way of representing a link to a website, video, sound clip, as well as text you input…anything that is hosted on the internet. Instead of providing your students with the usual link, you only share something like this:
To convert a link into a QR code you simply need to use a QR code generator. There are plenty of free online generators, just google it and you will find lots.
Then, you need to install any free QR code reader app. Again, there’s a great variety of free readers for Android and iOs. You open the app, and point your device camera to the code. It scans the code and automatically takes you to the website. Much easier than having to type a URL.
You can print the codes you need for everyone to scan, either on a handout, or stick them on the wall…
I’ve been using it these days, for example, with my C1 group at the CARLEE, for reading comprehension exercises. Previously, we had listened to five restaurant reviews, and students had to take notes about what they heard. Now, they had to check the written reviews from Time Out London for the very same restaurants. But instead of printing the reviews, I just put the codes up on the wall, and they could stand up and scan them. Then, they read the reviews on their devices, and took notes as well, checking them against the previous radio reviews.
I’ve also used it with my year 1 secondary students. We’re working on a project about relevant women in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). We’ve selected five different women, and each group has to prepare either a video biography, the trailer for her biopic, or an interview with one of these women (more here). In order for them to have some background information, I have prepared a handout with some links they could visit in class, using as many devices as I could gather for them to use. But instead of plain old chunks of URLs, I have given them QR codes, to save time.
Our final products will be part of a whole-school project. Their videos and recordings will be visible to other students, parents, teachers…probably, they will be accessed through QR codes.